Retail Tip of the Week

Jan 1, 2017 - Sales Coaching Clues:

Sales Clues

Are some of your sales associates great at meeting total sales goals but their multiple sales lag? Use these sales "clues" to ...turn all of your sales associations into sales champions.


These "clues" are part of the sales information stored in your point-of-sale terminal (POS). As a manager or sales associate, you see these measures all the time - total sales, sales per hour, multiple sales, add-on sales, etc.. Most often these measures are used to set goals and identify the "stars" of the team. But have you ever considered that many of these numbers provide you with clues for how to optimize your entire sales team's performance?

Take for example Low Average Sale. Often time's associates are encouraged to make their sales revenue target, so they focus on sales, sales, sales. If the associate has low average sales AND high transactions per hour, this may be a signal that they are not spending enough time with their customers. Not only does this behavior deprive the store of potential revenue, but it often makes a customer feel "rushed" and unimportant.

And sometimes the exact opposite happens. Your associate may have high average sales, but Low Transactions Per Hour. This is perhaps a signal that your associates are spending too much time with each customer. If they are providing valuable customer service and adding value to your merchandise, then this time is well spent; however often times the problem is the associate is a bit too "chatty". Another cause could be that the associate lacks closing skills. OR perhaps the manager and/or the organization is not providing enough incentive to encourage higher transaction activity. Low Transactions Per Hour can be a difficult number to analyze; the company may be providing good incentives, the associate has good closing skills and is not providing very good customer service; it could be that the associate may just be lazy, taking too many (or too long) breaks. Spend some time analyzing the low transactions per hour numbers, as they can be the most important clue of all to achieving great overall sales success.

Stay tuned next week for part II of understanding the sales "clues".


November 13 , 2016 - The "Huddle": Want to unleash the potential of your retail team? The best place to start is to get everyone together every day (on each shift) and communicate the priorities and reinforce the ongoing business objectives.

This daily get-together can be the most powerful retail business improvement tool. Not only will it help to motivate and build a strong team of over-performers, it will translate to increased profits and improved customer service levels.

As we all know in retail that customers don't like to be sold, but love to buy, the same applies to your team in reverse. Employees don't like to be told what to do and how to do it, but they do enjoy being challenged and given responsibility. The best place to start is the daily huddle.

The day before the first huddle, inform everyone your plans to hold the huddle and the how it will benefit them. Let them know that the new arrangement will broaden responsibilities and give everyone a chance to do different things each day.

Don't let your retail business become monotonous to your team; shuffle the deck and pass different responsibilities around.

Use the following tips to launch your daily huddle program:

  • 1) Start the meeting with the positive accomplishments of the team - never turn the huddles into "gripe sessions"
  • 2) Identify the skills that your team needs to improve on the most and give quick "training bursts" of key points to work on for the day. Follow up the next day to get an idea as to how well the training sticks.
  • 3) Hold weekly contests to promote performance - give a prize to the best sales performance, the highest add-on sales average or the person that receives the most positive customer service replies. Hand the award out during the huddle and make certain to point out the other associates' "wins" of the week.
  • 4) After the huddle, do at least one activity together as a team. Too often, retail associates work alone and never see the advantages that a team atmosphere can bring to them.
  • 5) Keep it short - no one likes long meetings, so never let a huddle go over 10 minutes or you risk turning the huddle into a dreaded daily "store meeting"

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