In any job, people need to know exactly what is expected of them.
As well as telling them, it needs to be written down as a job description in order to provide clear guidelines on what they should be doing and how you want them to do it.
- Make sure that the sales team know and understand your vision and strategy for the business. Revisit the objectives regularly, to check you and your team are meeting them. Revisiting why you are following a particular path will help to focus them and help them to own their job, not just rent it. The result should be significantly more engaged and motivated staff.
- Ask your team for their input to generate sales ideas – they know your customers as well as you do and will appreciate being consulted.
- Watch out for complacency. A retailer I know stocks a particular dress brand. It’s increasingly hard to sell, but he doesn’t want to change it, he claims his clients still want the brand. His staff thinks he should update the dress offering too. Sometimes you need to listen to your team and look closely at how your customer base is evolving.
- On the training front, don’t assume anything. What may be second nature to you may simply not occur to your staff. Check that everyone has the right tools and skills for the job with regular training sessions. Focus on just one topic each time and keep these sessions low-key, to avoid alienating more experienced members of the team. Make sure they are then followed up with some careful observation of the training in action - praise them when they perform well, comment and correct constructively where necessary.
- Training needs to be regular in order to be effective, with the messages being repeated at regular intervals.
Thierry Bayle, Global Fashion Management