In today’s competitive market place, you need an edge.  But where do you find it?  Do you just sit around waiting for a magic wand or the perfect merchandise to appear?  Not in this world!  The answer is actually staring you right in the face ... you must learn from your competitors!

Here’s what you need to do:

Let’s get this out of the way right up front.  I think I know a lot. And, the guy I work for?  Well, he thinks he knows even more!

But the most important thing we know is that what we actually know is just a very small fraction of what there is to know.  Yes, I’m confident in my knowledge, but more than that, it’s my awareness of all the things I don’t know (and that’s a lot!) that drives me to learn, research, study and grow.

Kevin had the chance to speak to a room full of franchisees at a recent AGM.  The topic?  All about how to drive revenues in their stores, of course!  Kevin’s keynotes aren’t fluffy; but rather packed full of tangible action-items that any retailer can take back to their stores, implement easily and start seeing results.  If any of you have had the pleasure of hearing Kevin speak live at one of your annual meetings, you know first-hand just how inspiring and motivating one of his talks can be.  I am sure the majority of the franchise owners agree after seeing just how many made the decision to sign up for Graff Retail TV; our online sales and management training programs. 

If you don't already have a sales training program in place to teach your sales staff how to sell and service your customers, you need to get one!  If you do have a sales training program in place, but it's not working as well as you hoped, maybe you are missing a key ingredient to sustain your training efforts? 

Have you ever considered adding Role Playing into the mix?  Most people shudder at the thought of Role Playing.  It's right up there with the fear of public speaking.  But I'm here to tell you that it can be your #1 key ingredient to help bring your sales training to life and it will be the very thing that makes your staff finally just "get it!" 

OK, the title of this blog leaves little to the imagination for anyone from the accounting department.  Their world is purely black and white, numbers driven, and results-only focused.  That’s important, of course, but it hardly tells you how your stores are truly performing.

Consider these two examples. 

If you didn’t attend the Retail Council of Canada’s HR Conference this year, you missed the best one ever!  We work with retailers, so joining a conference that is designed by retailers for retailers only makes sense for our team; plus, Kevin was moderating one of the best roundtable discussions with leaders from Home Depot, Town Shoes and Canadian Tire, so I just had to go and support our fearless leader! 

Outside of the eye-opening discussions about creating affirmative work environments for people who identify as trans and gender non-conforming, the other main take-away for me was at the very end of the day. 

Why should you listen to me when you can have 300 Leading HR Managers tell you what’s driving staff and store performance?

This past week, I had the opportunity to attend the Retail Council of Canada’s Human Resource Conference in Toronto.  In addition to moderating a HR Leadership Panel, I took the time to listen to all of the speakers and talk with dozens of delegates.  It was an amazing show, and it’s clear that this ‘ain’t your Grandma’s’ HR world anymore.  Thank goodness for that!

The title of this blog likely gives away where I’m heading with this posting.  But, think about it for a moment.  What have you actually taught them about how to manage the store?

Yes, you’ve likely trained them on a multitude of paperwork related tasks, how to build a schedule (including the essential, ‘don’t you dare go over on hours’ module), merchandising and other basic store requirements.  All good and essential stuff to be certain.

But, ask any Manager what the toughest part of their job is and they’ll almost universally tell you it’s dealing with their staff.  We know that’s true because we surveyed almost 700 Managers a couple of years ago and that’s what they told us.

It only makes sense.  Paperwork, merchandising and other tasks are very much an “A + B + C = D” process.  Whereas when it comes to staff, what we’re really talking about is human beings.  We all know how unpredictable they can be!  It’s not easy getting them to work for you, work hard, work smart and work together.

Now, step back for a moment and think about the elements of a store’s success that a Manager can actually influence. 

Pricing? NO.  

Product Selection?  NO.  

Location?  NO.  

Marketing?  NO. 

Staff?  YES!

I say it all the time … front line Managers and staff are more important today than ever before.  If you’re going to run a brick and mortar business, you better provide a great shopping experience through your staff.  Otherwise, roll up the carpet and make way for someone else.

Take a good hard look in your training cupboards and ask yourself how well you’ve trained your Managers on the following:

  • How to recruit staff, develop talent and reduce turnover
  • How to prioritize your time so the most important things always get done
  • How to maximize the productivity of every associate
  • How to be a Leader that your staff will want to follow
  • How to deal with all of those problem performers and turn them around
  • How to achieve compliance on store standards and run the store the right way every day
  • How to motivate and engage your staff every day of the year
  • How to drive the metrics that determine store success
  • How the business of the business works and how they can improve it

When you consider the list above, you’ll likely discover that those are the things you really need your Managers to do better at.  Your staff needs them to do those things better too.  And so does your company.

So, have you taught your Store Managers how to manage the store, or just the paperwork?

If you’ve discovered the training cupboard is a little bare, don’t fret, but don’t hesitate either.  Pick up the phone and call us today at 905-842-1275. Or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We’re here to help.

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.

Attention all Store Managers! 

It's time for some "Spring Training" in your stores! 

Everyone knows how satisfying it is to do spring cleaning around the house; the same can be true about spring training for retailers!  The winter blahs are over and it's time to get the cobwebs out and get back to the basics.

If you're not sure what you need to do to refresh your training and/or performance coaching in the store, here are a few Spring Training Tips that you can start working on right away; even if you don't have a solid sales training program in place yet!

I've often heard leaders say things like…'My staff doesn't have to like me, they just have to respect me'.  Well, I'm afraid that's not true.  In fact, it’s a non-negotiable that your team likes you…a lot!  This is the difference between managing people while telling them what to do versus inspiring people to do what’s right because they want to.

Think about why we like our favourite brands. 


Subscribe to the Graff Retail Blog

Enter your email to receive updates from us. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Follow Us:

Graff Retail on Facebook Graff Retail on LinkedIn Graff Retail on Twitter


retail digest badge 220

Retail Award Blue 220

Retail transparent 216px


Check Out the #1 Online Training Solution For Retailers: