Home – New Forums Marketing mastery How to Motivate Retail staff – Ideas?

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  • #981686
    Safe Skies
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    Hi all

    hope you are well.

    Just wandered if all you great people could give me some more ideas on how to motivate shop staff who sell our products.

    we wholesale to 70 odd stores around Australia, we understand how key Store Staff are to the success of our product.

    Question?

    how and what can i do to make sure that they talk about and care about our product?

    what type of incentive can i offer them ?

    let me know your ideas however out there..

    really appreciate your time

    Gareth

    #1132204
    Anonymous
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    Hi Gareth,

    One thing I’ve seen work well is a mystery shopper campaign in which the sales assistants are briefed on the product range and told that there will be mystery shoppers in the area during a certain period.

    The incentives might be as small as a scratchie for every assistant that is ‘caught’ recommending the product or something more substantial (and therefore more motivating) for a smaller number who go the extra mile over the period of the campaign.

    This tends to be a good way to incentivise them to learn about the range and to start talking about it. Even if their motivation fades after the campaign is over, the product knowledge is cemented in their brains forever.

    Not sure how feasible that is for you given the geography, but it might be worthwhile investigating. There was a member here who ran a mystery shopping consultancy – I haven’t seen her around for a while, but perhaps worth trying to contact her: http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/forums/members/jen-wells.html

    I’ll be interested to hear what ideas everyone else has for you too.

    Good luck!
    Jayne

    #1132205
    TheGoldenGoose
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    I think that “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek might be a GREAT book for you to read! How great leaders inspire action.

    If you don’t have time to read, watch his TedX talk.

    #1132206
    The Copy Chick
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    Provide adequate training about your products… and make training sessions a bit of fun and preferably during regular work hours.

    Don’t have managers who micro-manage staff. Nothing kills staff moral and enthusiasm quicker than management who are constantly breathing down their staffs’ necks.

    Maybe have a competition where the staff member who sells the most product gets to take some away on a trip (even if it’s a weekend somewhere in the local region) paid for by the company.

    Make work enjoyable for staff. Recognise when they have done a good job, or arrange special surprises for the team to thank them for their efforts. Staff who feel valued and appreciated will always outperform those who don’t.

    Ask your staff! Get them involved in planning and implementing sales strategies and rewards. They’re likely to give you the best answers and a sense of involvement and responsibility also helps keep people motivated.

    #1132207
    PaleoGuy
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    Product training and small little gifts. Its all about building a relationship.

    #1132208
    Divert To Mobile
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    I watched this video a while back and it got me thinking about motivation.
    good luck,

    Steve

    #1132209
    Marra
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    Safe Skies, post: 150046 wrote:
    Hi all

    Question?

    how and what can i do to make sure that they talk about and care about our product?

    what type of incentive can i offer them ?

    Gareth
    Hi Gareth,

    As Dan Pink points out in Steve’s video link, “incentives” are not a useful tool in many work situations. You are asking for long duration complex behaviour. You need the motivation / reward (technical term = positive reinforcement) built in to their day. You do not want them distracted be old school carrot and stick management (bribery and threats don’t make anyone love their job or like the boss).

    Let me digress for a moment here and clarify something as well. When staff know that a “reward” is to be had, it is not likely to function as a positive reinforcer. Worst case, it acts as a distraction. Think of your donkey being so fucussed that it follows that carrot off a clif! Financial “reward” should be used mainly to set your environment up for your staff to succeed: their brains willl function better if they are living comfortably enough that financial worries don’t plague their days. That’s basic food and water stuff. :-)

    Now I can get back to talking about real rewards (rather than bribery or threats).The most effective way to use them is as a surprise, and they must show up as or just after the person does something well. It is important that your external motivator doesn’t happen every time someone does something good, and that the type of reward varies a bit.

    Given that you have a team, and not one person, it is important to do a little research so you know what stuff they’d like. Some will lap up snipets of verbal praise, some would rather be admired as the one who made “beer O’clock” happen a few minutes early with a big sale. Some may work their guts out just to bend your ear and banter for 2 minutes.

    Intrinsic rewards are the feeling of satisfaction or happiness a person feels when they’ve done something they value. There are two ways to get high levels of this: hire it in (the person already has this habit) or nurture it. You can nurture or grow peoples’ capacity to self reward in a number of ways. Building lots of little external rewards in to the day is a good start.

    This is my area, so feel free to get in touch for a chat. :-)

    #1132210
    Safe Skies
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    HI Guys

    First thank you for the replies and time you have spent on them.

    I just need to clear a few things up, i do not own a store, i wholesale product into storse, so i do not manage the staff, what im after is ways to be in the forefront.
    of their mind when a customer comes into the store

    So a customers walks into their store and they could show them 10 different products, i want they to speak about our products.

