The retail world is changing because the customer is changing, driven significantly by technology. Keeping pace with customers’ speed of adaptation to new technology is a formidable task, and while a competitive necessity, having the “latest” may only last a day.
The price of entry for a retail business is having up to date technology and much more including: accessible locations that are well maintained and presented (virtual and bricks), the right price/value relationship, a targeted merchandise assortment, and robust marketing – the fundamentals of the business.
The big winners will be the retailers who layer on top a people-focused strategy, aimed at building lasting and trusting relationships between your customers and your front-line employees. At Isis, our mission is to help you build a team of sales professionals whose goal is to serve the customer over a lifetime and give your business a significant competitive advantage that is not easily replicated.
The most successful retail sales professionals will posses the following attributes:
1. They will be warm and friendly with a passion for service. They are optimistic and outgoing by nature with the ability to easily engage strangers in conversation and utilize excellent listening skills to understand customer needs, at times even needs unrecognized by the customer.
2. They will be professional, knowledgeable, and authoritative possessing great expertise about the products they sell. They strive for continuous improvement through hard work, practice, and a dedication to ongoing learning.
3. They will be entrepreneurial, resourceful and agile. They will have a personal business plan that talks to customer acquisition, retention and increased share of wallet. They will strive to achieve their goals and course correct as needed. They look for opportunities to exceed their customers’ expectations, to surprise and delight by going “above and beyond” the norm
4. They will be successful, renowned, and preeminent. They have developed a personal clientele, loyal repeat customers who have become their fans because the service they provide adds value to the product. Their customers refer others to them. They have a positive reputation in the marketplace for their expertise and service – they are the best.
Some questions you may ask yourself when hiring or evaluating retail sales professionals include:
- Do they like people?
- Are they outgoing and optimistic by nature?
- Do they have the ability to easily engage strangers in conversation and have excellent listening skills?
- Do they strive for continuous improvement through hard work, practice, and ongoing learning?
- Do they look for opportunities to exceed their customers’ expectations, to surprise and delight by going “above and beyond” the norm?
- Do they possess expert knowledge about the products they sell?
- Do they live to serve others with their professional expertise, achieving personal fulfillment and gratification from helping customers?
Today’s guest blogger, Don Uselmann, is a senior level retail executive with over three decades of experience in the industry, who applies the “Art of Caring Leadership” and multi-store expertise to deliver best in class results. His innate ability to create a team environment fostering ownership and pride for all employees at all levels has led to decades of retail successes. Don employs an innovative approach to evaluate situations, identify opportunities and solutions, and implements processes to deliver exceptional results. He has been called “an inspirational influencer” who uses effective communication skills to gain buy-in at every level of the organization while effectively managing change.