7 Ways to Keep Retail Employees Happy

I found this information interesting, I am sure you will too!

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The employees you have working in your store are just as important (if not more important) than what you have in it. These people are the ones who have a direct effect on sales, customer satisfaction and ultimately the success of your store. So how can you keep them happy and encourage them to do even better?

1. Train them well

Are you thoroughly training your employees? Give them in-depth training so they can work to the best of their ability, and avoid frustrations and employee turnover. Show your employees that you are investing in them by retraining ones that have been with you for a while in more specialized areas.

2. Recognize them for doing good work

Affirmation of a job well done can go a long way. If your employees are doing well, tell them! The more someone hears about how they are doing a good job, the more it will make them want to go above and beyond in the future.

3. Give them incentives to do better

Consider offering bonuses or prizes to employees who are doing exceptionally well. You may also run contests to encourage harder work. This will boost employee/team morale and at the same time make your store a pleasurable work environment.

4. Ask for their input

Considering your employees are interacting with customers and selling your products or services, they are a goldmine of information. Show your employees that you value their expertise by asking for their input on how business is going.

5. Give them better tools for the job

Working with old and outdated equipment can make a job more cumbersome than it needs to be. Keep your staff happy and increase their productivity by investing in the equipment that they use on a regular basis. See what tools can be upgraded and replace them if necessary.

6. Avoid scheduling conflicts

There is no faster way to create an unhappy work environment with your employees than abusing their schedule. Remember your employees are real people and not disposable labor. As far as possible avoid last minute changes to the schedule,

7. Play games

Yes, your employees are there to work but there's no reason it can't be fun! Fun is motivational and so is competition. Combine the two into a retail sales game that meets company goals and watch your employees and sales thrive.

 Barbara

Buying Signals

smart ideas Barb pic

smart ideas Barb pic

When Buyers Are Ready To Buy,They Will Tell You. But Not With Words ...

They will, however, send loud non-verbal signals All you need to do is be able to read them! ...

Customer Signals:

When customers come into your sights, whether it is a retail store, at an exhibition or in any other environment, they will be sending you signals.

The Signals That They Send Will Include:

  • I am just wandering around with no real interest in products and intention to buy.

  • I am interested in this product, but am not currently anxious to buy.

  • I am very interested in this and might well buy it if you can answer a few questions.

  • I want to buy this, now!

When They Are Not Ready To Buy:

When a customer is not ready to buy, it does not mean that they will not buy, but it does mean that you will need a different approach. Do remember also that if there are many customers around, spending a lot of effort selling to one customer may mean that you miss out on a lot of other easier sales.

Avoiding Eye Contact With You:

When you look at them and they immediately look away, they probably do not need assistance right at this moment. Do watch what they are doing, because they may need some help soon.If they are handling a limited range of products, spending time looking at things, then it may be a good idea to stand nearby, relaxed and ready to help (not anxious and ready to pounce). When they look at you with a longer glance, move toward them. If they keep looking, keep moving in and start the sale.

Making 'Not Now' Excuses:

If they say 'just looking' or otherwise indicate that they don't need help, then make an encouraging remark to keep them looking and back off. Still keep an eye on them to see if their demeanour changes.

Casual Handling Of The Product:

customers-buying

customers-buying

If they are casually picking up different products and dropping them back, perhaps not tidily, it can be a big nuisance for you as you tidy up after them (when they have left) but this may well be a symbol of a bored browser. As ever, keep an eye on them so you can move in when they change how they are behaving.

Looking At Many Different Products:

If they are wandering around looking at almost random products, spending a similar short time on each one, then they may again be a relatively bored browser.

Moving Around Quickly:

When they are moving quite quickly around the place, they may be scanning for something or may be wandering. If they slow down, watch more carefully and move in when they are showing more signs of interest.

When They Are Ready To Buy:

 When the person is ready to buy, or at least they are showing some interest, then you should also be ready to pick them up and move them towards the final close.

Spending Time Looking At One Product Type:

When they are looking at one type of product, and especially if you have a broad range from which they are browsing only a small category, then they may well be interested in buying. Perhaps they need advice, so ask if you can help them decide.The longer a person looks at one product type, the more likely they are to buy it. They are investing their time, which is a sure sign of interest.

Looking Around For Somebody To Help Them:

If you see them looking around, catch their gaze, and perhaps raise your eyebrows a little to signal that you are ready to help. If they sustain the glance or raise their eyebrows too, move in to sell.This is particularly significant if they are holding the product or have just spend time looking at a limited product range.

the way you buy

the way you buy

Asking Questions About The Detail:

If, when you offer help, they get into more detail about the product, then they are likely to be becoming more interested.If they ask about the functionality of the product, they may well have a checklist of things they are seeking, so ask for details of what they are seeking. You can also ask more about how they will use the product, from which you can advice on the best buy for them.

