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Spring Has Sprung – Time for Spring Training!

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!

1. Commit to running Shift Starter meetings every day – Holding quick, 5 minute shift starter meetings with your staff is imperative to getting back to the basics and cleaning out the cobwebs, so to speak.  Shift Starters ensure everyone on the team knows what’s going on in the store during their shift (sales goals, new products, sold out products, markdowns, merchandising tasks, etc..).  When the team is all focused on the same things and steered in the same direction, it makes for a better working experience, better in-store experience for the customer and achieving sales goals more of a reality! 

2.  Create a Sales Board in your backroom – If you already have a central place in your backroom to post your sales goals and other informative and encouraging sales-related information, pat yourself on the back…and then go and look at your board to make sure it’s up to date!  If you don’t have a sales board to communicate and inspire your team, put one together today!  Here are some quick thoughts on what to post on your sales board: sales goals/actuals for the month, week, day, sales training focus of the week (what selling skill are you working on this week?), a daily selling tip, key product feature, etc..Don’t forget to get your staff involved in building and maintaining the board every week. 

3. Be an on-the-floor sales coach – Store Managers do their best work out on the floor, so get out of the backroom and be the coach.  Observe your staff during their conversations with staff and offer on-the-spot feedback after they finish with their customers.  Refer to our past blog “Are You The Best Sales Coach You Can Be?”.

4.  Encourage some friendly competition – It’s human nature to want to ‘win’, so start a selling contest in your stores and be sure to offer a motivating incentive to make the ‘win’ worthwhile!  Try “Pass the Buck” this Saturday.  You can use $20 or even a store gift card, whatever your staff finds motivating.  The person who makes the first sale gets to hold on to the $20 until someone tops their sale.  If someone has a larger average sale, the $20 gets passed to that person.  The “buck” gets passed around all day long until the close of business and the person with the highest average sale at the end of the day, walks away with the top seller title and $20 richer!

5. Hold regular staff meetings – Staff meetings don’t have to be daunting and super time consuming.  Get in the habit of gathering together on a regular basis.  Doing this will foster team morale, keep the team communicating and give you opportunity to educate.  Always review a key selling skill and do some role playing in your staff meetings so your team remains sales and service focused! 

6. Evaluate and celebrate success – What do you have in place to measure success?  If the staff doesn’t know what success means to you, they will never know how they measure up, will they?  You have to make it clear, set expectations and then make a big fuss when your team meets and/or exceeds those expectations.  Don’t lose sight of how important this is. 

7.  District Managers or Owners need to be on board – Build the above Spring Training Tips list into your weekly manager conference calls and follow ups.  You must continually work with the stores in your region to ensure that training/performance coaching is ongoing…not just for springtime!  

Blog Authors: Mary & Kim

Mary GordonKim McCutcheon

Mary Gordon and Kim McCutcheon have been supporting retail front lines for as long as they can remember. A dynamic duo, Mary and Kim understand what it takes to make training work at store level and know how to inspire, coach and support retail teams in all of their training endeavours.

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