The seller is the face of the company; in retail, the number of sales and the number of regular customers depends on him. The buyer can fall in love, if not with the product, then with the seller’s attitude towards the client, whose professionalism allows to bring the transaction to its logical conclusion - the sale of a particular product or service. But ideal sellers, like ideal people, do not exist, and in professional life, as well as in personal life, everyone has ups and downs.
Who makes the revenue?
In the same period, different employees can show different results simply because someone is in the first (growing) and second (most productive) parts of the cycle, and someone in the third phase, characterized by a decline. Avoiding an incorrect assessment of the work of an employee of a trading floor is easy, taking as a basis a fairly long period of time. When evaluating the performance of sellers, do not forget to apply the Pareto principle, which is one of the determining factors in trade. According to him, 20% of employees make 80% of revenue. Of these, only 5% show outstanding results, 15% - very good. Of the remaining 80s, 25% show good or satisfactory results, and the achievements of 55% remaining need to be improved.
If you own two stores, and in one the seller makes 25 transactions a day, and in the other - 15, this does not mean that the first works better than the second. The level of sales is influenced by various factors that must be considered. If the first outlet is in a busy place, 500 people visit the store daily, then 25 transactions are the norm. If the second store is located on the outskirts of the city and no more than 50 people visit it daily, then with the number of transactions in 15, the conversion of this outlet is as much as 30%, and you have a genius in your staff.
Reasons for low seller sales
It is worth worrying about the low performance of sellers when the conversion per shift is less than 5%. But do not cut off the shoulder: you need to understand the problem, because the solution always depends on the cause. Perhaps the root of the trouble is that the seller is not confident in himself - he does not approach the client, afraid to get a refusal or fearing that he will not be able to answer the question. Here we are talking about either a mismatch of the personal profile of the position held, or a lack of knowledge about the product being sold. Both problems can be addressed through mentoring or training. Build a good manager training system so that they know everything about their product. If self-doubt does not disappear, it is worth considering whether the employee corresponds to the position he is in, whether it is his job to work as a seller.
If the low conversion is caused by the low traffic of the outlet, then the solution to the problem lies not in the area of work with personnel, but in the field of promoting a retail enterprise. In this case, it is worth thinking about a competent advertising campaign or changing the "location". Now is a very good time to change the landlord: the crisis is forcing the owners of commercial real estate and the managers of shopping centers to work at a substantial discount, to offer favorable rental conditions and discounts. Prices for commercial real estate fell sharply, the right moment came for the store to move to a place more interesting in location and traffic.
If the problem is with the seller himself, the most obvious way to deal with low sales is to financially motivate staff. But fines are the last thing to resort to.
It is better to develop a bonus system, thanks to which the best sellers will receive bonuses, monthly or quarterly. It is possible that the bonus part of the salary is saved when a certain level of sales is reached, it decreases slightly if sales correspond to the average at the enterprise, or it decreases noticeably if the plan is not fulfilled. The seller must fulfill not only a personal, but also a team plan. It may turn out to be more effective, since the achievements or failures of one affect several people, and the “pressure of the team” is more effective than the “challenge to the carpet” to the authorities.
Low sales - this is largely a question of motivation, emotional burnout at work, when managers constantly put pressure on sellers, demanding higher sales, but do not help them. This is the wrong strategy. To increase motivation, it is better to use not pressure, but thoughtful levers, including non-financial ones. Motivation can be improved with the help of internal corporate competitions, where the prize will be not a financial bonus, but a small prize.
Establish a cash desk at the enterprise where each employee must contribute a symbolic amount, and, based on the results of the competition, present to the winner the tickets to the cinema, theater, and toys for the child purchased for this money. No matter how frivolous this method may seem at first, it can not only work well for sellers, but also raise the corporate spirit as a whole. The reward for good work can also be intangible - an additional day off or the opportunity to choose a more convenient shift.
The non-monetary motivation program should take into account the features of the company: they work with enthusiasm in a small team, because the results of each make a significant contribution to the existence of the company, everyone knows about their role. The larger the company, the more complex the scheme of production relations, and the need for motivators gradually arises. At the same time, one cannot refuse the effect of novelty, because motivators will cease to be such as soon as they become a routine. Repeated events and incentives no longer affect the degree of satisfaction and motivation of employees. If the company decided to award the best employee every quarter, the award itself should be different.
