Last week, Kevin wrote about our new vision for training inside your organization.  It’s truly redefining the conversations we have with our clients about training and creating great staff experiences.

Now, let’s look at this from the front line’s perspective.

For the past 28 years we have been focused on helping you sell more, making more money in your stores and boosting the productivity of your store teams (read: sell more!).  Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s still the end objective.

But, let’s take a step back for a moment.

Why are we here?  

This is it!  It’s finally here!  The biggest event in Canadian Retail is without a doubt the Retail Council of Canada STORE Conference, and the team at Graff Retail is quite excited to be a part of it for another year.

The Retail Council of Canada has been The Voice of Retail in Canada since 1963, representing more than 45,000 store fronts of all retail formats, including department, specialty, discount, and independent stores and online merchants.  Whether you are a member or not, if you are working in or studying retail then you need to be at STORE…and here’s why:

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!


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