Archive Page 2

Importance of Communications in Retail

It is widely recognized that good communication skills are important in any business; in any endeavour, really.

But, it is particularly important for a retail manager to be an effective communicator because they have to communicate with people at all different levels of the organization on a regular basis and many of those people have a direct impact on the customer and on store employees.

Often, there won’t be an opportunity for a second chance at getting it right, just due to the nature of retail. When employees are in various different locations, more complications are introduced.

Communication breakdowns – particularly retail H.O. to field communication – can have immediate, negative implications for the business.

In other industries there are more opportunities for colleagues to meet and to take more time to ask questions, mull things over and clarify misunderstandings before any impact at the customer level.

In retail, things are not so straight forward and miscommunication can quickly create chaos.

Often instructions, directions and planned actions take place on the fly, making it difficult to correct or clarify after the fact.

Retail managers move around a lot!

Think about why the person handling a life or death emergency gives directives like this…
“Go and do X (whatever it is that needs to be done) and come right back to me.”

Retail managers need to hone their skills in many areas if their goal is excellence in execution at store level and, of course, it should be. Communication is at, or near the top of the list of skills to be fully developed for success.

When communicating with employees, in particular, there must be an exchange of information, not just a download. People need to be given the opportunity to ask questions for clarification and to share their own ideas, if warranted.

Yet another reason retail managers need to be highly effective communicators is to be able to get the very best out of their people.

Subordinates who actively participate in the exchange of information – meaning they are not just told to do this or do that – are far more likely to achieve objectives; far more likely to be motivated to bring energy to their work.

That means the retail manager has to know how to ensure an exchange of information occurs and that involves sensing, or picking up, the communication style of those involved.

This is particularly important when discussing standards and expectations.

One of the biggest reasons why employees often do not meet performance standards and expectations is simply because they were not made clear enough to them.

Here’s an example where a managers’ communication skills may be called into question: an employee takes a directive – let’s say a directive to perform a certain task – and then proceeds with the task with nothing else in mind.

As far as they’re concerned the task they have been given by their superior is the most important thing they have to do.

Now, if the managers expectations were clear all along, that employee would understand that the task must be done ONLY if there were no customers to look after.

But let’s say customers come into the store while the employee is totally engrossed in his task and the customers are ignored – which, in reality, happens all the time.

In this example, the manager did not make expectations clear – the task to be performed was clear but this employee did not understand that the task was to be done only after customers were taken care of.

The employee did not have the ‘customer first’ understanding which should have been instilled early on in his or her employment.

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Can this happen in your company?

While checking out my Facebook page, a ‘Sponsored’ box showed up on my screen.

It was about 4” by 6”… quite a sizeable ad, wouldn’t you agree? It was definitely designed to get the reader’s attention and it worked.

Scored!!

Pipa’s Pizza (name changed) ran a Facebook ad that was clearly successful in getting positive reaction.

The ad was so perfectly timed, and it was such a great offer, I went for it immediately.

Yes, I would be ordering a Pipa’s pizza for dinner.

Although no one in our family had tried Pipa’s pizza before, this offer was a no brainer…it was an irresistible offer. And those are the winning offers, almost every time.

So, armed with my credit card and having agreed on the toppings with the rest of the family, I hit the ‘Shop Now’ button. I was directed to a place to input my address.

Of course, they need the address for a couple of reasons like knowing which store should produce the pizza and then where it should be delivered to.

After entering all of my details, I saw a message saying ‘Online Ordering is Temporarily Unavailable’.

I tried it a couple of times thinking I’d give them the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes little things happen but they get fixed quickly so no harm done.

But, no.

No Pipa’s for us.

I checked it again the next day and got the same message.

One important thing I haven’t mentioned yet…

The special offer was ONLY applicable for orders placed online.

No telephone orders.

No walk-in orders.

Also, there were no asterisked items such as time of day this special would be available, or participating dealers or anything else.

So, no one was going to be able to take advantage of the offer being made on Facebook.

Does this not seem somewhat unproductive?

I don’t think it’s too harsh to ask, “Who is running this operation?”
Why make an offer if no one can use it?

Why bother designing the ad? Why pay for an ad to run?

Of course, mistakes happen. Of course, we must be reasonable but, come on now. How much understanding should there be for people who haven’t tested their ad…for people who went to the expense of creating and placing an ad that is doomed?

That ad cannot be successful…it is impossible.

