Archive for October, 2015

Effective Mentorship

This excellent summary of traits of highly effective mentors courtesy of Michael Hyatt:

Be a servant. Remember the mentee is the hero. You, the mentor, are the guide. Your job is to support, never to undermine, supplant, or steal the limelight.

Be observant. Notice everything, even details that don’t seem particularly relevant. Your advice is shaped by what you see. Make sure to see enough to have beneficial advice.

Be nonjudgmental. Listen to your mentee without sizing up and judging them. This doesn’t mean you have to approve, but influence takes access and judgmentalism will close the door.

Be curious. Ask good questions—this is more important than having the answers. A mentee will often come to the right answer on her own if she has the right questions.

Be authentic. Be who you are, even if it feels a bit old fashioned. Remember, as a mentor your most important asset is you—everything you know and have experienced.

Be calm. Cooler heads, as the saying goes, prevail. A good mentor can keep the temperature down. This is especially important when things get chaotic and others freak out.

Be confident. Mentees need wisdom and insight, not tactics—which they can get practically anywhere. Realize your experience is relevant, even if you don’t understand the nuances of the mentee’s industry.

Be reassuring. In the midst of challenging times, it’s easy to lose sight of our value and what we’re capable of. When the stakes are high, remind your mentee of what she has already accomplished.

Be courageous. Call on your mentee to make the difficult decision or have the difficult conversation. This is sometimes the only thing that separates success from failure.

Be generous. When the mentee achieves the desired result, give her the credit. Always interpret other’s actions in the best possible light.


2 Most Critical Positions in a Retail Company

“Control your own destiny or someone else will.”      – Jack Welch

The Store Manager holds one of two critical positions in any retail company. The other one is the CEO.

That’s not to say that other positions aren’t important. Of course they are.

Sales Associates, for example, are your ambassadors; meeting the customers face to face every day. And, as you’ve probably come to realize, the best Sales Associates are the ones who are competent and fully trained and do a great job actively selling to customers and representing the company in the best possible way. Certainly, they are important.

But, there is one person who must ensure that all of the competence and training is put to good use on the sales floor. That person is the Store Manager, without whom there would surely be chaos. It is up to the Store Manager to set individual targets and to continually reinforce the performance culture in the store.


“A pack of sheep led by a lion will defeat a pack of lions led by a sheep.” Author Unknown


A true statement? We think so.

The Store Manager is, by virtue of his/her position if nothing else, the leader of the pack. That leader is single-handedly responsible for the performance of the team because, apart from the fact that it’s the job… the Store Manager is also the one with the most influence.

The most direct influence, for sure.

No matter how skilled the team members are – and it is understood that some will be much more skilled than others – the Store Manager will make the difference in the performance levels achieved by the whole team.


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Store Manager’s official job descriptions vary widely. Some are expected to be administrators; others, loss prevention officers, or faux police. Some are expected to be the top sales person and are seen (erroneously) as under-performing if their salespeople achieve higher sales numbers than they do.

Still others are instructed to do so many simple administrative tasks that they are left with very little time to actually manage the store.

In other words, many Store Managers are not expected to fulfill the role as it should be fulfilled.

For whatever reason, they have been given a title of Store Manager but are expected to perform many routine tasks and clerical work.

Critical question for you:

What are you asking of your Store Managers?

If you expect your retail organization to be successful, you are asking them, simply, to manage the business.

But, what does that mean, exactly?

The Store Manager’s main role is to drive the business; to strive for top performance from themselves and from every associate every minute of every day.

Store Managers operate stores, or business units, and, when all is said and done, the goal of a ‘for profit’ business is to provide a monetary return to stakeholders.

In support of that goal, they need to do a lot of work; they need to do all of the right things right. Store Managers, who are doing the job properly, are very busy people.

They recruit and hire good people because they know that the road to success is much easier when they are surrounded by competent people. They ensure each associate is well trained to carry out their responsibilities. They set targets for each associate and continually follow up to make sure those targets are being met.

They coach, and they guide, and they stay on top of everything.


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Very importantly, they take appropriate action when targets are not being met. They figure out what is causing the problems and fix them.

Of course, there are many things the Store Manager is responsible and accountable for. But all of those things must be in support of the goal, or the main purpose for the store’s existence.

Great Store Managers are your ticket to extraordinary success in retail.

All the Success!

DMSRetail Inc.

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Who Else Wants to Increase their Stores Sales & Profits starting this Month?

You Too Can Maximize Sales & Profits and Start Taking Large Sums of Loot Straight From the Stores to the Bank Just by Sitting Your Butt in the Right Chair.

Find out how our retail business owner turned his comically under-performing stores into laser focused profit building and cash producing machines starting just one week after easily and painlessly implementing scientifically undisputed programs and systems.

This is a pretty amazing story. It’s along the lines of the rags to riches type of story. So, get comfy.

Our retail business owner went on for years managing a small chain of stores and managed well enough to at least make a living for his family and a little extra on the side.

The extra wasn’t enough to get him to his dreams but it was enough to build a small nest egg for retirement provided he wasn’t planning anything grandiose in his retirement years and provided he wasn’t planning on retiring too young.

He was prepared to settle for that only because he didn’t know that he could actually make that scenario so much better.

