The bad day. It inevitably happens every now and again in every store. You know, the kind of day that seems destined to fall far short of goal. I hope you don't have too many of these days, but when you do, here's how you, as a leader, can turn it around.
1. Change the narrative. A day only becomes a bad day when the staff labels it as such. The minute you do that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. All of a sudden "nobody is buying," or "customers are cranky today." It doesn't have to be a bad day - the good part of the day simply hasn't happened yet. Don't let a slow day turn into a bad day. It’s just today, and it can still be a great day. Do you add to or change the narrative?
2. Identify what actions the staff can take. People always blame bad days on the customers or circumstances. Here's the problem with that. The minute you blame external forces such as "customers" or "circumstances" you no longer have the power to change the dynamic. You might as well lock the doors and go home. (Which will not only guarantee a bad day, it could also be your last day!)
The minute a day starts going south, gather the team and ask, "What actions can we take right now to turn our day around." Maybe call some customers? Show two additional products? Get more products on a customer? There's always something that can be done, because we own it.
3. Turn it around with the next customer. Once a day goes bad it's all too easy to subconsciously change our approach. Instead of passionately engaging the next customer, we figure they're just another "looker" or "time waster." Too bad, since it only takes one customer to turn a day around, and that one customer could very well be the next person who walks through your door. Challenge your team to do something different with the next customer and turn the day around.
4. Practice/roleplay with the team when you/they are not with a customer. Baseball teams often take extra batting or fielding practice when they are losing. You can do the same thing.
When it seems all customers are "just looking" is the perfect time to practice/roleplay not causing that response. When "nobody is buying" you can practice/roleplay how to build value in a product. Remember, when the day isn't going well it is up to us, not the customers, to change it.
Into action: Which of these tips do you already put into practice if you're having a bad day? Which one(s) will you most certainly apply on your next bad day?
Doug Fleener, a proven retail and customer experience expert and speaker/consultant, helps companies dramatically improve their customer experience and their sales results. Visit the Dynamic Experiences Group website, or call Doug at 866-535-6331 to discuss how he can help you create extraordinary results. Learn about Doug's keynotes and workshops at DougFleener.com.