Talking to many jewelry retailers at shows over the past few weeks, it seems I am not the only one who is completely frustrated with the lack of attention and service given by the majority of national chains.
To quote one of the people I spoke to: “I see the same phenomenon happening all over. I attribute it to a lack of management. Not just poor management, but the total absence of management. These stores have given regional managers dozens of stores to supervise and refuse to pay for adequate in-store managers. Therefore the stores are totally unmanaged! So I agree, it is time for strong, well-managed independents to kick butt.”
There is no question the independent retailer now sits in the seat of power. An enormous opportunity exists for the small independent to take back some of the market share that has been lost to the giants. True, there will always be a certain percentage of people who are only shopping for price. These aren’t necessarily your customers. Huge portions of the public not only want service but are also searching desperately to find it. It is up to you to give it.
The question becomes: Are you a well-managed operation? Many sales managers don’t know how to manage. The focus should not be on cleaning duties and operational tasks. The focus must be on sales and customer service. The great sales manager of today is able to listen in on a sales presentation and give meaningful feedback (positive and constructive) on how the presentation could have been improved or reinforcing what was done correctly.
I believe everyone wants to do a great job; however, too often salespeople are left on their own, and not given the leadership they need in order to excel. If you are a sales manager give your people help not hell! Salespeople need and want discipline, standards, compliance minimums, goals, objectives, feedback, rewards, incentives, and personal recognition. Don’t allow your store to be a place where everyone is working independent from one another. If you provide an environment of personal growth and development you will flourish. Now is the time to be the difference between good and great. Good management produces good sales, which brings up another question—are sales really bad? Now is the time to kick some butt!
Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is president of IAS Training. He publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight.” For a free subscription or more information on training, contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703, firstname.lastname@example.org, fax 303-936-9581, or visit the website at iastraining.com.