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. Read Article
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”. Read Article
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.
Is the print ad dead? With all the talk about websites, Pay-Per-Click and social media marketing, it’s easy to think that the day of advertising in newspapers, magazines and the like has passed. Certainly, Internet Marketing is a strong and worthy competitor for your marketing dollars and often squeezes out display advertising.
By combining it with your online marketing efforts, you can make your ads far more effective. If you’re going to run display ads then you should turn them into “direct response ads”.
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?”
When we’re not very clear about want we want or expect, we often don’t get it. Why? Because people are goal-oriented beings by nature. They need to know exactly what they’re trying to accomplish and why. When they understand and buy into this critical information, guess what? They try harder and achieve more.
But it takes more than making a grand announcement and waiting for things to happen. When it comes to your sales goals, you’ve got to lead the way. You need to talk about them every day, all day long. Ask each team member how she is progressing towards her own targets, and how the store is doing as a whole.
Why do you need to do this?
It’s simple. If you talk about goals, they’ll focus on goals.
So talk it up!
But don’t stop there … post your goals, reward your staff when they achieve them, and hold them accountable when they don’t. And while you’re at it, make sure everyone understands that ‘quota’ is a minimum expectation … not a ‘dream’ number that would be ‘nice’ to achieve once in a while!
Not sure if we’re really talking about you here? Then take this test with your staff – ask them to identify their individual targets and the store’s overall objectives. Then have them tell you where they stand against these goals. If they don’t have the right answers, they haven’t failed … you have!
Interested in hearing more about effective goal management? Click here http://tv.graffretail.com/get-managing.html
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:
- My golf game needs a lot of work!
- I should invest in a golf ball manufacturing business
- Golf is a lot like selling Read Article
It’s not too often I get a chance to step out from my “behind the scenes” role in supporting retailers to actually sell on a retail sales floor, but I did just that a few weekends ago. I had the pleasure of working at a new shop that a good friend of mine recently opened in beautiful downtown Ridgeway. Ridgeway is a quaint town in the Southern Niagara Region that offers a main drag filled with unique, independently owned shops and restaurants. Once a year, this small town attracts about 20,000 visitors during its somewhat famous Ridgeway Festival. So, naturally, I was enlisted as back-up-help for what is always expected to be one of the busiest weekends of the entire year for the local retailers.
“Metrics?” you say. “Are we talking about numbers here? Don’t you know that everybody hates crunching numbers? What do you think we are, anyway, a bunch of bean counters?”
Hate to disappoint you, loyal readers, but we happen to love numbers. Especially when they add up to increased sales and profits! If you want to drive store results over the top, this is an area of your business you’ve just got to master.
NO Product Knowledge = NO $$
As a reader of our blogs, you’ve no doubt followed our consistent theme of ‘customers are more informed and demanding than ever before’. That’s the single force that’s driving so much change in retail today.
With that in mind, ask yourself how you would rate your own Product Knowledge (PK) on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 means you’re an expert. 1 means you shouldn’t be on the floor. No doubt, you’re more an expert on some things than others in your store. So, come up with what you believe is your ‘average’ PK score.
What did you rate yourself? Read Article
I speak to retail ops leaders and retail store managers on a daily basis and the discussions are typically surrounding getting the store staff to perform better.
Performance issues always lead back to the topic of sales training and then I have to ask, “What’s working about your sales training and what’s not?” Most retailers are suffering from the same performance issues, so I gathered the responses from some of my past conversations and noticed a few common threads. So, for this week’s blog, I thought I’d share what I know about why your sales training isn’t working for you. Read Article
Are You Passionate About Performance?
Passionate sales people are happy and productive – they radiate energy, interest and commitment. Prospective customers walking into the store feel this energy and interest and respond positively to it. They relate more quickly to passionate people and are more likely to accept their assistance and advice.
In this game, focus is everything. If you have it (and use it!), you win. If you don’t, you get eaten alive by your hungry competitors. It’s just that simple.
So how do you rate? Are you truly focused on what’s important? Or are you actually concentrating on the daily menu of distractions served to you by your boss, your shareholders, your competitors and your staff? Don’t answer too quickly now. Our behaviour speaks much louder than our good intentions, and sometimes one isn’t congruent with the other.
I’ve had the pleasure of representing Graff Retail at the Retail Council of Canada annual STORE Conference since 2009. This year, the conference was better than ever, with the biggest names in global retail speaking at the event; and our own Kevin Graff as one fantastic emcee!
Even Abraham Lincoln once said (we’re paraphrasing here) “If I had 6 hours to chop down a big tree, I’d spend the first 2 hours sharpening my axe.”
Powerful advice from a very successful man. In a few words, it speaks volumes about the importance of preparation, doesn’t it? Read Article
The term omni-channel is everywhere these days. It can sound pretty intimidating and confusing for most. To simplify it, just think of your customers and how they now expect to interact with your brand/store seamlessly across all of your platforms. They expect a smooth and nearly invisible transition from your website to your mobile platform to your stores. Multiple channels to deal with your customer … but you need to think of just one customer and expect they’re already interacting with you across all platforms.
That’s pretty heady stuff for marketers and the folks in IT. But what about all the staff running and working in stores? What does it really mean for them? Read Article
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.
What about you? How much do you think you know about retailing, selling, managing staff, running a store, or building a business? You pick the topic. Read Article
Summer is just around the corner, and depending on the nature of your business, you may be in full-force seasonal hiring mode. So, let’s say you’re already on track with finding and hiring the best people for the job. Equally important is having a training plan in place so when they do start, you’re sure to get the most out of your seasonal staff. After all, if it’s important enough to put them on the sales floor, shouldn’t it also be important enough to train them?