Treat your sales staff as you do your customers - with respect and
caring. The example will pay off
The jewelry business is a people business. You've heard it often enough,
but usually when talking about your clients, not your sales staff. As a
manager, you have to extend that same caring and warmth to employees as
you give to your customers. This may seem like Management 101, but most
managers will tell you that when the going gets tough, maintaining relationships
with the staff is often near the bottom of the "To Do" list.
Your sales force will imitate you. If you're short, curt and don't have
time for them, they may inflict the same style on customers. They also may
have problems they feel you're too busy to hear. Either scenario is a recipe
for lackluster sales and high turnover rates.
The newsletter Bottom Line Personal interviewed Julie Bick, a
corporate consultant from Seattle who cut her managerial teeth at Microsoft
and then wrote a book called All I Really Need to Know in Business I
Learned at Microsoft (Pocket Books). Bick has some simple suggestions
for making personal contacts with staff routine so they get the benefit
of your wisdom and the modeling behavior they need to develop good relationships
- Meet with each salesperson for at least one uninterrupted half-hour
weekly. If you have managers and assistant managers to whom you delegate,
make sure they do it if you can't. Once a week, review what you've heard
and implement solutions to problems. Spending this much one-on-one time
offers unique opportunities to review store goals and catch someone who
may be wandering in the wrong direction.
- Have a drop-in policy - but with a time limit. There may be questions
only you can answer. Stress that you have a policy of keeping these meetings
to a few minutes - then enforce it. But be sure you satisfactorily answer
questions before showing your staffer the door!
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.