Archive for December, 2014

Holiday Tip #3

Today, we want to share a story of one Store Manager who figured out how to overcome poor store performance.

But, first, let’s answer this question…

If there was one thing that you could point to as the most important thing you can do, in this final quarter of the year, to give you the best possible shot at closing the year with a degree of success, what do you think it would be?

The answer is to effectively manage the performance of the people in your retail store(s).

Your retail store isn’t going to change much except for the usual visual merchandising and possible layout changes; all of your retail management training has been done; the inventory has been bought and will, hopefully, arrive in stores as scheduled; your POS system will be the same; your marketing and promotional efforts are probably all developed and ready to implement, except for some last minute attempts to give business a lift; and, unless something goes terribly wrong, you won’t be making any changes in your retail management teams until next year.

The only thing that can significantly change that will really make the difference over the next few weeks is…
You guessed it…the people working in your stores.

If you’re in retail, you know it’s all about store performance and you simply cannot expect superior performance from the store(s) if the people dealing with your customers aren’t performing at the expected level.

Here’s the story, we mentioned above, written by a Store Manager who learned how to solve her concerns about store performance…

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“When I got my first Store Manager’s job, I was almost overwhelmed by the number of things I had to accomplish. In fact, there is so much involved in managing a store that, without the benefit of experience, a Store Manager could easily lose sight of what is really important.

During that first few months it seemed like I was doing everything I possibly could to get the sales results. I was hiring and training people, scheduling really carefully so as not to overspend on wages while still keeping my sales floor properly covered; constantly moving merchandise around so that customers would always be treated to a fresh look when they came in; I was coaching and motivating my people all the time. Really, I thought I was doing the job.

But, even though I was working incredibly hard, I still wasn’t getting the sales I knew the store was capable of generating.

Then, one day, I really started taking a close look at what my Sales Associates were doing. They were a great bunch of people and they worked very hard for me. I realized that, although they were all doing everything I asked of them and they were all super friendly with the customers, they weren’t really actively selling to them. Eureka!

It was definitely the most exciting aha! moment in my career up to that point.

I finally got it…I had to teach them how to actively sell to customers! Honestly, they had been doing the best they could; the best anyone could ask of them given that they had never actually been trained to sell. Who knew? Most of them were following some of the selling steps involved intuitively, but there was something missing…

Being very good at selling, myself, I realized I had long ago developed my own unique way of selling…but I didn’t start out that way. In the beginning I had to rely on the selling steps that I had learned to ensure I covered everything in the process.

You really can’t miss any of the steps until you’re very experienced; experienced enough to read the customer and to make changes to the process…changes which enhance it; not changes to shortcut it.

So I got fully behind a project to get all of my Sales Associates up to speed with an active selling skills program. It wasn’t difficult and it wasn’t time consuming.

I could have kicked myself because it had taken me so many weeks to figure it out.

Anyway, once I did finally figure it out I got my people the help they needed; the training they needed. They learned how to use the active selling skills steps and the rest is history.

Not only did my store’s sales improve by about 60%, which did wonders for my reputation in the company and was, undoubtedly, the reason for my fast promotion to DM, but the morale in the store was impacted in a major way. Everyone got amazing results. Well, almost everyone. A couple of really shy, introverted associates took a little time to warm up but, eventually, they did great too!

All of my Associates were beating their targets every shift, every day, every week. It was astonishing.

My Sales Associates were filled with the energy and excitement that comes with that kind of achievement. You should have seen the big sales chart in the back room…gold stars and smiley faces all over the place! The staff were renewed and the store was beating the targets like never before. And not just total sales compared to target and last year,either!

All of the KPI’s were being blown out of the water.

Our biggest gains were in conversion % – you know, the rate you turn shoppers that come through your doors into purchasers. I just would not have believed that my staff were missing so many opportunities before. They had always been great with customers and they worked hard to make sure customers were satisfied. I can see now, because hindsight is 20/20, that they simply did not have the skills to do better.

Our average sale per customer and units per transaction shot up too. Of course, once you start actively selling to customers instead of just helping them, all of your key performance indicators will improve dramatically…anyone could increase their KPI’s, couldn’t they?
Yes, yes, indeed they could and would.

I know that now but, like I said, hindsight is 20/20!

I’m a true believer in giving Sales Associates and Cashiers and anyone else who interacts with customers on your sales floor, the benefit of proper training – the tools of the trade, so to speak – in active selling skills… and in customer service basics, as well.

I’m also a true believer in staying on top of everyone’s performance…every hour of every day. I know that it’s my job, as the Store Manager, to make sure the job is being done well, at all times.”

