Here is a brief perspective on the start of the holiday season, and what I believe all managers and owners must do to be more successful this holiday.
The times aren’t just a-changing, they’ve already changed. According to the National Retail Federation survey, more people shopped online than in stores on Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend.
It’s another nail in the coffin for stores that:
* Don’t deliver a differentiated, memorable, and engaging customer experience.
* Are competing strictly on price or product selection rather than an emotional connection with the customer.
* Don’t create and drive incremental store visits.
* Have an average staff that can’t – or won’t - capitalize on customer opportunities.
In short, average or below average retailers are in deep trouble.
There is no doubt that the brick and mortar pie is shrinking. But even given that reality, I believe that the above average store can substantially increase their share of the pie.
Ignore the press. Ignore the noise. Don’t focus on what sales are being lost to online shopping. Focus on driving your customers back into your store to experience your people and products. Do what you do best. Keep improving. Engage from the heart, and you’ll win the wallet.
Now for that coaching tip.
As a leader, it is essential that you help your people be better throughout the holidays. The busier we get, the more important your coaching becomes if you’re going to capture a bigger share of the pie.
Quick story. When I was a kid I had a neighborhood friend who loved to find four-leaf clovers. No matter what we were doing or where we were, she invariably found one. She was so lucky.
Not me. I could walk into a clover field and hours later emerge empty-handed. And of course, my children always found Waldo long before I did.
One day my neighbor told me how to find a four-leaf clover. She told me to stop looking at the whole field, and start focusing on one clover at a time. I distinctly remember thinking that that was impossible since there had to be a million clovers in the field.
But I took her advice, and started focusing on one clover at a time. Yes, you know what's coming next. Within a few minutes I found a four-leaf clover. And like Waldo in his red and white striped shirt, once I saw it I couldn't believe how much the four-leaf clover stood out from those around it.
The same holds true for helping your employees be more productive this holiday. You can't look at the entire "field" to find the opportunity. You have to narrow your focus. Find that one thing this week that will help them be even better and more productive than they were last week.
The worst thing we can do over the holidays is to stop helping our employees be better. The second worst thing we can do is to focus on too many things at once. You'll never discover the four-leaf clover if you're searching the entire field at once.
So let me ask, are you and your team doing what it takes to compete in today’s retail environment? Does each one of your employees know what they can and will do to deliver the best experience and maximize the customer opportunity?
Here’s how to use this article to impact your business
Pick one area of opportunity for each person every day. Bring that down to one very specific action she/he will take to elevate her performance and results for the day. Your employees won't need a four-leaf clover to be successful. They'll be making their own luck.
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.