Seven things store managers should do now to be ready for Christmas
Through a special arrangement, what follows is an article from the blog of Graff Retail.
Store managers wear a lot of hats and sometimes, despite best laid plans, their day will go off the rails. A focus on implementing a few best practices now, however, can ensure a store’s team is optimally prepared for Christmas selling.
- Start conducting shift starter meetings: Short, high impact meetings or one-on-one conversations at the beginning of each shift are the best opportunity each day to coach your staff and get better results. Topics may run from defining expectations and goals to providing feedback on performance, informing about promotions and new products and recognizing top performance.
- Walk the store with team every day: Discuss new products and new product placement, point out any standards issues that might need attention throughout the day, identify items that are sold out or are low in inventory and, if there’s time, choose a few hot items and get your staff to “sell” them to you to keep them on their selling toes.
- Start talking it up: Selling has to be talked about — goals for total sales and key metrics like average sale, items per sale and conversion rates. Don’t forget to coach the sales behaviors behind these metrics.
- Know you’re only as good as your team: In my days as store manager, the more developed and cross-trained my staff was, the better my store performed and it always reflected back positively on my own individual performance.
- Don’t try to do it all yourself: Once you buy into continually training and coaching your staff, start to delegate with confidence. Trust your staff and don’t end up with an un-promotable team.
- Don’t be afraid of conflict: An associate repeatedly coming in late? Not dressed appropriately? Staff bickering? Seemingly little issues can stress out management and certainly get in the way of productivity. Learn how to have these difficult conversations with your staff and don’t procrastinate.
- Selling stuff is your #1 priority: A retail store is only successful because of sales, so a manager that knows this and maximizes every selling opportunity in his/her store will always be successful.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What suggestions would you have for store managers on establishing a strong selling culture ahead of the Christmas season? Which of the tips in the article for supporting the manager’s role is not stressed enough?