Anxiously keeping your fingers crossed and hoping that this Christmas season will be “The One”?  The one that makes up for the disappointing seasons of the past … the one that really pushes you over the top and makes your whole year a success … the one that makes you happy you got into this business in the first place?

Well, market indications are fairly positive right now.  It looks like people are ready to spend.  That should be good news, right?  Yet only some retailers are able to really capitalize on strong markets like this.  Why is that?

It's hard to believe Christmas is almost here.   Are you ready to make this a great selling season?   There's no reason why you can't sell more!   

Here are 5 things we think you need to get on top of right now if you haven't already:

A common situation for almost every retailer during this time of year.  How do we successfully man the oars’ during this tidal wave of customers?  Whatever you do, understand how important this process is to your success.  Doing it right (or not!) will dictate whether you ‘sink or swim’!

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:

Huh?  That’s probably exactly what you’re saying when you read the title of this blog.  After all, what the heck is a calculus question doing here?

Hang in there, because I’m actually going to make an important point that relates to how you need to train your sales and management teams.

In my role at Graff Retail, I speak to Store Managers on a daily basis.  At some point in the conversation we end up “talking shop” and managers share their biggest challenges with me (kind of like a retail therapy session!). I’ve learned over time that the challenges aren’t unique from manager to manager and, since I am in charge of our award-winning online retail training system at Graff, I happen to have access to a ton of tried and true techniques to take a manager from struggling to ALL-STAR! In short order, here are 8 things you need to do to ensure you’re an All-Star this Christmas selling season.

It’s that wonderful time of year again when we start to gear up for Christmas.  A critical part of this process is hiring seasonal staff.  The very thought of this is often enough to cause even the most experienced of managers to break out in a cold sweat!  But don’t worry … it’s all about planning and execution.

Whether you need to recruit only three new temps or as many as seventy, it’s time for you to get moving right now.  Not sure where to begin? 

In the retail sector, we’re pretty good about holding our store managers accountable.  We crank out all kinds of objectives and measurements to make sure that each location can ‘hold its own’ as a separate business unit … and heaven help the Store Manager who isn’t up to snuff!

But are we just as diligent in holding District Managers accountable?  Generally speaking, the answer is “No”.

Recently, The Retail Council of Canada, in partnership with WCG International Consultants Ltd., conducted a member survey to identify training and development benchmarks.  The insights from the survey were encouraging, but also show that we have to dig a bit deeper and really take a hard look at what we are doing (and what we’re not doing!) when it comes to delivering training at store level. 

My ‘never-fail’ assistant reminded me of my need to write this blog while I was on the golf course this week.  So, over the course of 18 holes a few things started to occur to me:

  1. My golf game needs a lot of work!
  2. I should invest in a golf ball manufacturing business
  3. Golf is a lot like selling


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