Asking About Price:

This is a good buying signal. You can tell them the price or you can ask how much they are looking to spend today. If they tell you, then you can help them find the best value for the money they have to spend.

Using Possession Language:

When they pick up the product, they are getting a sense of owning it. This continues when they talk about how they will use the product -- which is a good reason for encourage this talk. Look for 'I' language. Get them to use it. Ask how they will use it. You can even talk about it as if they already own it, although be careful of being unsubtle and pushy.

Asking Another Person’s Opinion:

When they ask another person what they think about the product, they are likely thinking about buying the product and are seeking confirmation.You might thus find yourself selling it to the second person also. Think about this when you are making the initial sale -- include whoever else is there in the sales talking, though do watch for whether the main seller wants to be the main focus or appreciates others being included.

Body State Changes:

Any transition in non-verbal communication will typically signal a change in mental state that may well indicate readiness to buy. If they suddenly relax after asking questions or discussing the product, this may well signal that they have changed mental state. Other signals includes changes in body position, gesture, skin tone, style of talk and so on.

Touching The Money:

If they touch their wallet or purse and especially if they get out cash or credit card, this is a very strong signal for you. Get to them and ask if you can help. If they say they want to buy, just take their money (and do beware of 'un-selling' the product by your over-zealous and non-needed sales patter). Great info! Share this with your staff it's all part of improving their skills and knowledge on "How To  Sell more Effectively ". Need Sales Training for Your Staff? Contact me today!

Best Barbara

How To Manage Cash Flow

smart ideas Barb picHere Is Everything You Need To Know About Cash Flow Management.

 Great Article, A Must Read!

 


There's an old adage about business that "Cash is King!” and, if that's so, then, Cash Flow is the blood that keeps the heart of the kingdom pumping.Cash flow is one of the most critical components of success for a small or mid-sized business. Without cash, profits are meaningless. Many profitable businesses on paper have ended up in bankruptcy because the amount of cash coming-in doesn't compare with the amount of cash going out.Water WasteCompanies that don't exercise good cash management may not be able to make the investments needed to compete, or they may have to start borrowing money to function. ... The following link is an article to help you understand: What Cash Flow is; How it impacts profits; and, Tips on how to improve your Cash Flow.Link to article:How To Manage Cash Flow / www.inc.com BestBarbara

Day #134 - The Value Of A Summer Break

A day in the park, a week at the cottage, or a month in Europe - a break from your business is a smart business investment.Here are 5 key attributes of a successful business owner that you can enhance when you take a break this summer.

  1. Clarity – get away from your business to see everything more clearly
  2. Curiosity – explore a new place or re-kindle the magic of the familiar
  3. Connection – get in touch with what’s really important
  4. Communication – away from all the noise, savour silence
  5. Creativity – rest and recharge - your ideas will really shine

Have you planned some time away from your business this summer? Can you truly disconnect? How could a break help you gain perspective on your business?Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery it is. In the boredom and pain of it, no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it, because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace. - Frederick BuechnerThank you Bruce Harrott for being the inspiration of this blog today.Best;Barbara

Day #131 - Working With Members Of Your Family

"Working with family members has the potential to be a very trying, sticky and challenging situation. It can bring out the best in you and your relatives--and also the worst in your working relationships. It can cause you to minimize or overlook errors or omissions that your relative commits, or it can make you excessively hypercritical and condescending. Just why does this happen? Working with family members is difficult for any number of reasons:

  • You know so much about the other person--you've been privy to intimate information about them.
  • You've most likely had arguments or negative conflicts with them.
  • You have years of experiences with them, both positive and negative.
  • You know the other person's "hot and cold buttons," the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that reward, cajole and pacify, or punish, threaten and dismiss the other person.
  • Maybe you don't like your relative or, conversely, you're very close with that person, which means you could either be overly critical or overly protective of them.
  • You may provide too much supervision or teamwork--or you may provide too little.

