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The Retail Doctor's Blog


Attract, Close & Delight Your Customers

Customer Service How To Avert A Driver Personality Style Blow Up

Bob Phibbs

I was training a group of about twenty store retail store managers on personality styles.

I was highlighting the differences between the four personality types; the Driver, Analytical, Expressive and Amiable.

I spoke about extensively the Driver personality style. That's because I am one.

Characteristics of the Driver include a bit of an aggressive nature, results oriented, "cut to the chase" mentality. (Think: Donald Trump.) These are strengths that can lead others to see the Driver as blunt, domineering and risk takers.

We were all to go out to a local restaurant. The client's coordinator had us fill out one of four choices of entree and soup or salad and dressing choice by noon and faxed to the restaurant to save time.

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Topics: Management, Personality, Retail Sales Training

Your First Holiday Season As A Retail Manager

Bob Phibbs

When I was in college, I worked nights and weekends in a department store. I was there for the the guys shopping on Christmas Eve and for the after holiday sales.

Later, I changed jobs and quickly became the manager of a retail store.

My part-time retail job became my career.

Mind you, I had no training to become a retail store manager. I had sold product really well. I showed up on time. I pitched in. I got good reviews and had loyal customers, but nothing prepared me for managing people or what the season would be like as a manager.

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Topics: Management, Retail Holiday Sales

Retail Sales Skills: Employees Have To Want To Connect

Bob Phibbs

Looking for why it is important for employees to connect? Read on...

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Topics: Management, Retail Sales, Retail Sales Training

11 Benefits of Mystery Shops For Retailers

Bob Phibbs

Have you heard of the runaway success of the burger franchise Five Guys?

What's one of the big reasons Five Guys is wildly successful? They send mystery shoppers out twice a week to all locations. The brothers who run the operation also constantly visit the restaurants.

Five Guys knows you need to inspect what you expect.

High standards each and every day ensure the right employees do the right things.

Training new retail employees to 100% and then making them work for managers who don't run the shifts up to high standards is spinning your company’s wheels and lowering the brand perception in customers’ eyes.

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Topics: Management, Retail Sales Training, Employee Management, mystery shops

Retail Sales Management Rewards: Buy Your Way Out of the Chores

Bob Phibbs

Last night I saw the film, the Hobart Shakespeareans. It is a documentary about an extraordinary elementary school in Los Angeles and the teacher Rafe Esquith.

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Topics: Management

Thank Yous In Retail: Add This One Word To Make Yours Meaningful

Bob Phibbs

From the time I was in seventh grade until I graduated Glendale High, every summer I toured with my church's youth choir.

To make it financially feasible, we stayed in host families' homes for the night before we went off to our next destination.

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Topics: Management, Customer Service

7 Critical Things Your Retail Employees Won’t Tell You

Bob Phibbs

One of my earliest retail consulting clients was a coffee house.

One day I noticed the tip jar had $5 and $10 bills in it.

While one could dismiss the large bills as a result of making change for the register, I had to find out the truth myself.

One morning I stationed myself at a table that had a clear view to the register and tip jar.

I came to find out those $5 and $10 tips were in exchange for items ordered but not rung up. Since they were all doing it, no one told the owner.

That’s why We're Stealing From You is the first thing your associates won’t tell you.

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Topics: Management, Employee Management, retail employee, training for retail customer service

Millennials: Here’s What It Will Take For Them To Succeed In Retail

Bob Phibbs

In the Wall Street Journal article, What’s Wrong With the Teenage Mind? Alison Gopnik takes an in-depth look at two trends affecting the maturation of teenagers.

She has found puberty is kicking in earlier and earlier, and that teenagers are taking on adult roles later and later.

She says in part, “In the past, to become a good gatherer or hunter, cook or caregiver, you would actually practice gathering, hunting, cooking and taking care of children all through middle childhood and early adolescence.

But you'd do all that under expert adult supervision and in the protected world of childhood, where you would have experienced the impact of your inevitable failures and learned from them.”

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Topics: Management, Small Business, Retail, Employee Management, Millennial

Dress Code For Retail Employees - Still Appropriate?

Bob Phibbs

We all judge people base on the way their code of dress.

If a guy walked into your shop and saw you dressed in white makeup, wild red hair, clown shoes, a red nose, baggy colorful pants, a bunch of balloons and a painted on smile, he'd probably quickly decide this guy is a clown.

That’s because customers judge you within nanoseconds of spotting you. Your good looks, your warm personality and your product knowledge will have to wait until after they have decided whether to trust you.

And that happens based on the way you dress - whether you are behind the counter, working with a customer or just returning from a break.

When we meet a stranger, we all play a sorting game. What is perfectly acceptable in an average department store is a step below a Nordstrom.

Dress codes were created because some team members don't notice any difference.

And that's a problem...

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Topics: Management, Human Resources, retail employee, dress code

February Cash Flow Tips For Indie Retailers Looking To Hold Onto Their Money

Bob Phibbs

Looking for how to save money and improve cash flow in your retail store? It is important to follow some very specific cash flow properties during February in order to ensure your year continues on the right foot.

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Topics: Management, Retail Sales, cash flow

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