I believe in people, and I will go to the grave believing that, in general, people are good and want to do the right things. Sure, you will always have some that go the other way, but that’s life. When it comes to sales, I believe people are good and want to do a great job. I don’t think anyone takes a job wanting to fail. The main thing people want out of their job is to be and feel successful.
Here is what’s happening in the world of retail jewelry, for the most part: Business owners are hiring people without knowing if they’re good salespeople, not checking, and not helping them improve. Meanwhile, salespeople are taking jobs, reaching a level of competency or incompetence (depending on how you look at it), not trying to improve, and letting their education stop. And we wonder why sales aren’t as good as they should be.
Most people don’t know what they don’t know, and it’s up to owners and managers to fill those gaps. Great business owners, sales managers, and salespeople are always on the lookout for new information. They want to find out what they don’t know. The business owner, sales manager, or store manager must take responsibility to constantly bring new information, knowledge, education, and training to the party. If you can create an environment of personal growth and development, you will be successful.
There is a wealth of knowledge and information in industry trade journals, so have your people read them. There are tons of books on sales, customer service, management, buying habits, retail trends, etc. Buy the books, read them, and encourage your people to read them. I suggest that every business have a library of educational books and materials. Attend all the seminars and training sessions that you can. If you pick up just one new idea that helps increase sales, it will have been worth the time and effort.
Hold weekly meetings with your staff focusing on training. There are four areas where people need training: sales techniques, product knowledge, operations, and customer service. Be relentless in your pursuit of knowledge. Invest in your most valuable asset—your people. Give them the same, if not more, of the attention, time, energy, dedication, and commitment that you give to your merchandise, displays, advertising, financial reports, etc., and they will serve you well. Create an environment of personal growth and development, and you will not only survive any economic slump but also thrive during good times.