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That’s her story.

If you want to put your store performance concerns behind you, take a page out of this Store Manager’s playbook and get the big store performance solution we’ve created for you…

Retail Success Accelerator

Just so you know, you’re certainly not alone with your store performance issues and concerns. There are plenty of retailers out there experiencing the same things.

The Retail Success Accelerator, a compilation of three of our top store level problem solving products, is available in digital format for only $297.

Order and the files will be delivered to your inbox. Get started right away.

Here’s what you get when you order the Retail Success Accelerator:

#1: Store Management for Maximum Success Study Course – individually priced at $197

#2: Super Retail Success Bundle – individually priced at $147

#3: Retail Selling Skills & Customer Service Fundamentals Study Course – individually priced at $97

We put these three individual solutions in a special package because we know you’re busy and you just want to get things fixed.

So, to make it easy for you to order just one product and get all of the solutions that will address your store performance concerns and save you money at the same time, we introduced the Retail Success Accelerator.

The Digital Version is just $297. (Savings of $144 or 32.65%)

Every day that you struggle with your store performance concerns is just another day of missed opportunities. Click here and Kick everything up a notch with the Retail Success Accelerator.

All the Success!

DMSRetail Inc.

PS: Remember, your store performance concerns CAN and WILL be a thing of the past when you start using the Retail Success Accelerator. Order now.

Holiday Tip #2

Here’s your Holiday Tip # 2 and Hint of the Day.

Anytime you’re heading into a busy season, it pays to take some time to talk to all of your management and staff about selling what you’ve got in stock.

This is often referred to as SWAT – Sell What’s Available Today.

To all of you Retail Business Owners and Store Managers… don’t accept excuses or complaints. Whatever your store does not have available to sell on any given day…it simply cannot sell and it serves no purpose, whatsoever, to complain about this.

It’s just a fact of life at that particular moment.

And, even if it is their fault, buyers, allocators and suppliers can try harder next year…but that won’t help you now.

Maybe you didn’t get enough of a popular item. Perhaps another store, or even another retailer got more, maybe replenishment is too slow. It really doesn’t matter what the reason…the fact that it is not available to sell to your customer means you need to sell something else. Period.

The alternative to selling something else is to sell nothing…and that really isn’t going to help, is it?

So, not having the perfect inventory can not, and must not, be used as a reason, or excuse, for lack of productivity.

Having said that, however, DMSRetail always advocates excellence in customer service which includes selling the right product to your customer based on their needs and wants.

So here’s how we’d go about it.

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Not sure if all your people can sell? Get the Retail Selling Skills and Customer Service Fundamentals Self Study course quick – no time to waste…digital version available for immediate download-only $97. Buy here.

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It is very often possible to find an alternative for your customer…particularly during gift giving seasons; one that will be of value to them and will suit their needs very well. And they will likely appreciate your efforts as it will save them time looking elsewhere.

Your Sales Associates should be knowledgeable enough to interest customers in a solid alternative that you do have in stock.

And, quite apart from the benefit to the customer, remember one critically important fact – you have inventory in your store that the company owns; probably many thousands of dollars worth of inventory, and it must be sold at some point.

The fact that you may not have enough of the merchandise that is easy to sell is unfortunate but, again, you do have inventory to sell. And provided that you are giving your customer value with a good alternative, it’s your job to do just that – sell your inventory.

Of course, sometimes a customer wants a specific item and cannot be persuaded to purchase an alternative, and that’s fine. At least you’ve tried to help them and to make a sale. At no time would we suggest trying to push an unwanted item on a customer.

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Not sure if all your people can sell? Get the Retail Selling Skills and Customer Service Fundamentals Self Study course quick – no time to waste…digital version available

for immediate download-only $97. Buy here.

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Hint of the day: Stay on top of product knowledge more than ever during the holiday season; check out new items that are coming in so you’re aware of what you’ve got in store – what alternatives you have. Keep the idea of alternatives in mind when asking your open ended questions during the ‘determining needs’ step of the selling process.

All the Success!
DMSRetail

PS: Quick and easy help for the busy selling season, and beyond, is available in the Retail Selling Skills & Customer Service Fundamentals Self Study Course. Get the knowledge, skills and tips anywhere, anytime, at your convenience…and without all of the travel expenses of attending the workshop in person. Digital version is only $97. Check it out here
PPS: If you have a friend or colleague who might be interested in our Tips, feel free to forward this to them. Better yet, they can sign up for their own copy and get a free copy of ’22 Ways of Highly Successful Retail Managers’ as a sign up gift. Sign up is free and takes about 3 seconds, right here.
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