‘What do you want to be when you grow up,’ is my first question to all new hires. We share a chuckle and then they express to me their dreams. Perhaps it’s the teacher in me, but that night I will sit down at home to check to see how I can help to make thse dreams come true. What degree, certification, or experience is required? Can they study locally or online? What scholarship programs are out there? How can I mold my schedule around their dream achievement?
But most importantly what aspects of this ‘dead end’ retail job will most help them achieve in their future?
Is it more a customer service focused career, or does it lean more in the realm of strategy and analytics? It keeps my employees motivated when I mold the job to cater to their dreams, as opposed to just allowing this to be just another part-time pit-stop of their life story.
1. People Skills
This is not the Lavern and Shirley era, career options in manufacturing have declined in demand by 30% since 1990, while more service-oriented jobs have actually doubled. This could start as simple as a teacher while dealing with parents, students, faculty, or administrators. It could be a job in the medical field, someone who has to mind their attitude on a daily basis with patients, patients’ families, doctors, and again administrators. Or even a larger scale of sales such as insurance, business services, and stock options.
Those working in retail are already aware that dealing with people is not as simple as a “and how are you today.” Negative and demanding patrons are a very common predator of the service industry kind and the skills to calm the hysteria is best practiced where the stakes are not quite so high.
Point out to employees how to use body language, tone, and proper communication to understand a customer’s needs and gauge their expectations. Challenge them to open up to a variety of demographics, practicing their unique charismatic charm, molding them into the asset employee who can please the most challenging of customers, employees, and situations.
2. Negotiation Skills
Perhaps you have an employee looking into commodities and investments, or into becoming even a real estate broker. They can imagine making millions as one of those moguls on Wall Street because of the unique sales challenges developed by you, their manager, that targeted their weaknesses and built up their strengths. Whether on the sales floor os just pushing warranties your employees are learning the ins and outs and do’s and don’ts of customer connection, and their personal method of closing the deal.
Develop a personal sales journal for each employee filled with challenges and spaces for their growth and observations. What is working what is not? What sort of questions do customers find offensive, hilarious, encouraging, and endearing? What made a real customer connection? Sit down with your employees at least once a month to review their statistics, and listen to the strategies they have developed. Boost their confidence by allowing them to help train the rest of the staff on their insight at team meeting every once and while.
Success in leadership stems from an individual’s familiarity with their own goals and a clear image of the finish line. If you are unfamiliar with your actual goals please consult with your manager.
Everyone is unique, and each individual will develop at a different pace as a salesperson. The more traditional sales companies will only communicate a one-lump-sum kind of goal, with an all or nothing ultimatum standard to all employees. If this is the case take some time to analyze the personal growth, and struggles of your employees so to develop a more tailored challenge to their level of skill. Showing them how to shift the dialogue to their personal growth that will then contribute to the better of the team.
After a month of setting personal goals, have them start to figure out their own. Then ask them, “What’s your finish line, what’s your deadline?”
4. Research & Analytics
For the employee interested in a job in marketing, financial analytics, or advertising, return your employee’s focus on the simple concept of cause and effect.
Print out a week by week sales trend sheet over the past 10 weeks. Ask them:
- What is the highest earning product VS the biggest moving?
- What 2 lower selling items do you feel you could develop a plan to increase sales?
- Are any of these higher selling items caused by a recent promotion, sale, or floor move?
- What products seem to remain stagnate on the shelves?
This exercise not only helped to invigorate critical thinking, and hone in the skills of developing game-changing action plans, it also helps employees see the direct impact they can have on the overall success of a team.
Communication is essential in any and every job. Effective communication is the key factor that separates success from failures in almost every situation. The manner of communication effects not only personal success, but the success of peers, and the satisfaction of customers. Have your employee ask themself:
- How effective is your communication between your peers?
- Do they seem to understand what you are saying?
- Do you have a good working relationship with all or most of your coworkers?
- How is your communication with your manager?
- Do you feel confident in communicating with them?
- Do they seem consistently satisfied with your results?
- How is your communication with your customer?
- Do your customers leave satisfied or disgruntled?
- Are your sales goals being met?
Until Next Time Fanboys and Girls–>
From The Shopgirl Archives:: March 9, 2015 #1 Top Shop Post 2015