Ways to Increase Sales Through Your Staff: Retail

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 - 09:43
Ways to Increase Sales Through Your Staff: Retail

Unless you are providing a product or service that is truly unique then people will almost certainly be able to find similar or identical offerings elsewhere. This could be from a local competitor or from an online supplier. What differentiates you from the rest, is the service you, and in particular your staff, can provide.

An excellent retail and sales team can be the defining difference between you and your competitors. Here we run down the best ways to improve sales in retail through training, motivating and finding the right staff.

Give Your Staff Excellent Training

Retail training can go far beyond the basic education provided by many companies where training often extends to watching a video or being provided with a short presentation. This may fast-track the employee onto the shop floor but may also leave the employee under-prepared and with the sense that there is not much value in their position.

Training staff to fully understand the product or service that they are providing can lead to increased pride in their role with the obvious benefits this brings to your business as a whole. Furthermore, teaching staff in the finer points of sales and understanding customers’ needs will provide them with an understanding and appreciation of their craft which should result in increased revenue. A recent American study found that companies who invest in comprehensive employee training can see as much as 218% higher revenue per employee.

Incentivise & Motivate Your Staff

Give your employees reasons to be cheerful at work. Many employers believe that this boils down to a simple ‘carrot and stick’ approach of motivating through incentive. There is so much more to motivating your staff than this.

People need stimulation. While monetary reward is always a good stimulant, focusing solely on this means you as a leader are not using the full arsenal of techniques at your disposal. Positive re-enforcement, providing levels of autonomy, setting attainable goals and recognising achievement are all useful methods of building employee confidence, camaraderie and job satisfaction. All of these can make a standard employee into a standout one, willing to go the extra mile to make sales for the business.

Find the Right Staff

While training and motivation will play a massive part, finding the right people in the first place will be even more important. Retail is the UK’s biggest employment sector and not everyone who works in retail is going to be best suited to the role. As a result, you will need to understand the key attributes which make for a good retail employee.

While having previous sales training is an obvious benefit, the right character will be even more valuable. Working in a customer facing position such as retail and sales means a positive attitude goes a long way. Customers quickly pick up on the ‘vibe’ of a shop. Ensuring that the staff radiate a positive attitude is vital.

Always keep in mind that skills can be taught, while personality and attitude is a lot harder to change.

Keep Your Staff Happy

A study from the University of Warwick last year suggested that happy employees were 12% more productive. A statistic that makes for some interesting reading when you consider its potential impact on sales. An unsatisfied and despondent employee is something your customers will certainly notice and could easily impact your sales. As such it is vitally important to dedicate some of your resources to keeping your staff happy.

Work night outs are a good starting point as they allow staff to interact in a relaxed environment. In turn staff will feel happier coming into work with a better developed sense of belonging.

Vitally, you should always make sure to listen to your staff. View staff concerns as a problem as an opportunity to improve your business. Just by listening to staff you are already managing better than many businesses and this will allow you to provide staff with the tools and confidence to provide even better sales.

Be an Example to Your Staff

Last, but not least, if you would like your employees to behave in a certain way, then the best way to lead is by example. If you treat your customers with disdain or apathy, then it is almost certainly a trait that will filter down to employee level. Business culture is often defined by the leadership.

However, if you get involved at the customer level, show enthusiasm and set out to help your customers as best as you can then your staff will see this and understand what your business is about. Providing quality service to your customers will not only improve the sales or your business but will act as a fantastic blueprint for future staff.