Ah, there’s nothing like retailing at this time of year…

Bustling crowds … Christmas carols … smiling faces … and busy cash registers!  Your store is always crowded, your sales volumes are skyrocketing and hey, you might even be beating your revenue targets!  Is this enough?  If you think so, here’s a new concept for you -- stop managing your store only to its sales objective and start leading it to its true potential!

It's Black Friday!  Here are 3 things YOU need to get on top of right now!

For just about every retailer, Black Friday is the holiday selling kick-off that we've waited for all year!  Knowing that so many purchase decisions are made at store level, it's time to make sure everyone on the sales floor is at the top of their game.  Here are 3 more things you can do right now to help you squeeze a few more dollars into the cash drawer each day:

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’!

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?

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:

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?  Follow these key steps to ensure your success this season:

Are your top performers pushing back when it comes to participating in the on-going sales training that your company requires everyone to complete?  How are you handling this push-back?  If you’re like most of the retail managers I hear from every week, this is a real struggle.  A struggle that usually results in just letting that all-star salesperson do their own thing and forego the training everyone else is doing. 

Here in Canada, just like it is in many parts of the world, the luxury market is expanding rapidly.  With that comes a lot of new and very good competitors from near and far.  Of course, add to this the fact that customers are more knowledgeable than ever before, and you’ve got the potential from some really exciting (both good and bad) shopping experiences.

Right now, there’s just too many bad shopping experiences in some of the high end luxury stores. 

Who's in the pilot's seat in your stores?  Who's dealing with your precious passengers (your customers) every day and can single-handedly determine whether they leave happy or frustrated?  Who decides whether you will 'soar above the clouds' or 'crash and burn' in a fiery death?

Why, it's your sales staff, of course.  In the eyes of your customers, they are your company.  They literally hold the power over your success or failure.

Are you comfortable with that?  Are your 'passengers' really safe with them?  Just how skilful are they at their job?  Or are they just 'winging it'?

It will come as no surprise to good retailers everywhere, but the results of a recent, long-term study highlight the importance of relevant, thorough, sustained employee training.  In fact, the specific conclusion of this research was that “Firms' investment in employee training is the single most powerful predictor of future financial performance …”.  There you have it (one more time) … your people are your most important assets!

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