If you want to kick-start your holiday sales, develop and launch a sales contest that will get your staff’s attention and produce solid results.  Sound easy?  It’s not!  To drive success on the sales floor, your contest must follow these important guidelines:

  1. It must be simple.
  2. It must be ‘winnable’.
  3. It must be easily measured.
  4. It must be completed within a short time frame (one week maximum!).
  5. It must include relevant rewards.
  6. It should involve continuous communication.
  7. You should consider alternating between individual and team-based events.

For example, let’s look at how we might launch a sales contest based on individual sales performance.  Keep in mind the guidelines above as we develop the parameters for this competition.  They might look like this:

  1. The winner is the sales person who achieves the highest items per sale, or IPS.  (Same thing as Units per Transaction.)  (Simple)
  2. Since the competition is based on employee performance during each transaction, everybody has a chance to win.  (Winnable)
  3. Simply track their IPS on a daily and weekly basis.  (Easily measured)
  4. Let’s run this contest for one week to allow everyone (including part-timers) to participate.  (Short time frame)
  5. First place winner will take home an extra $25.  Second place gets you $15 and third wins $5.  (Relevant rewards)
  6. The Store Manager (or shift manager) will quickly review each employee’s progress with her during each contest shift.  (Continuous communication)

Simple, isn't it?  Yet it is well-conceived with clear and obvious guidelines that are regularly communicated.  Everyone will have a chance to win, so everyone will ‘pull a little harder on the oars’ this week!

An alternative to individual competition is to use similar parameters, but play off one shift ‘team’ against another.  Or hold a competition with another store in your area.  You could even get your District Manager to challenge another region.  Wouldn’t that be fun?

And remember ... don’t wait for your Head Office to launch the next contest.  Take the initiative and run one today in your own store.  Keep the rewards simple if need be, but get it done!

Not sure this will generate some excitement in your store?  Then clearly you’re underestimating the competitive edge and desire for recognition that drives most great sales people.  If you follow these guidelines and your staff still isn’t interested ... maybe it’s time to re-evaluate your staff!

Kevin Graff is the main guy behind all things Graff Retail. A renowned retail expert, Kevin is recognized in the retail industry as a speaker, author and expert trainer. Kevin's main passion is to help retailers drive staff performance.

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