Food for Thought About Flyin’ vs Dyin’

If you’re anything like us, you get too many emails that are not relevant to your business, or not relevant to your business at the moment. So, you spend a lot of time pressing the delete key.

But, every so often you get an email that gives you food for thought, or a little piece of advice that really hits home with you; helps you with something you’ve been struggling with for a while.

This is the time of year when many retailers are taking a long, hard look at their business results for the previous year and start making plans to ensure this year is better. Regardless of what the previous year looked like, you’ve got to do better this year, right? That’s the way to grow our businesses…keep doing better in comparable stores; maybe add some new stores, or even some new revenue streams.

The idea is to go forward, in any case.

It’s tough to keep the forward momentum going, year after year, without getting some new ideas, advice, practical tips and how-to’s. Things are always changing and we need to be on our toes all the time to stop us from rolling backwards or, even, from maintaining the status quo.

We want to help you with that forward momentum. We have a wealth of information you can use, right now, to ensure your business is flying and not dying!

For instance, you would be a rare retailer if you don’t have at least a few problem employees. You may already understand that you have them because your hiring practices aren’t as sharp as they might be. Perhaps a lot of canned questions are being asked during interviews which, of course, leads to canned answers and you and/or your management people aren’t getting at what you really need to know about the applicant making it impossible to predict what they’re going to do for your organization.

Here are a few Questions and Tell Me’s designed to get right to the heart of the matter. Ask these and you will learn a lot. If the candidate gives really short answers…you’ll have lots of information to use to drill down. Any retail candidate should have no problem with these. If they do, head’s up.

Customer Service Orientation

What basics do you think the customer has the right to expect when in your store?

Tell me a few things about telephone etiquette.

What are the elements of a positive shopping experience?

Ability to Sell, or Coach Others on Selling Skills

What are the steps in the selling process?

Elaborate on those steps as much as you can.

Do you consider yourself a good salesperson and, if so, what indications do you have that support

your answer?

And, of course, it’s always a good idea to hand the candidate your pen or notebook or other object and have them sell it to you.


How important was your personal contribution to the goals and objectives of the business unit

you last worked in?

Can you give me an example of a company procedure or policy that did not make sense to you?

How do you communicate your agreement/disagreement with company initiatives?

Relationships and Team Building

Tell me about your past relationships with your subordinates/peers.

Tell me about your past relationships with your superiors.

What type of Manager would bring out the best in you?

We hope you found this helpful in some way. You’ll find these interview tips and questions along with the expected and acceptable applicant responses and much, much more in our Ultimate Retail Success Collection and you can check it out here.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s installment.

All the Success!
DMSRetail Team

PS: The Retail Operations Management Workshop and the Retail Category Management Workshop take place in Miami in February. Click the links for Dates, Program Outlines, Fees, etc. Register soon to avoid disappointment.

PPS: We’ve just completed our 6 month Schedule of Workshops. Send an email to to request a copy.


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