How to retain your Retail Sales Reps?

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Believe it or not, studies have shown that Retail Sales Reps are the key factor of customer’s loyalty and returning clients. Basically, your customers will shop back from your store not only because you have the best deals or the best goods, but mainly because they are being treated well at your place. By saying that, retaining your best employees is crucial and can lead to a fantastic sales outcomes. How can you drive your retail retention strategy?

-Hire the right people:

When you hire for a retail sales rep position, don’t look at the experience and the candidate background only, you should look at the motivation and how good the human interaction experienced between you as a recruiter and them during the interview. You need to feel the trust in their gestures, their verbal and none-verbal language. The good sales people aren’t the one with the best degrees but they are the most human, kind and with a NATURAL smile (don’t fake it, your customers are too smart to cheat :).

-Work environment:

In order for your retail sales reps to perform better, the work environment will play a key role into that. You should look at your sales reps journey and how you can improve it by putting in place the right tools and the accurate processes. The work environment is linked to a clear job description on what you expect from your staff . Your duties as a company is to help them achieve their mission. Work environment can be as well determined by the culture of the company. Creating a culture that encourages initiatives, mutual respect and non-gender or race discriminations will motivate your staff to perform more. Let them feel that they belong to your structure and how important they are for you as a company. As management, you need to listen to your employees, as we speak more about the VOC (Voice of the customer), we need to do more VOE (Voice of employees). The possibility to get the message higher within the structure should be very easy within your company. Apply an open door policy were any employee can speak to anyone within your organization without barriers. Sometimes they have good things to say that can improve your business, increase sales and it can avoid their personal frustrations and pressure from a bad line manager for example. Don’t forget, all your employees are equal and should be treated the same. This is the message that you should broadcast as part of your values.

-Appreciate good work:

There are many ways to appreciate your good workers. You can either appreciate them financially but incentivizing them on their achievement or but just making them a hero in front of their colleagues. Money reward is important to every employee but it’s not the only important appreciation. People work hard with the aim to improve their financial situation and climb the career ladder within the organization. The fact that you promote your best employee to a higher position will first retain him/her within your company and keep him/her out of your competitors headhunting scope, and second you will broadcast a positive message to all your employees: Working hard in your company can lead to appreciation and promotion.

-Performance and Career plan:

As a retail organization, you should work closely with your HR structure to define the performance and career plan of your retail employees. To attract the best talented people, you need to have a clear path for their career within your organization. For example, you can define the role of a retail Sales Rep to 3 levels (Junior Retail Sales Rep, Retail Sales Reps and Senior Retail Sales Rep). When you join the company at junior role level, you understand that you can be promoted within the same role which most of the time has an impact on your salary wage. The Senior Sales Rep is the most likely role to move to a store manager when the opportunity comes. By defining the promotion ladder, you give hope to your employees to improve their career and at the same time empowering them to give their best for you as an employer.

Author: Jalal JIHAZI
(Global Retail TV Director)

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