Motivational speaker for business, marketing speakers, retail speaker, professional business speaker, business seminar speaker, keynote speaker, Debbie Allen, professional speaker

Helping businesses to Out-Market,

Out-Sell & Out-Profit the Competition!

International Business Speaker & Award-Winning Author

Motivational Speaker For Business and Expert in Sales & Marketing

 Specializing in Business Development, Retail and Direct Sales


Keynote Speaker – Business Seminar Speaker – Business Workshop Speaker


Finding Winning Employees In The New Economy
By Debbie Allen, All Rights Reserved

With the low unemployment rate today, retailers are feeling the stress to keep qualified, motivated and happy employees. 

The 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 applicants.

The 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.  

If 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.

Hiring Strategies for Creative Recruiting In The New Economy

  • Post a sign highlighting your company benefits.
  • Post a sign "Free $50. gift certificate for anyone that finds us the next winning member of our team" in your window
  • Create a brochure about you business and employee benefits.
  • Post information on the back of your business card about hiring.
  • Develop a bonus program for your staff to find new employees.
  • Post help wanted information on your Website.
  • Post help wanted information at local colleges and/or high schools.
  • Ask your customers if they know of anyone that would fit.  
  • Inform everyone you are looking: business associates, ups driver,   accountant, business associates, etc. 

Prepare questions before the interview.  
Example of questions to ask:

  • Why would you like to work here? 
  • What is your perception of the business?
  • How would you handle an irate customer?
  • What would be your initial customer greeting?
  • Why do you feel you would be a good sales person?
  • What would help you to improve your skills?
  • How would you go about creating excellent customer service?
  • Why have you chosen sales as the career of choice? 

More tips to getting the most out of your interview:

  • Ask open-ended questions
  • Allow adequate time for the interview 
  • Hire attitudes and teach skills
  • Get information before you give it –listen more and talk less
  • Don't over promise job benefits, hours or pay
  • Don't try to make it work if it doesn't feel right
  • Always hire on a 30-60 day trial period  
  • Picture them in your store – that new employee is representing your image

The 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 position.    

Creating Your Dream Team
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. 

By 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 way.   

Although 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.

The 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!    

Level 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.

Start 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.  

Of 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 with it.

Take 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.    

Treat 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. 

Level 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 incompetent.   They 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 incompetent.

That 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.

At 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.

Set 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.  

Your sales people will increase their sales drastically when they add some genuine enthusiasm for the products and services they are selling.

Along 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.  

Whoever 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?

When 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.  

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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 Entrepreneur, Selling Power and Sales & Marketing Excellence.  Sign up for her FREE 6-week e-Course Business Success Secrets Revealed ($97 value) and take the online business card quiz to rate your marketing online now at