Retail Associates & Sales Tools

High Spirits for Slow Times

When I got my first Store Manager’s job, I was almost overwhelmed by the number of things I had to accomplish.

In fact, there is so much involved in managing a store that, without the benefit of experience, a Store Manager could easily lose sight of what is really important.

During that first few months it seemed like I was doing everything I possibly could to get the sales results.

I was hiring and training people, scheduling really carefully so as not to overspend on wages while still keeping my sales floor properly covered; constantly moving merchandise around so that customers would always be treated to a fresh look when they came in; I was coaching and motivating my people all the time.

Really, I thought I was doing the job.

 But, even though I was working incredibly hard, I still wasn’t getting the sales I knew the store was capable of generating.

Then, one day, I really started taking a close look at what my Sales Associates were doing.

They were a great bunch of people and they worked very hard for me.

I realized that, although they were all doing everything I asked of them and they were all super friendly with the customers, they weren’t really actively selling to them.


Retail Selling Skills & Customer Service Fundamentals YourTime Study Course

It was definitely the most exciting aha! moment in my career up to that point.

I finally got it…I had to teach them how to actively sell to customers!

Honestly, they had been doing the best they could; the best anyone could ask of them given that they had never actually been trained to sell.

Who knew? Most of them were following some of the selling steps involved intuitively, but there was something missing… 

Being very good at selling, myself, I realized I had long ago developed my own unique way of selling…but I didn’t start out that way.

In the beginning I had to rely on the selling steps that I had learned to ensure I covered everything in the process.

You really can’t miss any of the steps until you’re very experienced; experienced enough to read the customer and to make changes to the process…changes which enhance it; not changes to shortcut it.

So I got fully behind a project to get all of my Sales Associates up to speed with an active selling skills program. It wasn’t difficult and it wasn’t time consuming.

I could have kicked myself because it had taken me so many months to figure it out.

Anyway, once I did finally figure it out I got my people the help they needed; the training they needed. They learned how to use the active selling skills steps and the rest is history. 

Not only did my store’s sales improve by about 60%, which did wonders for my reputation in the company and was, undoubtedly, the reason for my fast promotion to DM, but the morale in the store was impacted in a major way.

Everyone got  amazing results. Well, almost everyone. A couple of really shy, introverted associates took a little time to warm up but, eventually, they did great too!

All of my Associates were beating their targets every shift, every day, every week. It was astonishing.

My Sales Associates were filled with the energy and excitement that comes with that kind of achievement. 

You should have seen the big sales chart in the back room…gold stars and smiley faces all over the place! The staff were renewed and the store was beating the targets like never before. And not just total sales compared to target and last year,either!

All of the KPI’s were being blown out of the water.

Our biggest gains were in conversion % – you know, the rate you turn shoppers that come through your doors into purchasers. I just would not have believed that my staff were missing so many opportunities before.

They had always been great with customers and they worked hard to make sure customers were satisfied. I can see now, because hindsight is 20/20, that they simply did not have the skills to do better.

Our average sale per customer and units per transaction shot up too. Of course, once you start actively selling to customers instead of just helping them, all of your key performance indicators will improve dramatically…anyone could increase their KPI’s, couldn’t they? 

Yes, yes, indeed they could and would.

 I know that now but, like I said, hindsight is 20/20!

I’m a true believer in giving Sales Associates and Cashiers and anyone else who interacts with customers on your sales floor, the benefit of proper training – the tools of the trade, so to speak – in active selling skills… and in customer service basics, as well.

And you can get that all done, right now, with the the Retail Selling Skills & Customer Service Fundamentals YourTime Study Course  from DMSRetail.

All the Success!

PS: There’s a YourTime Study Course specifically made for Store Managers, too. Check it out here: Store Management for Maximum Success YourTime Study Course    

PPS: If you enjoy RetailWise, we encourage you to forward it to friends and colleagues with an interest in retail. Better yet, they can sign up for their own free copy, and it takes about 3 seconds. Click here: RetailWise  


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