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:

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:

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 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:

I’ve ranted and raved for years about the lack of compliance on standards at store level.  Retail’s inability to have the stores meet basic store standards costs the business sales, margin, customer loyalty and more.  Doesn’t it seem to be simple enough to get the staff to greet customers, maintain merchandising standards, dress properly, show up on time and sell properly?  Well, apparently not!

Last week I had a chance to spend five days out on the sales floor of one of our favourite retailers.  I wasn’t selling or servicing customers, if that’s what you’re thinking.  The Graff Team was invited to produce a custom training video, so naturally, we used the actual store as the backdrop for the video.  But, I’m not here to talk about the amazing video we were producing.  I’m more excited to dish on my observations from the sales floor. 

I've been at Graff Retail for 11 years now and as many of you know, my role has been primarily focused on consulting & speaking. I love what I do and I'm very passionate about helping people succeed in the retail industry. But, let’s be honest, we can all get a little comfortable in our roles and sometimes not be as effective as we are capable of.

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? 

There’s no doubt that the growing popularity of e-learning has made it easier for retailers to deliver consistent, cost-effective training to the masses.  More and more, retailers are reaching frontline staff by way of video modules hosted on their own Learning Management Systems, interactive modules and even apps designed to keep staff informed, engaged and motivated out on the sales floor.  All positive steps for retailers, but it does beg the question, “Have you lost the human touch when it comes to training your frontline teams?

The title of this blog is actually contained in my signature line on my emails.  That’s a pretty recent addition that began a couple of months ago when we changed the tone of ‘why’ we do what we do here. (I wrote about that in my blog here … http://bit.ly/1UEyyDK)

When I put that addition into my signature line, I wasn’t expecting to move mountains or create a lot of discussion.  But, I’ve had more than a few comments come back my way related to it.

Set clear expectations ... and they'll be met!

Frustrated because you can’t seem to hit your targets? Disappointed because it often seems like your staff just doesn’t get it? Tired of banging your head against the wall?

Before you jump all over your team again, ask yourself this simple but very important question ... “How clear have I been in communicating performance expectations?”

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