For a brick-and-mortar shopper, one of the keys to a successful holiday season is a well-prepared sales staff. Here’s how to get your team ready this year.
Be prepared for super-knowledgeable customers. Last year, some two-thirds (65 percent) of holiday shoppers planned to “webroom” — that is, go online to browse products, compare prices and research before heading out to a physical store.
That means your employees need to be super-educated. Consumers today expect sales associates to be knowledgeable about products and services, how they work and how they compare to your competition’s. Make sure your employees are familiar with your return policies, guarantees, pricing and more.
Create a true in-store experience. When customers step out from behind their computers or tablets and actually head into a store, they want an experience, not just a transaction.
Try imagining what your store would look like if Disney were operating it. Can you hire or train employees with that level of dedication? How can sight, sound and visuals contribute to a magical experience?
Give your employees the tools they need to succeed. Your customers walk into your store, smartphones in hand, eager to compare prices or look up product details. Make it simple for your sales staff to do the same by providing them with smartphones or tablets, ring up sales (using apps such as Square) or place orders. Now’s the time to plan your mobile attack, update your POS system and get your team trained on it.
Plan seasonal hires in advance. Good workers get snapped up quickly, so get your hiring lined up now. You’ll also need time to train seasonal workers and get them up to speed on your products, services, policies and technology, so plan ahead for that now, too.
Get mobile with training. Thanks to tablets and smartphones, you can train during downtime on the sales floor instead of taking salespeople off the floor to get trained in a back room or at the sales counter.
Walk employees through point-of-sale procedures, show them videos or compare products online using tablets, and you can teach your staff while still staffing the sales floor.
Money talks! Bonuses or commissions can motivate employees during the busy selling season. However, be sure to combine individual-based rewards such as commissions with group rewards to encourage teamwork.
For example, hold contests between morning, evening, weekend and weekday teams or teams on different days of the week to get employees pulling together.
Involve employees in decision-making. Letting employees help brainstorm merchandising, marketing or sales ideas can help them feel a part of your business, and that’s especially important to part-time or seasonal workers.
When employees feel invested in what you’re doing, they’re more likely to work harder and be happier doing it.
Welcome To The...