Debbie Allen

Article Summary:

Tips on how to keep your retail sales staff motivated during slow times.

Retail Sales Staff: How to Keep Them Motivated in Slow Times

KEEP A POSITIVE MINDSET
Retail is a day to day business. Some days you are HOT and some days your NOT. Don't buy into the down economy.

This is not a bad economy - the US will experience a 10 Trillion dollar economy this year alone. There is a lot of money to go around! If you are doing the right things to market your business and staying in touch with your customers on a regular basis they will return after your slow period of summer vacations, back to school, etc.

When you keep your positive mindset it will flow onto your sales staff and motivate them to keep a positive mindset on the sales floor. This will keep your register ringing and your sales UP. When you encourage a positive atmosphere with enthusiasm it is contagious.

Enthusiasm = Positive Emotions
Positive Emotions = Happy Customers
Happy Customers = More Sales and More Profits For You

OFFER MORE FLEXIBLE HOURS
Ask your staff to let you know in advance of your scheduling what days they will need off. Discuss your willingness to make it work for them. If business is slow offer some bonus paid vacation time to your best salespeople. The appreciate and surprise benefit will motivate them to become more loyal to your organization and they will return the favor with hard work and more determination to succeed.

ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY
When times are slow hold more sales meetings to discuss new promotions, advertising, inventory, customer service, and future goals. Always get input from your staff at these meetings and have some fun with a creative brainstorming session that puts everyone's ideas to work.

BE OPEN, NOT INTIMIDATING
Let your staff know that your door is always open to support them and listen to their ideas and concerns. Create a family atmosphere where people can feel they trust and support one another through the good times and the bad.

HAVE FUN
All work, and no play, can make for a dull day. Don't take your business too seriously. Lighten up, relax and enjoy some free time when your retail business is not in full swing. If you can't stand being around in during the down times - get out of the store and take a short vacation or attend workshops to build your business. Make sure to plan for a lot of relaxation time to refocus.

Discover new ways to look deeper into your business and focus on what you are thankful for and where you plan to go in the future. Upon your return, share your new discoveries with your sales staff during a fun and relaxed meeting. They will pick up on your motivation and feel more confident about their own future within your organization.

REMEMBER BIRTHDAYS AND ANNIVERSARIES
Recognize and celebrate with your staff often. Host an annual anniversary party for all the sales staff that have been with your retail store one year or longer. Make them feel special with surprise gifts and a very special evening out on the town. Or host an off-site meeting at a restaurant or a picnic in the park for their entire family.

SNOOP DAYS
Take out your entire staff to shop the competition. If you have a large staff you may want to break this up during two or three different days and maybe even rent a large van so that you can all travel together and have some fun during your adventure. Introduce yourself to the competition. Let them know why you are shopping their store and offer to send them business in areas that you do not focus on in your retail store.

Your competitors can often be your best alliances. It will be a good lesson for your staff to learn and understand this competitive advantage of making friends with the competition. After your tour, take your staff out for lunch or dinner and discuss all the things your competition is doing RIGHT. The areas where they excel are the areas to watch out for. By educating yourself and your sales team to your competitors strengths and weaknesses, you will automatically feel more confident and motivated to move forward and succeed.

Debbie Allen is the award winning author of "Confessions of Shameless Self Promoters", and an international business speaker who has presented to thousands of people in nine countries around the world. She is a frequent guest on dozens of syndicated radio talk shows throughout US and Canada. Debbie has built and sold seven companies, and her sales and marketing expertise has been featured in dozens of national and international publications. Take her insightful free business card quiz and sign up for her informative newsletters at www.DebbieAllen.com

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