He certainly wanted more out of his chain of stores. He had dreams of exciting trips that were planned for very wealthy individuals and building a huge mansion to entertain dignitaries – whom he would surely meet if he were one of the country’s top entrepreneurs, right? He dreamed of basking in the glory of being an influential citizen and much more.

He really wanted to keep building his chain into something incredible; something that he could sell for a fabulous price when the time was right. Or, better still something he could give away… to his children when the time came.

But all of those dreams would require a quick shot in the arm…a new direction that would open the floodgates and let the money flow in.

Time was of the essence. He needed the change of direction very, very quickly.

If things continued along like this, no big retailer or investment company was going to be chasing after him with offers…ever.

And, he knew, the children he spoke of were cringing at the thought of breaking the news to ‘poor old Dad’ that there was no chance, no way, no possibility…ever…of them spending their life working with that chain of stores.

He had conversations with them and heard things that he didn’t want to hear but really couldn’t argue with. They said “Dad, those stores are causing you such hardship. They are just energy sucking cost centres, for the most part.”

Obviously, they weren’t completely unprofitable – after all, he was raising the family on the profits – but it really did take all his energy just to get that out of them.

And headaches…talk about hammer whacking headaches.

Our guy could barely sleep at night. While his stores were open he worked like a crazy man possessed. When they were closed he worked even harder, trying to figure out what to do…always trying to figure out what to do but never finding the answers.

He never stopped trying to figure out how he could make the stores more profitable. He knew his stores were in good locations and that his merchandise was known for great quality. He knew, for a fact, that people were buying the same stuff as he had to sell… but they weren’t buying it from his stores.

It is possible that the answer to his woes may seem obvious to you, but it certainly wasn’t to our guy. And, there’s a good reason for that.

It’s because he is in it up to his neck and beyond!

He couldn’t even see the forest for the trees. He was so immersed in every single detail every single day that it was impossible for him to claw his way out of the dark hole and see the sunlight and reach for the answers that were in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

No, he seemed to be one of those business people who we hear about all the time. Usually, they get blasted into oblivion because they never even knew what cuffed them until it was too late.

But, as you’ll see, our guy did not meet that same fate. Because it turned out that he was smarter than your average guy!

OK, back to how it all happened.

Every day and every night he faced the same problems; went over the same stuff in his head time after time.

I must increase the sales and I must reduce the expenses but it’s not happening. He had tried everything…or so he thought, of course.

From his vantage point at the bottom of the dark hole, things were pretty murky looking.

Our guy had people problems – his Store Manager’s claimed that everything was the fault of having ‘bad’ people working for them. But, unfortunately, he didn’t know how to respond to that.

He would sit and wonder why his stores didn’t have higher sales each day. He asked the Store Managers and always got the same lame answers…no one wanted to buy; they don’t want what we have; our prices are too high; we didn’t have the right color; we didn’t have the right style…and on and on…always the same.

These are well known as excuses of the weak! It will do you immeasurable good to remember that.

Anyway, he had internal theft issues and shoplifting issues. He had Manager’s sitting in the backroom doing paperwork instead of being out on the sales floor. But, the Store Managers challenged him when he questioned them. They said “How am I to get all of this paperwork done while on the sales floor?” And, he didn’t know how to respond to that either.

His stores had dust balls flying around in the windows; the windows that were supposed to be the lens into which customers looked to help them decide whether to enter the store or not…and they were dirty.

Didn’t he tell them to keep them clean? Of course, he did. And, he bought them all of the appropriate equipment and supplies to keep them clean.

He finally gave in to the thought that there may just be something wrong with his people but he couldn’t quite put his finger on it.

But, just like he didn’t quite know what to do about other issues, he didn’t know what to do about that.

And then it all changed.

Within a week, his stores were operating like efficient cash cows. Customers were being served and chatted up like never before. Customers were buying like there was no tomorrow. Customers were telling their friends and family members to get over to his stores and buy, buy, buy.

Well, we may have gone off on a bit of a tangent there but, really, word of mouth was powerful and it was definitely getting around that – if you were anybody – his stores were the place to shop.

Things just got better and better. Woo-hoo!! This is what you call a genuine turn around, my friends.

To get to how this amazing turn around happened, let’s talk about what we know about the store operations as they existed before the turn around.

Our guy was allowing destructive behavior and bad attitudes to ruin his business. Even in stores where destructive behaviors and bad attitudes weren’t contributing to the problem, he was failing to set expectations, failing to hold people accountable and failing to understand why all this was happening.

The first order of business was to put a new compensation plan in place. It wasn’t a plan that cost the company more money, yet it was very lucrative for employees. Some may wonder how that could be. We have the answer for that.

He made sure everyone had individual targets. Even in the departments that wouldn’t normally be able to work with individual targets…he did it anyway. He knew the way to do it and it worked wonders.

Our guy started doing all the right things; he became the most consistent manager ever, he learned about sales management techniques and the value of excellence in his communication skills.

He had been a mediocre manager of a group of stores and people and managed to turn himself into a leader who achieved amazing things through his newly acquired leadership and management skills.

He didn’t do it alone. Of course, he put his butt in the right chair and that chair was sitting squarely in front of the DMSRetail Consultant at the front of the room.

He gave up his skepticism about training. He opened his mind to learning what he thought he already knew. Everyone needs this kind of assistance to move to the next level.

Join us for The Retail Operations Management Workshop.

Send an email to me, John Callaghan, for any details you may need.

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