Winning Employees In The New Economy
By Debbie Allen, All Rights
With the low
unemployment rate today, retailers are feeling the stress to keep
qualified, motivated and happy employees.
shrinking pool of available help for retail is taking its toll. Retailers
of all sizes are struggling to find and hold enough sales staff to get the
job done successfully. Think about finding more part-time staff, creating a job
share program or adding creative work schedules to entice more quality
impact of this vacuum in the labor market is that there are substantially
fewer people available to work. With
250 million people in the US alone, why is there such a problem?
There are a few major reasons.
These include; a higher grown in retail chains and technology and
other jobs offering higher pay. In addition, with smaller Gen X population
is needed to service and sell to a largely populated Baby Boomer
generation and the ever-increasing Gen Y population.
The Gen Y generation (ages 1-20) is expected to meet or exceed the
huge Boomer generation of over 73 million in the U.S.
This accounts for a growing number of people to service and sell
to. With this growing rate, consumers have had to unfortunately
learn how to service and sell themselves to save time.
you want to offer great 21st Century Service, you've just got to work
harder to find quality members of your team today. Here are some helpful
strategies that should help you find those winners.
Strategies for Creative Recruiting In The New Economy
a sign highlighting your company benefits.
a sign "Free $50. gift certificate for anyone that finds us the
next winning member of our team" in your window
a brochure about you business and employee benefits.
information on the back of your business card about hiring.
a bonus program for your staff to find new employees.
help wanted information on your Website.
help wanted information at local colleges and/or high schools.
your customers if they know of anyone that would fit.
everyone you are looking: business associates, ups driver,
accountant, business associates, etc.
questions before the interview.
Example of questions to ask:
would you like to work here?
is your perception of the business?
would you handle an irate customer?
would be your initial customer greeting?
do you feel you would be a good sales person?
would help you to improve your skills?
would you go about creating excellent customer service?
have you chosen sales as the career of choice?
tips to getting the most out of your interview:
adequate time for the interview
attitudes and teach skills
information before you give it –listen more and talk less
over promise job benefits, hours or pay
try to make it work if it doesn't feel right
hire on a 30-60 day trial period
them in your store – that new employee is representing your image
purpose of the interview is to gain deeper insight into the applicants
skills, interest, values and beliefs. In addition, to evaluate how
these skills apply to selling and servicing customers in your store.
Remember to ask challenging questions …avoid yes or no responses.
Get the applicant to talk to you and sell himself or herself on the
The dream of owning a successful
business is what we all wish for and work toward.
To achieve success you must have great customer service.
The only way to have great service is with a well-trained team of
professionals on your side.
building a top-notch sales team, you will be creating that dream within
your company. But, how do you
create that “Dream Team”? First,
you have to create an ongoing structured training program.
Training salespeople may seem like an extra job, but it will be one
of the most valuable and rewarding jobs you will ever do for your
business. When you take the
time to do the work you will reap the rewards of your efforts in a big
the training process is more intense at the beginning of someone’s
selling career, it should always be ongoing.
There will always be new information coming into your business.
Any successful business is always changing, growing and improving.
more quality time you take during the training process, the more your
profits will increase. The
more educated and inspired the members of your team are, the better they
will be at their job. It is
as simple as that!
1: Sales Training
When your new employee is at Level 1 they are unconsciously
incompetent. They are
unconscious of how
you run your business and what to do at their new jobs. They are incompetent
to the terms of the skills needed to be a successful employee in
your business. Even if they
have some sales skills when they start, they still are unconscious to
how things run within your company.
by teaching the basics of your business - step by step.
Baby steps, until they grow to the next level of learning.
Let them develop the skills of welcoming your customers into the
store and gaining the customer’s trust.
As your new staff members build a rapport and new friendships
with the customers, they will also be building their own confidence on
the sales floor.
course, product knowledge is a main factor in making the sale.
But, when new employees start out, it’s more important for them
to make themselves and the customers feel comfortable.
The knowledge of the inventory will soon be learned as they work
the time to walk new employees through your inventory one line at a
time. Explain the inventory
by educating them, in detail, about each manufacturer. Educate them on
the quality and features, and always show your enthusiasm for the
merchandise. Show them your
top-selling items and explain why the customers value them.
your new staff as if they were your special customers.
Sell them on the excitement of your inventory.
This training process can be turned into an enjoyable and
rewarding experience for you. What
a thrill to bring in new members to your team, get to know them, and
watch them learn and grow.
Even though this
level of training may start with the basics, it can actually be the most
encouraging level of all because the new employee starts out with a lot
of energy and excitement about his or her new position. If you pick up on that energy you will find it to be a most
pleasant experience for both of you.
2: Sales Training
At this level your trail training period should be over and, hopefully,
you have decided that your new employees are the right people for their
jobs. Though they have learned a lot the first month, they are now consciously
are conscious of what is needed to be done on the job, yet they still do
not have the skills needed to be a great salesperson and are still
is why this level can be the most frustrating of all.
The excitement of the new job may have worn off somewhat and they
are frustrated because they see other team players making all the sales.
this time it is important to recognize their accomplishments and
compliment them on how well they are doing.
Keep supporting and encouraging them at this level - you need to
be a cheerleader.
up a meeting with them to discuss how they are doing and offer your
support in their continued learning process.
Let them talk to you about how they feel about their new
positions. Discuss concerns and answer any questions they may have about
their new positions. Find
out how they feel about selling and what empowers them to work on
improving their skills.
sales people will increase their sales drastically when they add some
genuine enthusiasm for the products and services they are selling.
with teaching selling skills, teach the fine art of pampering your
customers. Teach them how
to continue the service after the sale by sending out thank-you cards or
making personal calls to see how the customer are enjoying their new
purchases. At this time,
they can start to build their own client call list.
When they have a loyal following of new customers, they are
becoming a key player in your successful selling team.
Level 3: Sales Training
Congratulations are in order when the newest members of your sales team
reach this level.
said, “You can’t get good help”, never took the time to train a
staff to reach this level. Why
settle for less than the best team your money can buy?
your employee has reached level three they are consciously competent. They are conscious of what needs to be done on the job and are very
knowledgeable about how your business runs.
They are competent because they know your products well and can
sell them on their own, easily and successfully. Delegate areas
were they show strength, show your appreciation and reward them for
their accomplishments. Continue
the training process by informing them of changes in your policies and
products. Empower your
staff to make decisions and accept their input toward your success at
regular store meetings. If
you do, you’ll soon have the dream team you’ve always wanted.
Bio: Debbie Allen is one of the world’s
leading authorities on sales and marketing. She is the author of five
books including Confessions of
Shameless Self Promoters and
Skyrocketing Sales. Debbie
has helped thousands of people around the world attract customers like
crazy with her innovative, no-cost marketing strategies and secrets to
sales success. Her expertise has been featured in
Selling Power and
Sales & Marketing Excellence.
Sign up for her FREE 6-week e-Course
Business Success Secrets Revealed ($97 value) and take the
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