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Why there are conflicts between sellers and how to minimize them
18.12.2018 7048

Why there are conflicts between sellers and how to minimize them

What feelings do you have for the word “conflict”? What first pops up at the mention of this? Probably something unpleasant, aggressive, destructive. But does conflict always carry a destructive context? And what if the field of activity implies the emergence of conflicts? Let's try to figure it all out. How to minimize the negative effect of conflicts between sellers, on the basis of which conflicts arise - unreasonable personal hostility, professional competition, or something else, says expert SR business coach Daria Artyukhova.

Daria Artyuhova Daria Artyuhova - started her career in advertising and marketing in 2006, since 2007 moved to HR. During her work, she managed to gain experience in the field of recruitment, C&B, management, creation of an HR brand, T&D. Launched several successful start-up projects. She was one of the founders of the KEDDO franchise network in Russia. Management experience over 6 years. Certified business coach, business consultant, speaker, webinar host, author of articles and training materials. Education: MBA-Professional City Business School, master's degree at the Russian State Social University, Moscow City Law Institute.


What is a conflict? This is a clash. Clash of interests, views, positions, aspirations. Retail is an area where conflicts occur more often than mushrooms grow after rain. Nor is it a conflict between buyers and sellers. Trainings on customer focus, a high degree of employee loyalty and professionalism of sellers perfectly cope with the task of resolving conflicts between the selling and the buying parties. But at the same time, those same people who are perfectly able to find a common language with customers, smooth out “sharp corners” and prevent conflicts from developing on the trading floor, can arrange a real war with each other in the back room.

Unhealthy competition

Conflicts in the field of retail between personnel arise, first of all, on the basis of competition. And competition arises where the motivation and personnel management system is incorrectly built. As a rule, we are talking about those stores where the system of "personal sales" is introduced.

If the management does not organize the payment system correctly, then conflicts cannot be avoided. What kind of mistakes can the manager / manager make? One of the main mistakes is the incorrect number of staff units in the store. For example, in a store area of ​​60-70 square. meters with cross-country ability 20-30 people per hour display 5 sellers. The owner's goal: to sell to everyone who entered the store. But to sell to everyone who enters the trading floor is unrealistic. There is a certain conversion and there’s no way to leave it. Suppose that the conversion of such a store is 12% (and this, as you know, is a very high indicator). The store works from 10: 00 to 22: 00, that is, 12 hours of trading. Let people shop at 25 per hour. Three people per hour make a purchase. And there are five sellers in the store. For a day, you get 36 sales, that is, an 1 seller, on average, makes 7 sales. Let him get 100 rubles from each sold pair. Total 700 rubles per day. On average, there are 15 shifts per month (with the standard 2 / 2 schedule). Simple calculations give us 10 500 rubles from personal sales per month. If sellers have a salary, it sums up with personal sales and even an interesting amount can be obtained.

But in reality, everything is not so perfect. The conversion is much lower and in fact 5 sellers do not 36 sales, but 15. Calculating their bonuses per day is easy. And if they do not yet have a salary, then fierce competition for each client is obvious. Therefore, the first step to prevent conflicts over customers is to choose the right staff in accordance with the size and patency of the store.

First in line may be last

Some networks prefer instead to introduce a sales order - when sellers approach each client who enters the trading floor in a strictly defined queue. But this also does not save from conflicts. Some sellers seek to disrupt the order of the queue and by any means get the customer. Also, when the outlet’s traffic is low, and there are many sellers in the store, some of them try to “recapture” the customer even when another seller is already working with him. As soon as the seller leaves the warehouse in order to bring the goods he likes to the buyer, another seller appears near this buyer and starts working with the buyer. Sometimes for the buyer this happens unnoticed when competing sellers disassemble each other after the stock. And sometimes sellers begin to sort things out right on the trading floor with the buyer. Of course, both options are unacceptable. And in the first case, the management team must take action. True, before calling the parties to the conflict to account, it is necessary to deeply study the issue on the basis of what this conflict arose. If the fact is that there are too few buyers and too many sellers, then you need to not only conduct educational conversations with sellers, but also change the number of staff units. After all, people are not guilty that they want to make money, and the employer creates only fierce competition instead of opportunities.