Pipa’s Pizza very likely has a whole lot of other problems, as well.

So…make sure that you always follow up, check and double check when your money and reputation are at stake. Better still, ensure you have trusted people to do that for you.

All the Success!

PS. More articles at DMSRetail.com/RetailArticles

 

Press Release – Retail Loss Prevention & Profit Protection Workshop

The Retail Loss Prevention & Profit Protection Workshop Kingston, Jamaica – February 8 & 9, 2018

With GDP growth expected to pick up next year, retailers in Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean are preparing to take advantage of upward economic indicators.

Retailers who excel at preventing losses and protecting profit will take more money to the bank in 2018, 2019 and beyond.

The Retail Loss Prevention & Profit Protection Workshop is scheduled for February 8 & 9, 2018, at the Courtleigh Hotel & Suites in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Caribbean is already the home of some amazing retail outlets, great companies and warm and professional retail management people.

The only thing that Caribbean retailers need now – to help them capitalize on the more positive economic outlook for 2018 and 2019 – is a clear and positive focus on performance and on stopping the profit leaks; on countering the forces causing the losses with top notch policies, practices and people.

DMSRetail workshops address the challenges that make Caribbean retailers unique. We understand they need some practical solutions that fit their specific needs.

Using our methods, Retailers of the Caribbean can develop employees into the best loss prevention & profit protection agents on the islands!

Matt Parmaks, Sr. Consultant & EVP for DMSRetail Inc. says “We’ve worked with many retailers in the Caribbean and we hear that they have unique challenges when it comes to loss prevention and profit protection.

This workshop has been created with all of that in mind and we want our clients, our participants, to bring us their challenges and leave the workshop armed with practical solutions and security plans to beat the shrinkage problem.

We know they’re going to be very pleased with what they take away. With the proper plans and procedures in place, employees become engaged in driving sales while, also, having a positive impact on the bottom line through a keen interest in stopping losses and protecting profit.”

DMSRetail Inc. is a North American company with years of experience consulting and training for retail organizations in the Caribbean market.

Mr. Parmaks added “We’ve had much experience in the Caribbean and we understand the market and the need for a particular approach to loss prevention and protecting the bottom line, or profit.”

To arrange an interview with Mr. Matt Parmaks, or to obtain a Program Outline, send an email to: training@dmsretail.com.

To register for the upcoming Kingston session of Retail Loss Prevention & Profit Protection, go here: http://dmsretail.com/RetailManagementWorkshops/retail-profit-protection-workshop/

Retail Performance Solutions

An important success factor in any business is “readiness to delight the customer”.

This is more true for retail business.

There is no time for on the spot learning because customer is right in front of you.

Today, customer’s expectations are much greater due to the internet and increased competition.

Apart from technology, customers now expect that the fundamentals of running
an effective retail must be present.

Old ways of just opening the store doors and wait for the customers to come in and
buy something are long gone.

You need to have sophisticated techniques and brilliant sales associates and management team in place to deliver an outstanding “Customer Experience”.

Here’s a collection of performance solutions that will give you that at store, district and
company level.

Check it out: Retail Performance Solutions

All the Success!
DMSRetail

PS. These solutions are helpful even if you think You Know it All. Click Here!

Limiting Performance Potential

It’s a wonderful thing to believe your staff are amazing, wonderful, super human beings who can conquer any challenge; meet every goal and just generally be out of this world fantastic.

But, that’s kind of wishful thinking, isn’t it?

This time of year can bring a lot of customers into retail stores and, with really good, skilled people who are trying their best, sales can be over the top amazing.

But, with people who are enjoying their leisure time while at work in your stores, sales are going to be a little disappointing. Or, maybe very disappointing.

Can we all agree that this is a great time of year, particularly for retailers who need to finish Q4 with a bang to make up for any shortfalls throughout the year?

There are so many holidays coming up…so many fun times ahead.

Oh! The gift giving…the shopping…the sales…most retailers can’t wait for it to get started!

Retail isn’t easy work but it can be lucrative if you know what you’re doing.

Part of knowing what you’re doing is understanding this simple fact:

If you have low expectations of your associates, they will likely live up to those expectations…but no more than that.

Even those who initially go above and beyond will, eventually, learn that there isn’t any value to working harder when all you expect is mediocrity anyway.

Here’s a story about a retail business owner who actually said her people couldn’t get any better…couldn’t produce more sales…

This is laughable but, unfortunately…

It’s a true story.

