Why are children always excited and happy around Christmas or Hanukkah?
Because all they are thinking about is what they will be getting. Their anticipation of good things to come provides a great lesson for retailers.
It provides you with the reason to stay focused on your own successful holiday sales.
To have the best holiday retail sales ever, here are a few tips on how to get the holiday spirit right in your store based on the strengths of the four personality styles of your employees.
And if you don’t know your own personality style, take the quiz yourself before you give it to your employees; you might be surprised at what you learn.
Here’s a quick description of each personality style and tips on how to get the most out of them in your store.
The Driver is your driven salesperson; they feed off of a good challenge. Make it a point to challenge them to be the person who sells the most in a week or even a day. Give them all of the many features of your premium or luxury products and clue them to three of the most likely situations or customers your best products would fit.
- The Driver needs to feel important. Providing sales charts, regular updates and public acknowledgement are crucial.
- Feed their sales skills with stories, or articles, or blogs about how to make more sales.
- Have your Drivers show your weaker salespeople how to sell better.
- Don’t stick them behind the counter or make them do chores. You’ll wound their pride and lose their crucial competitiveness.
The Analytical is a process person. Make sure you can use their systematic thinking to keep things moving. Make sure they don’t vomit every feature of every product to every customer or they’ll spend too much time on one shopper when there are many.
- Put them in those areas with products that need a more thorough explanation or where comparison between products is crucial.
- Have them organize the counter area. Ask them about the flow of gift- wrapping, and about how could they could make things easier in the back room. Let them show-off how smoothly the store could flow based on their insights.
- Put these employees on register and teach them your what-ifs in case of a crisis so that they can help you through them.
- Have them help schedule and receive, things they are naturally good at. Don’t make them get out there and wait on people, unless you have given them proper retail sales training.
The Expressive personality is the natural sparkplug for your crew. They will bring joy to your whole store.
- Give your Expressive employee the cheerleader role and have them help create a light and happy spirit in your store.
- These are the possibilities employees. Get them actively involved in ideas like how to bundle different products together to get more merchandise out the door. Make sure they see every new product because they’ll find ways to pair new things with older merchandise and sell both.
- Put them in charge of a possibility board where they cut out or post messages that are good or affirmative, such as customer letters and printout of social media.
- Don't give them the mundane tasks. Their power is in their fearlessness to meet new people; like the Driver, don’t waste them behind the register.
There are more Amiable personalities than any other, and due to their social nature, they are the most likely to be affected by doom and gloom predictions. They fear risk and rejection but will thrive in a social, safe place where they can shine. Amiables make great assistant managers or shift leaders.
- Take an interest in what they're talking about and feel free to challenge any negativity whether it's based on reality or perception.
- Get them to think about all the joy that they will bring to the holidays because of them serving the customer.
- Don’t put them in charge of scheduling, or they’ll get bogged down with everyone’s reasons they can’t work a shift.
- Is there a way to meet their need for a group activity? Amiable employees love Secret Santa programs because they are just so nice for everyone.
Just like it always has, the media is going to run stories to get investors, owners, and managers of brick and mortar stores nervous that retail holiday sales will be disappointing.
If you settle for employees who are content to text on their phones rather than engage customers and sell your merchandise, you’ll miss the opportunity to stand out from your competitors.
There’s no better or worse personality style; in fact, we all have elements of all of them. When you can understand what drives employees - and what stops them - you can find more opportunities for them to shine.
And happy employees make for happy customers. And happy customers are joyful.