The stranger among his

But sometimes it happens differently. The staff is optimally selected, high cross. For every seller there are enough customers. At the same time, a person may appear in the team who does not want to reckon with the established rules. As a rule, these are excellent sellers, they have high sales, but relations in the team do not add up. Nobody likes them, and conflicts constantly flare up between such a seller and the remaining team members.

Conflicts can arise both on professional ground, and on household. On professional grounds, conflicts between the "stars" and the rest arise for two reasons.

The first is when the "stars" openly declare that they are in the store in order to make money, and not be friends. And by "make money" such people mean - earn it by any means. They can take away foreign customers and literally prevent other sellers from approaching customers, stating that all customers are theirs. Of course, such "stars" are very rare.

More often, conflicts between “stars” and teams arise for the second reason: the team is unhappy that the employee works better than everyone else, and naturally receives more. The fact that the employee works better than the rest of the team is not his fault. But envy and unwillingness to admit their mistakes has not been canceled. Instead of catching up and starting to work better, the team begins to “bully” an employee who has higher sales. Management intervention is also needed here. This behavior of the team is an occasion to think about changing those who sabotage a successful seller.

On everyday grounds, conflicts between the "stars" and the team arise due to personal hostility, which arises from the above-mentioned reasons: the team does not want to begin to grow, and a successful colleague acts on average people as an irritant. At the same time, they are afraid to enter into an open conflict on the basis of sales and prefer to carp at a person for trifles. Of course, sometimes, successful sellers themselves provoke the team into conflicts. This usually happens when strong sellers begin to look at the team with disdain, make sharp jokes about less successful colleagues, or simply behave rudely.

Baseless war

There are still groundless conflicts, when people simply do not find a common language and "do not converge in character." Such conflicts are normal and natural. Predicting them is difficult, but possible. Before forming a team or hiring a new salesperson, it is necessary to draw up a psychological portrait of the team and assess how much the candidate or candidates match each other. Such conflicts also require attracting attention from the leader, but in a slightly different context. In baseless conflicts, the role of the leader is to help the conflicting parties find common interests and learn how to interact with each other. If, after conversations and team-building events, sellers continue to conflict, it is better to breed them in different shifts or in shops.

The interest of all employees in a single result helps to avoid conflicts

Fortunately, we rarely encounter conflicts in our network, as we have no competition among sellers. The motivation system, although it implies personal sales, is built in such a way that everyone is interested in a single result. In addition, the number of staff units is optimally selected. And in the case of too high a flow of customers (this happens, for example, on holidays), when the standard staff physically does not have time to service the flow of customers, we resort to a system of internal mutual assistance. Our employees, who have a day off, gladly come to the aid of their colleagues and go to work part-time during peak hours of loading. This helps not to keep extra staff in the state, to avoid conflicts on the basis of competition and create a favorable atmosphere in the team. And if conflicts do happen, then these are always constructive conflicts aimed not at clarifying relationships, but at optimizing the work process.

Of course, one competent motivation system is not enough. In order for the team to have no conflicts, the attention of managers is necessary. And managers, in turn, should have strong managerial competencies and set a personal example of behavior. If the leader allows himself to conflict with colleagues, then do not be surprised if the team is also in conflict. Remember: the pack always copies the leader. Therefore, if various conflicts arise in your team too often, is this not a reason to carefully evaluate not only the whole structure as a whole, but your own behavior?


This article was published in the 143 issue of the print version of the magazine.

What feelings do you have for the word “conflict”? What first pops up at the mention of this? Probably something unpleasant, aggressive, destructive. But is there always conflict in itself ...
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