The motivation factor may be the relationship of the management team with ordinary employees, transparency of processes and informing about business decisions, prospects for the development of the company. This contributes to employee confidence and their willingness to connect their future with the company in the long term. The company has many opportunities to diversify non-monetary motivators - agree with a clinic on vaccination during infectious diseases, with a dining room - on free dinners, with a transport company - on business bus flights that deliver employees to work.
Non-monetary motivation at Russian enterprises is often replaced by elements of corporate culture - New Year's parties, a collective game of paintball, and field trips. Managers are confident that the motivation of employees is off the charts, while there is practically no return on events. The reason lies in the fact that the activity of the personnel manager will not replace the direct duties that the manager must fulfill in relation to his team.
What if the incentive program did not have the right impact on employee productivity? In this case, you need to dig deeper, look for reasons in the person himself and his relationship with others.
The seller’s self-doubt, which makes contact with the customer difficult, can be expressed both in fear of talking to the buyer, and in an aggressive manner of communication. It is believed that such a flaw is a relic of the Soviet past and is characteristic of sellers in their ages, but in reality this is not always the case. Today, a rude or at least careless attitude towards a buyer can be found on the part of young sellers in circulation, for example, to those who take too long a choice, or to older customers who do not seem to be sufficiently solvent to the seller.
Aggressiveness, arrogance, excessive obsession - such shortcomings lie in the incorrect psychological attitude of the seller, a lack of understanding of their function and role. If the seller begins to “push” the customer and sprinkle with terms, it is possible that in a particular case he will be able to complete the transaction, but the chance that the customer will return to the store for a repeat purchase is very small.
Sellers are interested in making a profit, but it happens that a person has other problems and interests that occupy him and distract him from work - from family problems to feeling unwell. Identify the true causes in such a situation will only help the knowledge of their people. Absolutely different reasons can also serve as a source of such a problem as constant employee lateness. A solution to objective problems, for example, the need to take a child to kindergarten or traffic jams, may be a more convenient change for such an always late employee. If a person is dysfunctional or frivolous in his duties, suggestions and fines do not help, sooner or later he will have to part with him.
From the wrong settings to the right ones
Most often, communication problems arise from incorrect settings, and you can deal with them by changing these settings. It is necessary to convince the seller that he is wrong, and his attitude towards the client negatively affects the work of the entire enterprise. The recognition of a mistake is the first step towards correcting it, and a person can learn something only if he wants to. You can advise the seller to perceive the client without emotions, regardless of whether he liked him or not. The dialogue should be conducted calmly: the client is who he is, even if he is difficult, communication with him can be taken as another lesson, an experience that will come in handy in the future.
Two sellers may speak differently about the same product. Offering only the product that he personally likes, the seller does not pay attention to whether the customer needs this product. The buyer is a completely different person, and his needs may be completely different, and the illiterate actions of the seller reduce the likelihood of a transaction and leave an unpleasant impression on the client. The solution to the problem is to try to fall in love with the entire range, any product that is offered in the store, and learn all the advantages that may be important to the buyer.
Punish or encourage the ruble?
Non-monetary motivation complements the material well, but cannot completely replace it. If the company does not provide employees with acceptable income and working conditions, it is difficult to interrupt these factors with an active program of non-monetary motivation, since the family budget, education of children and loans will be more important than convenient shifts and friendly bosses. In addition, you can not do without costs at all - the organization of corporate events and employee time are calculated in monetary terms, which expresses the “value” of non-monetary motivators.
According to opinion polls, the three main reasons for the decline in productivity that result in workers quitting are an uncompetitive wage rate, an unfair wage system, and earnings instability. The top ten also includes irregular working hours, poor working conditions, oppressive leadership, lack of career prospects, the impossibility of training and advanced training, the absence of a mentoring system (induction).
The root of most serious personnel problems is hidden in the organization’s system or in opaque management. Nevertheless, difficulties arising with a particular employee are always solved first with the help of a “carrot”, and only last but not least with a “stick”. If the situation forced you to resort to a reprimand or a fine, the main thing is to be consistent and really fine the employee or put a reprimand in the work book. If the employee is accustomed to the fact that the boss only threatens, but never punishes, the measures of influence will lose their effectiveness.
In the age of online stores and digital technologies, many enterprises do without sellers, organizing direct customer access to goods. Nevertheless, a competent seller who will help make the right choice and answer all questions in retail remains the main factor in the success of the enterprise. The capital of your store is people, and the future of the entire company depends on solving their problems. The solution to each emerging problem fits into a single scheme, which begins with a search for causes and ends with help and support, and only as a last resort - reprimand, fine or dismissal.
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