5 Simple and Effective Retail Sales Management Tips

Every store manager’s day is busy, so today’s post is short and to the point.  Add these four simple techniques to your retail management skills and you will be a more effective leader.

1 – Set Goals and Expectations

As a retail consultant, little irks me more than when I walk into a retail store only to find that sales associates are standing around doing nothing.  This is almost always a sure sign that there is a core problem with a failure to set standards and reinforce goals.  Goals and expectations give people a definition of success and, in my experience, most people want to be successful.

University studies, like those from Yale, have shown that people who have goals are over 50% more productive than those without them!

2 – Act as a Role Model

 The old style of leading of “Do as I say, not as I do…” does not work well in today’s specialty retail environment.  Your ability to role model effective retail selling skills is an important factor in motivating and training your team members.  Plus, as we all know, ocaisionally a sales manager needs to get on the floor and put their department or store on their back in order to make their day.

Ultimately, you and your retail management messages are far more credible when you have personally done and accomplished the tasks that you are asking your sales associates to do day in and day out.  So learn how to walk the walk, so that you can talk the talk!

3 – Give Advice Quickly by Coaching From the Floor

One of the great retail management techniques is to intervene before bad habits have a chance to take hold.  When you are on the sales floor and see a sales rep make a mistake like failing to close a sale, greet quickly, or present effectively follow-up with that rep immediately following your observation. 

All you need to do is casually pull the rep aside, point out how they may have let an opportunity for fully satisfying a customer slip by, and then remind them how to correct the situation the next time and that you will be watching.  These quick coaching session co a long way toward improving retail selling skills and your daily sales total…By the way, don’t forget to praise and recognize the team member when they correct the behavior and do it right!

4 – Use Weekly Coaching Sessions

 Whether you are a retail store manager, department manager, or a field manager, it is always a good exercise to invest 30 minutes a week working with your sales associates on techniques to improve retail selling skills and on reinforcing their goals.

If you have commissioned sales associates, a great way to do this is to do a weekly pay-check review.  Once they know how much they are on track to make and how they made it, you can work together on a plan to increase their pay…and your sales revenue!

#5 – Monthly Forecasting and Retail Sales Training Rhythm

 Back when I was a retail sales associate, I never felt so empowered as when my manager told me to tell him how much I was going to sell the next month and how I was going to accomplish that feat.  That’s right, each month you can put your people in charge of setting their own goals…then work together on creating a retail sales training plan to attain them. 

One of my favorite techniques was to give the retail sales associate a “focus product” or program for the month.  Then I would give them responsibility for training the rest of the store on that product!  Not only did it help to focus them, but it helped the rest of the store as well!

There you go!  5 great retail sales management techniques in under 650 words!  Happy Selling!

-          David Goodwin is the Principal of the Retail Advocacy Group.  As a 30 year veteran of the retail industry he operated hundreds of retail locations, launched his own retail businesses, and managed retail channels on behalf of Fortune 50 companies.  Retail Advocacy group offers consulting services for retailers and also offers retail training solutions through its Retail Training Service subsidiary.   You can learn more about instructor-led, e-learning, and other retail training programs at www.retailertrainingservices.com.