Above and beyond the usual supplies you’ll stock up on for the busy times, you may want to ensure you have some extra items…just in case!
Here are some ideas!
- Aspirin or Tylenol
- Wrapped Candies in a Basket
- Emergency Cash
- Stress Balls
- Salty Snacks
- Goo Gone
- Sewing Kit
- Emergency Contacts
- Latex Gloves
- Medical Face Masks
- Ice Packs
- Nail Clippers
Sanity for the Holidays!
What are your plans for keeping everyone sane this holiday season?
This is the time of year when many retail people start to get a little testy.
They’re doing everything – and then some – and sometimes they just want to throw up their hands and walk out!
Or, if you’re really unlucky…they have a meltdown in front of your customers!
We need to do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen, right?
Of course, they don’t really want to leave or have a meltdown, but they may get frustrated.
Face it, life is pretty interesting…sometimes crazy… in retail stores leading up to the holiday season.
Fun is great medicine for just about everything that ails us. Start now and plan to make sure everyone has some fun.
Here are some things you can do to help keep your teams happy and productive:
- Arrange a pot luck lunch for the busiest days. Have everyone bring something to contribute, supply paper plates and cutlery and let everyone have a relaxing lunch in the backroom so they don’t have to fight the food court wars.
This gives them more time to put their feet up and digest their food and it also ensures they’ll be back on the sales floor on time.
We’re not suggesting that they would otherwise be late intentionally, only that fighting food court traffic can take an extraordinarily long time during busy times.
- Put a motivational note or card in their backroom mailbox just to remind them that someone appreciates their efforts and that life won’t always be this hectic.
Don’t have individual staff mail boxes, or slots, in your backroom? There’s no time like the present to do this.
A simple plastic shoe organizer with see through slots/pouches will do. Put a label with each person’s name on each section and don’t forget to include your temporary staff.
- Bring treats for staff to enjoy during their breaks.
- Run a contest where the winner gets to go home a little early without cleaning and closing up the store.
If you run a contest like this every day, the other staff will happily pick up the slack because they know they could be the lucky winner the next day.
And, don’t forget the pat on the back for a job well done. Thank your people often and sincerely.
Wear a smile at all times.
Hint: Make sure your staff members understand how the holiday season will play out.
Remember, forewarned is forearmed!
It’s going to be super busy and they are, quite possibly, going to be run off their feet during most of their shifts.
New Associates need to be told how it works so they don’t become overwhelmed and disillusioned.
It’s also important to let everyone know that this job should be fun – for staff and customers – and invite staff to come forward with ideas and suggestions for contests, games and other things to do to make it a fun holiday season where the store sales go through the roof….but the staff don’t.
Sell What’s Available Today
Whenever you’re heading into a busy season, it pays to take some time to talk to all management and staff about selling what you’ve got in stock.
This is often referred to as SWAT or…
Sell What’s Available Today
To all of you Retail Business Owners, Directors, Regional and District Managers and Store Managers…
Don’t accept excuses or complaints!
Whatever your store does not have available to sell on any given day…it simply cannot sell and it serves no purpose, whatsoever, to complain about this.
It’s just a fact of life at that particular moment.
And, even if it is their fault, buyers, allocators and suppliers can try harder next year…
But, that won’t help you now.
Maybe you didn’t get enough of a popular item. Perhaps another store, or even another retailer got more, maybe replenishment is too slow.
It really doesn’t matter what the reason…the fact that it is not available to sell to your customer means you need to sell something else. Period.
The alternative to selling something else is to sell nothing…and that really isn’t going to help, is it?
So, not having the perfect inventory can not, and must not, be used as a reason, or excuse, for lack of productivity.
Having said that, however, DMSRetail always advocates excellence in customer service which includes selling the right product to your customer based on their needs and wants.
So, here’s how we’d go about it.
It is very often possible to find an alternative for your customer…particularly during gift giving seasons; one that will be of value to them and will suit their needs very well.
And, they will likely appreciate your efforts as it will save them time looking elsewhere.
Your Sales Associates should be knowledgeable enough to interest customers in a solid alternative that you do have in stock.
Quite apart from the benefit to the customer, remember one critically important fact…
The company already owns the inventory in your store; probably, many thousands of dollars worth of inventory, and it must be sold at some point.
The fact that you may not have enough of the merchandise that you want – the inventory that is easy to sell – is unfortunate but, again, you do have inventory to sell.
Provided that you are giving your customer value with a good alternative, it’s your job to do just that – sell your inventory.
Of course, sometimes a customer wants a specific item and cannot be persuaded to purchase an alternative, and that’s fine. At least you’ve tried to help them and tried to make a sale.
At no time, ever, would we suggest trying to push an unwanted item on a customer.
Having said all of the above, we want to encourage every Regional and District Manager who travels to stores as they are ramping up for the season, to do the very best they can to correct inventory imbalances, shortages, defect issues, etc.
Once there is nothing left to be done…SWAT!
Hint: Stay on top of product knowledge more than ever during the holiday season; check out new items that are coming in so you’re aware of what you’ve got in store – what alternatives you have.
Post a ‘new product’ bulletin in your backroom communication center, daily.
Remind everyone to keep the idea of alternatives in mind when asking open ended questions during the ‘determining needs’ step of the selling process.