One of the best things you can do for your retail business - especially if you are a luxury retailer - is to have a weekly meeting with your crew. An employee meeting an hour before your store opens lets you share information, give updates, and focus everyone on sales.
Unfortunately, store meetings are rarely held because managers don't know what to organize a meeting around. So here you go...
Here's how to hold a profitable meeting with your employees, so you don't waste their time.
1. Begin by introducing everyone and reviewing the positives.
• One of my favorites is to ask each person a question. Favorite movie? Best vacation ever? Can you tell us two truths and a lie? You get the idea - get a laugh and breed familiarity among staff who may not work together.
• Anything positive? Are they over last year? Over goal? Over the previous week? Highest in the region? Average sale increase? Tell your employees the good stuff!
2. Any changes to policies and procedures?
• A new way to do something? A change in the employee handbook? Nothing new? Then just pick something and go over it to make sure everyone knows.
3. Pick a product and go into detail about product knowledge.
• Ask questions about how it is made.
• Ask each person for a specific feature and a benefit. This is important because employees often focus only on what they think is important when customers come up with various reasons to choose an item.
• Consider a written 10-question quiz to make sure they understand key points.
4. Do you have a contest for the coming week or month? Here is where you detail it and brainstorm how to achieve it.
• Role-play a customer and employee situation so everyone can see how it might look. Keep going even if they do it poorly at first.
• You must end with the proper way to do what you taught.
• No contest for money? How about just because a certain personality style needs that external validation?
5. Are they doing a great job?
• Did you get a raving fan letter this week? A post on your Facebook fan page? A video review? Show them, don’t just tell them.
6. Share an inspirational sales story from your experience or a crew member. This keeps your crew focused on what you expect: great customer service.
• You can always refer to a book or article you read, either describing it or reading it and discussing it with the team.
7. Have a group activity. In the last ten minutes, devise a contest that pits two groups of employees against each other for the biggest add-on sale. When I managed a western clothing store, they invented a sales scenario between themselves and ran around the store selecting items that this fictional customer would buy. At the end of five minutes, both teams would have a pile of clothes, boots, and accessories and an explanation of why they chose what they did. You can do this whether you sell jewelry, watches, apparel - anything. Performing this exercise improves their sales skills; they have fun doing it and ultimately will think about add-ons more often.
8. Make sure they were present. Wrap up each meeting by going around the room asking each person, "What one thing did you learn new today?" or, "What 's one specific thing we talked about today?" That way, you can be sure everyone was actively listening. If someone shrugs and says, "I don't know," that is an important clue. Look deeper into what that might mean.
To grow their leadership style, senior employees who have been with you a year or more and have heard most of your stuff should share responsibility for running these meetings.
Use these eight steps to make your luxury boutique profitable. Whether you sell luxury goods or not, having an employee meeting isn't hard as long as you know what you will do ahead of time.
Best-selling author and speaker Bob Phibbs has helped thousands of businesses and luxury brands compete by using his sales approach instead of discounting. His proven sales approach is the backbone of countless retail sales training programs.