At a retail management conference, a retail business owner objected to the instructors insistence that sales associates and management teams need individual targets.

On the face of the objection, it might seem that the owner was a believer in the non-competitive family oriented method of team selling. But, that was not the case.

The retail business owner objected simply because she knew her staff were selling as much as humanly possible and there was no way she should give them targets as they could not be expected to sell any more than they did already.

She said there was no way they were missing any opportunities.

So, one might think this owner misunderstood the process for setting individual targets. She may think that targets are intentionally set above what is reasonable.

But, that was not the case either.

This owner put it this way…

She had full trust in her staff. She liked them all very much and they all got along very well. The atmosphere in the store was very casual and comfortable.

They were like a family; a very close knit team.

She certainly didn’t want to do anything to make her employees uncomfortable.

She was certain that they were all doing every single thing possible to make sales happen, even without targets…not even store sales targets. Nothing.

With further discussion it was learned that this retail business owner rarely worked on weekends – the busiest times.

What’s more…she didn’t even drop in because the staff thought that would show she didn’t trust them.

There were no traffic counters so, without being in the store during reportedly higher traffic times, how could the owner possibly have any idea if the store was achieving its potential?

It was also learned that, although some KPI’s were recorded, no one really studied them or paid much attention to them.

After some time, and lots of discussion among the participants, this retail owner still believed that her staff simply couldn’t do any better. She felt they were doing as much as anyone possibly could.

To her mind, they couldn’t increase conversion, UPT’s, average sale…nothing could be improved.

This retail business owner just didn’t know what she didn’t know.

The staff may very well have been wonderful but it is very likely that they could have improved if more had been expected of them.

When you stop trying to get better…to achieve more…you probably won’t do either.

Motivate your people by challenging them to achieve more this holiday season.

Remember that old saying that goes something like this…

Shoot for the stars because, even if you don’t reach the stars, you won’t be in the mud.

Dominate Holiday Sales!

Tough Love

The only way to manage in retail stores is to be firm and fair; something known to parents of teens as practising tough love.

(Link to today’s article is below)

You know that you’re in a tough industry.

Apart from the other business concerns such as competition, dwindling mall traffic, changing technology, etc., you have to manage people…a huge variable in your business.

Every person is unique and, occasionally, you may find you’ve got an employee or two who think they’ve got plenty of reasons to whine and complain BUT you can’t allow them to.

You’re coming up on the busy holiday selling season…the gift giving season extraordinaire… and what you need from your employees, more than anything, is their commitment to interact with your customers in a pleasant and productive way.

Check out the article and make sure your staff are aligned with you for a great holiday season.

Here’s the link to the article.

And, please be sure to leave your comments after reading the article…we’re always interested in what you have to say! Thanks.

Have a happier holiday selling season by getting your Super Retail Success Bundle.
(Available in print or digital versions.)

This is a great opportunity for you to grab all the tools, insights and secrets you’ll need to meet the constant challenges of Retail Management. You can be better informed, better prepared and more successful than you ever imagined.

You get:

• 8 Success Guides & Tools
• Bonus with purchase: 8 DVD’s in the Exclusive Retail Manager’s DVD Collection

Owning your own Super Retail Success Bundle is like having a group of highly experienced, successful retail management coaches available to you 24/7…whenever you need an answer, a plan, a new tactic, a retail headache remedy….everything.

The Super Retail Success Bundle is a virtual treasure trove of ideas, information and ‘how-to’s’ for your continued success and all at a low, low price.

Get Yours Now.
(Available in print or digital versions.)

Get full details about all of the Success Guides, Tools and DVD’s included in the Super Retail Success Bundle and read the testimonials…

Here’s the link.

Have a great holiday selling season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Retail Insights

There are, indeed, some things that you just have to roll with in retail, as in any other industry…but there are many more things – the most important things – that you must plan, and make happen, if you want profitable results.

‘Some people make things happen, some people watch what happens and some people say ‘what happened?’.

It is not an easy thing to operate a solid, responsible, profitable retail operation.

We don’t need to tell you that it is no longer about filling up a space with products and opening the doors to the customer.

Nowadays, there is much more responsibility than that.

Retailers who don’t pay attention to what is required of them will pay the price.

Please go through the posts in this blog as well as at DMSRetail.com/RetailArticles and get a lot of ideas provided to you free of charge.

All the Success!

DMSRetail

www.dmsretail.com


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