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Management













Why are morning meetings more productive?

Driving a team to reach a shared goal requires owners to know what they want and what they need to do to get there. DAVID BROWN explains why a daily morning staff meeting is one of the best resources to bring to a business.

Morning meetings are often one of the hardest initiatives to implement. To benefit from them, managers should always plan an agenda that details the team’s objectives for the day.

Stick to the plan and lead by example – be punctual, professional, enthusiastic and always follow through on any tasks.

The main role of management is to coach; to encourage staff to be better today than they were yesterday. Remind them that even the best athletes have coaches. Athletes realise that the greatest threat to their success is complacency.

Set the morning meeting to commence 15 minutes before store opening. That sounds short but the meeting is intended to inform, enlighten and reinforce the four attributes all top salespeople need:

  • An outstanding attitude

  • A great technique

  • Consistent application

  • A love of selling

It’s also a great idea to make one meeting a week light, fun and personal.


TIPS FOR A BETTER MEETING

1. Review and update monthly and daily budgets the likelihood is that the team will either be ahead of budget for the month or behind.

If the daily budget has just been achieved, give praise and encouragement such as, “If we could do it yesterday, we can certainly do it today. Does everyone believe that today’s budget is achievable? Are we working on any special orders that need to be followed up? What about layby payments and repairs?”

"The main role of management is to coach; to encourage staff to be better today than they were yesterday."

If the team is ahead of budget, project what the store is on track to achieve by the end of the month and offer an extra team incentive if they reach it. For example, say, “Our budget for the month is $50,000 but after 10 days we’re on track to hit $60,000. If we achieve $60,000, and we know we can because we’re already doing it, there’s an extra $1,000 team bonus on offer.” At a 55 per cent margin, the business is still $4,500 better off.

If the team is behind budget, discuss how many sales are needed to get back on track. Knowing this amount and discussing with staff ‘how’ it is going to be reached can help teams to refocus on the sales they require.

Sometimes a salesperson will ask a tricky question. To keep the meeting moving forward, managers should consider firstly if the question is relevant and secondly whether they are qualified to answer it. That is, if the question points to an issue that the business hasn’t faced since 1983, refer the question to a later date. This meeting is really about daily targets.

Secondly, if management doesn’t know the answer, don’t answer. Note the question for follow-up at a later date.

2. Enrol the team (selling not telling)just as staff should aim to close a sale every time they make a sales presentation, management needs to sell the team on ideas discussed during meetings. Ask staff members three questions and then ask for their 100 per cent commitment and support.

  • Do staff agree that this is an area in which we can all improve?

  • Can you see that doing this consistently will help provide a better service to customers and increase sales?

  • Do staff consider this to be important?

  • Can the business rely on staff to give total support and commitment?

3. Motivation and clarity be a positive and enthusiastic manager. Be aware of good sales from the previous day and publicly praise performance. Ask for feedback on any ‘magic moments’ and then get excited by them.

Ask whether anyone felt they got a sale yesterday because of a specific company policy. Get feedback on what is working and how the team can make these policies even more powerful.

4. Reinforce the basics choose a sales technique upon which to focus. Once the team has enrolled on a particular technique, follow up with them to see that they are using that technique every single time, whether they feel like it or not. Only move to the next technique when confident that the team is at this stage.

Don’t forget the little things: ensure staff see customers before customers see staff; strive to create magic moments for customers; ensure customers are always right; add value to products rather than discounting prices. Always remember that 80 per cent of customers want value for money.

5. Introduce productadvise the sales team of any new items that have arrived in store since the previous day’s meeting, and where they are displayed. Discuss any price changes on fast or slow sellers.

6. Review future sales review the request sheet from the previous day, which consists of all enquiries staff received that they weren’t able to close. Choose a few items from the list and discuss them.

"Overcome this by applying the meeting only to those who are working on that day and keep minutes for absent staff."

Ask questions such as, “I see we had a lady looking at a $2,000 ring yesterday who then opted to look around instead. What do you feel was the main reason she didn’t buy from us yesterday? Does anyone think there was anything we could have done, said or offered her to help her make a decision? What are we going to do differently today as a result of what we learned yesterday?”

The main reasons customers walk out without buying are usually because jewellers don’t have the right products, because customers want to shop around, because customers want to talk to their partners first or because customers don’t feel the item represents value for money. Discuss with staff what can be done to overcome these objections.

7. Discuss the average sale is the average sale for the month up or down from the budgeted average sale value? Why do staff feel this is happening? Does the team need to push higher-priced product to boost the sales average?

If so, urge the team to concentrate on this by showing customers the best items in store first. Remind the team that added-value services are there to help. Is there anything staff can do to increase the average sale?

8. Review old stock choose an item of old product in each category, such as diamond rings, silver bracelets, gem-set rings or watches, and discuss with staff during one meeting a month why these items haven’t sold? Is there something staff can do with the items that will make them more saleable? Perhaps make it a lower setting or add a shoulder diamond to a ring to give it more appeal?

For the next week, insist that every customer who comes in looking for a gold chain should be shown old stock first.

Remind the team that a business can’t get new stock until old stock has sold. If this means providing a discount or meeting a customer’s price point then this might be acceptable but remind staff to discount only as a last resort.

Remember to follow up by asking, “How many times did we show these items yesterday and what was the feedback?”

9. Show attention to detail a retail jewellery store is as prestigious as a five-star hotel in that shoppers expect the best. It’s a luxury shopping experience after all so staff should be friendlier, the store should be cleaner and the product should be better than competing jewellery stores.

Managers should encourage the team to display extremely high standards. This includes paying strict attention to dress standards, store cleanliness, carpets, signs, lighting and all other factors that make up first impressions. During slow times, invite team members to enter the store with ‘fresh eyes’ as a customer would. Allow them to be critical. Do they think the store measures up?

Does all stock have a clean, easy-to-read ticket? Is the inventory itself clean and well lit, displayed straight in cabinets? Do staff have name badges? Do they need them? What music is playing? Is the in-store ambience perfect?

10. General business at the conclusion of each daily meeting, allocate time to deal with other general matters such as repairs and rosters.

11. Manage the process be sure to keep control of the meeting and stay focused on one issue at a time. The goal is to inform and motivate so be well prepared and don’t go over the allotted time.

One of the biggest reasons managers don’t hold morning meetings is because staff often start at different times and on different days. Overcome this by applying the meeting only to those who are working on that day and keep minutes for absent staff to review and discuss as soon as they return to work.

Even if only 50 per cent of staff are present, the team will benefit from the meetings. Bigger issues can be addressed in monthly meetings that all staff attend.

Don’t let barriers be an excuse. Initiate regular morning meetings today. Those who have done it can testify to the benefits and it’s a habit that managers are likely to continue once initiated.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Brown

Contributor • Retail Edge Consultants


David Brown is co-founder and business mentor with Retail Edge Consultants. Learn more: retailedgeconsultants.com

Pink Kimberley Australia
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