Your Staff Remains the Key to Optimizing Sales During COVID-19

How can we increase sales during COVID-19? I’ve been asked this over and over again by retailers. The answer is simple…it’s your staff!

I recently talked about optimizing the sales floor experience before and during the COVID crisis on the Voice of Retail Podcast.

Pre-COVID Retail Strategy

We need to remember that pre-COVID, retail stores were facing the challenge of decreasing traffic count. This meant that retailers had to boost their conversion rates to maintain or increase sales. At Graff Retail, we focused our training efforts on helping our clients get more out of those customers that were visiting their stores, becoming more effective at uncovering their needs, and closing sales. Consumers had grown accustomed to shopping experiences built around their individual needs and desires. With online flourishing and increased competition, stores had to ensure that the performance of their frontline staff would rise to meet growing customer expectations.

Getting staff members to be better brand ambassadors was a strategy that we found was working for retail stores. Retail stores that were focusing on their staff knowing about products and learning to engage with customers were seeing high-performance levels. Best Buy is a great example of this. Despite a surge in online purchases for electronics, Best Buy has continued to grow. They knew their staff was their greatest differentiator and decided to invest in them.

Post-COVID Retail Strategy

Post-COVID, the retail landscape has changed drastically, but most of the basic principles for increasing sales remain the same, although there should be more of an emphasis on them now. First, let’s talk about what’s changed.

Retail stores now need to concentrate on communicating their safety strategy to both their staff and customers. Customers and staff are anxious and they need to know you’re working through all the safety procedures. You can read more about the importance of safety during COVID here. Next, make sure you are giving customers everything that they need. Keep in mind your customers don’t want to make a second or third trip back to the store.

What hasn’t changed is the need to create exceptional customer experiences. Let’s face it, the shopping experience isn’t great, so you need to double down and work harder to engage with customers. There needs to be a sense of urgency among your staff. There is limited time and customers, so you need to maximize the value of every customer. This holiday season, make sure your team has a solid add-on strategy and is selling to everyone possible on a customer’s list. My 5-step add-on strategy can help you sell one or two additional items along the way.

I can not emphasize enough the true value that your staff brings to your brand. Start investing in your team and get them the support they need. Retailers that invest in their staff properly, see the rewards over and over again. Your staff is going to bring your brand to life. They are the differentiating factor!

Contact us today and get your staff the training they need and deserve.


At Graff Retail, we create leading-edge retail training programs specifically designed and customized to increase staff knowledge and performance with innovative teaching methods to drive sales and revenue for businesses.

Blog Authors: Kevin

Kevin Graff

Kevin Graff is the main guy behind all things Graff Retail. A renowned retail expert, Kevin is recognized in the retail industry as a speaker, author and expert trainer. Kevin's main passion is to help retailers drive staff performance.

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