Getting New Employees to Retail
Getting new employees on the retail bandwagon can be difficult. However, some owners maintain they need to be in a retail state of mind before they start their first day of work.
âIt should start even earlier,â says Patricia Owen, owner of the skin-focused Faces DaySpa, BeautyBoutique and SpaShoppe in Hilton Head, South Carolina. âWe include questions about retailing in our interviewing process.â
Kristi Valenzuela, success coach, speaker and owner of the consulting firm Crystal Focus, Inc., suggests that can be as easy as handing the applicant a red pencil and asking her to attempt to sell you the product. âThey may feel silly, but what youâre looking for is their willingness to try. If they push it aside and say they canât do that, chances are they wonât attempt to retail your products either.â
Once youâve made the hire, retail training needs to be an integral part of your orientation and training program. Valenzuela recommends developing a retailing system, writing it down in black and white, scripting the pitch, and role-playing the system during orientation. âFinally, draft an agreement that says theyâve been introduced to the system and agree to play by the rules, and ask new employees to sign it the first day. It makes them take retail seriously.â
But make sure all your employees play by the retail rules, or your new employees will quickly backslide into bad habits.
Valenzuela saw the power of an entire organization in retail action when she recently coached a salon in Round Beach, Illinois.
âTheir retail to service ratio was a startling 23 percent, where the national average is about 8 percent,â she says. âWe kept questioning the math, but found the ratio was rightâso we took a hard look at the system. We found that when appointments were booked, the front desk advised clients of upcoming product specials. When clients checked in, they were again reminded of specials and told to ask their service providers what products would work best for them. Service providers talked about products during the service and at the shampoo bowl. At the end of the service, the service providers pulled recommended products and handed them to the client as they checked out. Itâs solid and itâs brave, but because everyone in the salon did it, it didnât feel uncomfortable, and it worked.â