Archive for November, 2014

Holiday Tip #1

This season, when you can expect to see heavier traffic volume in your stores, try a laser focused approach on the sales floor.

Often, during these busier times, you expect that customers will outnumber associates by quite a lot. While it’s a wonderful problem to have, there are certain things you must do to make sure that you are able to take full advantage of it; make order out of the chaos and reap the rewards in terms of sales -conversion, average sale per customer, average units per customer, etc.

Without direction, associates can get caught up in the whirlwind of activity with the resulting sales achievement being significantly less than what it could be. This might be a natural occurrence and may not necessarily be because your associates are doing something wrong.

What they need is continuous guidance, direction and coaching on the sales floor. With proper sales floor leadership and direction in place, your customers will enjoy shopping in an environment where everything is well managed. They’ll be able to get in and out fast, so they can move on to other things they need to accomplish.

They’ll enjoy being served (and sold to) by competent, happy, knowledgeable associates and getting their questions answered quickly. And for those customers who don’t want to take care of their shopping quickly – the ones who enjoy spending time choosing just the right items – your associates will be there for them too – providing exactly what they need.

A Sales Floor Director is not a luxury. The Store Manager, Management Person in Charge, or other designated management person must be free to perform the function of Sales Floor Director during busy times. This role cannot be delegated to just anyone..choose the person carefully. The sole purpose of this function is to increase sales by making sure all associates are properly employed and free to do their jobs – sales associates, cashiers, runners, greeters, etc. This means the Sales Floor Director must be aware of everything that is going on in the store at all times and must act to remove potential obstacles to performance. Clearly, customer’s will benefit from this organized approach during a hectic time.

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Here are some guidelines for your Sales Floor Directors:

  • Keep moving around the store.
  • Have a system for being kept informed of the store sales, and conversion rate, on an on-going basis.
  • Always be facing the front of the store so you stay up to the minute on the traffic entering and exiting.
  • Set up a signal system that associates will recognize – perhaps a slight nod – to acknowledge and assist a customer.
  • Be aware of who is doing what at all times.
  • Be on the lookout for fixtures that are sold down so you can tell the designated individual to replenish. And then follow up to ensure it’s done quickly.
  • Watch for bottlenecks at the cash desk so you can take action. Actions like: a) calling a bagger to help out b) calling another cashier to the desk c) instructing a runner to go for supplies d) spending a moment chatting with customers who are waiting – taking their mind off the fact they are waiting.
  • Check all areas of the store, regularly, to ensure cleanliness and safety.
  • Watch for associates who are finished doing what they were doing and have not yet engaged in something else that is productive. Give them a new task or point them toward a customer.
  • Let all associates know that they can, and should, look to you for guidance on any problems that come up. Let them know you are there to ensure the smooth operation of the sales floor providing the very best service to customers and that nothing is more important to you.
  • Tell associates to let you know if they are leaving the sales floor for any reason.
  • Stay on the sales floor. If you absolutely must leave the sales floor for a short time, appoint someone to take over.
  • Review the schedule regularly. Change it if necessary. Lunch and break times must be adhered to unless you make a change.
  • Above all, keep the associates motivated – be a Cheerleader and share information!

Converting shoppers into buying customers is much easier when a Sales Floor Director is on the job – removing obstacles and directing virtually everything. There will be fewer customers who leave without buying because you’ve made sure that they were greeted and welcomed into the store, that all products/models/styles/sizes that you have available are actually on the sales floor, that the environment is clean and safe, that associates are pleasant, calm and available to attend and sell to each and every customer and that the checkout lineup is under control.

Basically, you have provided a great shopping experience in an otherwise hectic and chaotic time and you will be rewarded with higher sales through increased conversion, average sale per customer, average units per customer, etc.

The Sales Floor Director is a ‘must have’, particularly at busy times. If you want to capitalize on increased traffic in your stores, try it.

All the Success!!
DMSRetail Team

PS: Here’s that link, again, for the Store Manager’s Organizer .

PPS: Check out DMSRetail’s Ultimate Retail Success Collection.

Reminder: Reserve your seat now for the Retail District Management Workshop and/or The Retail Operations Management Workshop in Miami in January 2015 and get the new year off to a great start! Go to http://www.dmsretail.com/retailtraining.htm or Send an email to training@dmsretail.com to inquire.


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