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During the holidays you can expect to see heavier traffic volume in your store.
This requires a different approach on the sales floor.
Often, during these busier times, customers outnumber associates. While it is a wonderful problem to have, there are certain things you must do to make sure that you take full advantage of it; make order out of the chaos and reap the rewards in terms of conversion and sales.
Without direction, associates can get caught up in the whirlwind of activity with the resulting conversion and sales being less than what they could be.
This would be a natural occurrence and not because your associates are doing something wrong.
What they need is continuous guidance, direction and coaching on the sales floor.
With proper sales floor leadership in place, your customers will enjoy shopping in an environment where everything is well managed because they can get in and out fast, with their holiday shopping taken care of.
They’ll enjoy being served by competent, happy associates and getting their questions answered quickly.
And for those customers who do not wish to take care of their shopping quickly; the ones who enjoy spending time choosing just the right item, your associates will be there for them too – providing exactly what they need.
Appointing a Sales Floor Leader is a must.
The store manager, management person in charge, or other designated management personnel must be free to perform the function of Sales Floor Leader during busy times.
The sole purpose of this function is to make sure all associates are free to do their jobs – sales associates, cashiers, runners, greeters, etc.
This means being aware of everything that is going on in the store and removing obstacles to performance, preferably before they become obstacles.
Here are some guidelines for the Sales Floor Leader:
- Keep moving around the store.
- Have a system for being kept informed of the store sales, and conversion rate, on an on-going basis.
- Always be facing the front of the store so you stay up to the minute on the traffic entering and exiting.
- Set up a signal system that associates will recognize – perhaps a slight nod – to acknowledge and assist a customer.
- Be aware of who is doing what at all times.
- Be on the lookout for fixtures that are sold down so you can tell the designated individual to replenish. And then follow up to ensure it is done quickly.
- Watch for bottlenecks at the cash desk so you can take action. Actions like
- a) call a bagger to help out
- b) call another cashier to the desk
- c) have a runner go for supplies
- d) spend a moment chatting with customers who are waiting – taking their mind off of the fact they are waiting.
- Check all areas of the store, regularly, to ensure cleanliness and safety.
- Watch for associates who are finished doing what they were doing and have not yet engaged in something else that is productive. Give them a new task.
- Let all associates know that they can, and should, look to you for guidance on any problems that come up. Let them know you are there to ensure the smooth operation of the sales floor providing the very best service to customers and that nothing is more important to you.
- Tell associates to let you know if they are leaving the sales floor for any reason.
- Do not leave the sales floor. If you absolutely must leave the sales floor for a short time, appoint someone to take over.
- Review the schedule regularly. Change it if necessary. Lunch and break times must be adhered to unless you make a change.
Converting shoppers into buying customers is much easier when the Sales Floor Leader is on the job – removing obstacles and directing virtually everything.
There will be fewer customers who leave without buying something because you have made sure that they were greeted and welcomed into the store, that someone attended to them, that all products/models/styles/sizes that you have available are actually on the sales floor, that the environment is clean and safe, that associates are pleasant and calm, that the checkout lineup is under control.
Basically, you have provided a great shopping experience in an otherwise hectic and chaotic time.
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