Word to the RetailWise VII

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Set individual targets for store associates.

There is no denying that working in a team can inspire each team member to do his very best. However, that doesn’t mean it will. And, very often, working in a team can provide a very convenient cover for those who may not be pulling their weight. 

Yes, we know about the self-policing aspect of teamwork…that the high performers will either help the low performers or try to get rid of them. 

Although there is some truth to that…it’s a management cop out! You owe it to your business, and to your top performers, to effectively manage poor performers to improve or move on. 

In a retail store, all associates need to be assigned individual targets. Without those targets, it is difficult to figure out who really showed up for work and who didn’t. Really… how would you know for sure?

It’s impossible to effectively manage the performance of one individual when you cannot, or do not, measure it. 

We want each and every one of our associates to be accountable, right? So, each  associate needs to have their own goal to work towards; they need to be aware of what their personal target is and they need to be aware…at all times…how they are doing compared to that target. 

If your associates are not currently working toward their own individual targets, you’re leaving money on the table. You can expect a nice increase in sales when you make the change!

Addressing a concern…
We often hear that managers are hesitant to introduce individual targets for fear that the associates might start fighting for sales; in case it upsets the nice family feeling that exists in the store. 

Well, it’s true that a group of individuals, who are all trying to reach their goals, will have their moments and the Store Manager will need to manage through those. But, with the right disciplines and principles in place, it’s not that difficult. It’s just part of the job and Store Manager’s need to have, or acquire, the skills to do it. 

Driving sales through a group of high performance individuals is not something to be feared. It’s a great challenge to be embraced. And the results are worth it

One last thing…It may be a bit more difficult to assign individual targets in certain retail environments, like self serve, but if you think hard enough, you can come up with a way to narrow down the team targets and results, that will allow you to measure and manage performance effectively. (Hint: DMSRetail has figured out how to do it.)

Teamwork can be a wonderful thing. But it’s not always the best thing for the store.

Retail Business Academy

The outlook for Back to School (or any other Promo Period) may be grim, but it doesn’t have to be grim for you. Check the example below to see why. You can still meet, or exceed, your targets.

Even when doom and gloom are in the forecast, a store that is well staffed with knowledgeable, skillful people who are motivated to actively sell and to support the company’s initiatives and goals can do just fine. 

The stores that are subject to every possible negative condition out there are the ones that rely only on traffic – or footfall – and the customers’ own drive to buy whatever it is you offer for sale.

Now, that’s not to say that outside factors won’t impact all retail stores to some degree – of course, they can …and often do. 

But, if every staff member in your store(s) consistently applied the knowledge and skills they have, or should have, you could rest easy knowing that the very best that could be done…was being done.

Consumer pessimism – which sometimes keeps more of us at home clutching our wallets – doesn’t have to translate into losses for your retail store. It certainly could, but it doesn’t have to.  

Think of this: 75 customers come into the store, 15 of them spend $50 each. Based on that, conversion is 20% and the sales are $750.
Think of this: 60 customers come into the store; 15 fewer than in the previous example. But 18 of them spend $50 each. Based on that, conversion is 30% and the sales are $900. That’s a 20% increase in sales.
And one better: 55 customers come into the store; 20 fewer than the first example. But 18 of them spend $60. Based on that, conversion is 33% and the sales are $1,080. And that’s a 44% increase in sales over the first example. 

The math doesn’t lie.

In each case, the number of customers coming into the store decreases but, because more of them are converted by willing and able staff members, sales go up. In the third example, more customers were converted AND, with add-ons and/or upsells, they spent more money in your store…and sales went up. 

The above example is a simple one, and most Retail Managers already know all of this. But this information must be communicated to every staff member and each one must be instructed on how to make it happen. Execution at store level is critical.

You may think the numbers are optimistic. If you do think that way, we urge you to walk around a mall or other shopping centre and really study what is going on in many, many retail stores. 

In most, it’s not active selling by any stretch of the imagination.

Just implementing the changes that are necessary in those stores – and maybe in yours too – will result in at least a 20% increase in sales, and probably much more…we’re being conservative with that number.

That’s the huge difference your front line people can make by actively selling everything they can to every customer who comes into your store. 
And it is truly awesome to watch it happen.

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