As a result of the knowledge and closeness you have with this other person, you may find it difficult to be rational, logical, accurate or fair with your thoughts, feelings and behaviors when it comes to interacting with that person. Your relationship with them--both at work and in your personal life--is probably suffering.So how do you begin to correct the situation? First, you need to approach the other person and acknowledge that the current relationship isn't working optimally, that something is either "too right" or "too wrong," too positive or too negative. Then you need to discuss the impact your behaviors or attitudes are having on other employees and the company as a whole. Third, you need to agree to meet together . Fourth, it's important that you both agree that you're going to work together to improve and maximize the current relationship for your own sake as well as the sake of the organization.Next, you both need to agree that you want to work toward making the working atmosphere more professional and less personal. You have to agree not to allow your personal feelings, either positive or negative, to enter into the work place. But be warned: These tactics will only work if you empower someone you trust, including another relative, to step in and stop actions that appear to be based on irrational feelings, either positive and negative (in other words, actions that you're taking that overlook or are overly critical of your relative's behaviour).Sixth, you need to clarify the specific goals each of you agrees to meet so that behaviors and attitudes are directed toward meeting the company's goals and mission. Ensure that any statement of goals you create is specific, can be measured and assessed, and can be successfully achieved.The next step is to make sure that your roles are carefully, objectively, rationally and completely described to ensure optimal clarity by all individuals for all roles. This is an especially critical step because it's very common that working relationships fall apart when this step has not been taken. When employees at any level are  confused about "who is responsible for what," conflict and misunderstandings result, and productivity, employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction all decrease. To avoid this morass, you must spend time working on making each individual's explicit obligations. This facet of working together refers not only to each person's tasks and responsibilities, but also to each person's reporting relationships and source of power and influence, including their time, salary and bonuses, employees and equipment.The eighth tip is to clarify the work processes that will be used on a daily basis: the process for making decisions, including who can make what kind of decisions, who is involved in these steps, and how decisions are to be made (by an individual, a pair or small group). Another process to consider is how to communicate with others and, in particular, which others. Basically, this aspect refers to just who is included in the communications loop and why. Are all the key players to be kept up to date about occurrences? Are key people being left out of the communications loop for reasons of power or jealousy? Are inappropriate people being brought into the loop for reasons of patronage?The ninth tip is to build trust. Start by acknowledging the current situation. You'll be appreciated and valued for discussing a topic that others know about but are reluctant to bring up. Make sure that others can trust what you're saying and doing by backing up your thoughts and actions with clarity and explanations. Then, when you make a commitment to change the status quo, do what you're saying and say what you're doing. Make sure your actions speak for themselves, and when they don't, offer clear explanations. In addition, act with integrity, honesty and truthfulness in all that you do.Above all, make certain that you're competent in all that you do. Ensure that you have the knowledge, skills and abilities to perform at a high level. If you don't, get some training, find a mentor, or redesign your tasks and responsibilities to align them with what you do best. Nothing destroys trust faster than incompetence. As you can see, trust is potentially the strongest element in any relationship. Without it, organizations fall apart.The tenth and final tip involves showing the positive quality of interpersonal relationships. Just because you're related to someone doesn't mean you need to love them or worship them, especially on the job. Nor does it mean that the company is a playground for working out family problems. What is required is that you demonstrate respect for other people, especially your relatives. You needn't be fawning or ostentatious with your praise or criticism of them, but you do need to be professional and appropriate, whatever the true nature of your feelings and attitudes toward others, especially family".Posted with love and respect for the challenges that face members  of families that work together.BestBarbara

Day #113 - Be A Better Manager

Be A Better Manager

Your business depends on it.

Loved this information and wanted to share it with you:" anyone can be a good manager. It is as much a trainable skill as it is inherent ability; as much science as art. Here are some things that make you a better manager:

As a person:

  • You have confidence in yourself and your abilities
  • You are happy with who you are, but you are still learning and getting better
  • You are something of an extrovert. You don’t have to be the life of the party, but you can’t be a wallflower. Management is a people skill - it’s not the job for someone who doesn’t enjoy people.
  • You are honest and straight forward. Your success depends heavily on the trust of others.
  • You are an includer not an excluder. You bring others into what you do. You don’t exclude other because they lack certain attributes.
  • You have a ‘presence’. Managers must lead. Effective leaders have a quality about them that makes people notice when they enter a room.

On the job:

  • You are consistent, but not rigid; dependable, but can change your mind. You make decisions, but easily accept input from others.
  •  You think out-of-the box. You try new things and if they fail, you admit the mistake, but don’t apologize for having tried.
  • You are not afraid to “do the math”. You make plans and schedules and work toward them.
  • You are nimble and can change plans quickly, but you are not flighty.
  • You see information as a tool to be used, not as power to be hoarded.

Take a look at yourself against this list. Find the places where you can improve and then get going.BestBarbara

Day #98 - Spend Time On The Sales Floor Today

Get out of your office and spend time on the sales floor today:

Sales will go Up!Get on the retail sales floor and interact with customers and your team!  After all, your products are sold and your profits are earned (and often lost) on the sales floor.  Endeavor to spend less than 10% of your time in the office or stockroom!Assist customers and ask your retail team how you can help.  In between customers focus on retail customer service training and retail sales training by role playing and giving feedback.The owner can make a huge deference to the sales goals of the day!Best;Barbara