    What would be the best way to motivate shop staff in others stores?

    Thanks

    #1132211
    ItsYourBusiness
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    Do you have access to data regarding the rather at which various staff members / retail stores are selling your product at?

    If you don’t, that’s the obvious first step in my opinion.

    Once you have the right data coming in on a regular basis, you can start to optimise things. For example:

    – Run a competition at a particular store and give the top salesman a gift voucher or dinner out at a nice restaurant

    – Offer an incentive (e.g. higher commissions) to stores if they sell more of your product

    – Talk to all the best and the worst salesmen. How are the good ones selling so much of your product? Is it something that can be replicated across multiple stores? Why are the ‘worst’ ones selling so little? Is it simply because they can’t sell, or is there something else going on?

    Safe Skies, post: 150219 wrote:
    HI Guys

    First thank you for the replies and time you have spent on them.

    I just need to clear a few things up, i do not own a store, i wholesale product into storse, so i do not manage the staff, what im after is ways to be in the forefront.
    of their mind when a customer comes into the store

    So a customers walks into their store and they could show them 10 different products, i want they to speak about our products.

    What would be the best way to motivate shop staff in others stores?

    Thanks

    #1132212
    AppQueen
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    Maybe some free sample to the store staff to show how good your product are. People normally are more likely to promote/refer a product when they have used it.

    Hope it helps.

    Deb

    #1132213
    Marra
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    Safe Skies, post: 150219 wrote:
    HI Guys

    So a customers walks into their store and they could show them 10 different products, i want they to speak about our products.

    Thanks

    Ah, I see! Sorry I missed that in your original. In this case, who delivers your products to their store? I’m hoping that is someone with a smile who stops to chat to the retail staff for a moment. That builds good rapport if you can manage it.

    Otherwise I would organise some sort of function + informal training instore for those retail staff. This will cost you some $, but you will stick in their memories as the supplier who organised Friday night drinks or Monday brekky or whatever. Just a couple of ideas, having worked in retail.

    #1132214
    Safe Skies
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    Hi All

    This is great, i have been training staff in stores, and we have been listening to their feedback, we will be stepping up our efforts in the way we support and inspire store staff, lots of touch points and giveaways over the year, more fun.

    Thank you

    #1132215
    FranchiseForSuccess
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    My background is telecommunications and in that industry manufacturers and network regularly compete to become “front of mind” for the salespeople. When you have multiple outlets you need to find something which will appeal to everyone without relying on the individual outlet’s management style or quality of staff.

    Based on past experience I have found that team competitions often work best. the reasons for this include:

    1. Encourages the entire staff at an outlet to work together to achieve the goal and share strategies
    2. Stores / outlets can be tiered against similar stores so the lower volume stores do not give up straight away
    3. Rather than dividing your prize value into lots of small prizes you can instead combine it towards one highly attractive prize
    4. You will more likely get support from the larger group as a whole as they can see the advantages as a whole

    Hope this helps :)

    #1132216
    MH08
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    My opinion can be controversial sometimes.

    So,

    1) Don’t train staff, educate them. Training is mechanical and it doesn’t work, because if the training fails who will they call? Managers, and that wastes time. Educating your staff on your products will give them a sense of worth instead of force feeding the training hierarchy. An example is going to McDonalds and asking for a chocolate sundae and then the trained staff member asking you if would like dessert? Thats because they are trained to ask if you would like anything else, its automatic.

    2) Goal setting is good, having staff some how compete within neutral manner is also good.

    3) Depending on your business, let your staff know what they are doing for the clients/customers that come through those doors. We performed corporate advisory on a mortgage company and it’s tedious and boring, but we educated staff that they are doing something good, they are helping a young family buy their first home, your helping people purchase their first investment property for their future, so on so forth and it made the staff see the other side, productivity went up 110% after we left.

    4)A number one rule (should be the first one), money does not motivate staff at all, you can’t pay for happiness or productivity. Give incentives for good work and always congratulate staff on efforts they have performed on their own accord that is good for the business.

    5) Always show leadership, I have a rule that if staff members start to blame each other for mishaps, I automatically blame both, and I always let problems go. Isolating issues with the employee is better then punishing everyone.

    6) Don’t tell staff what to do for (falls into training again), if I told you to wash my car and said the soap, sponges, polish are all over their, you will figure out how to wash my car. But if I said to you, use this sponge first then this amount of soap and put the polish on like this, I’ll end up having you come back to me every 10 minutes if your doing it right or should you do this.

    If their qualified for it let them do it. People aren’t stupid, even though you like it one way they may have a quicker way then you to do, this is where people are crucial for growing your business.

    Hope I’ve helped you some what, I’m off to have maxibon, Cheers.

    #1132217
    James Millar
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    Safe Skies, post: 150219 wrote:
    HI Guys

    First thank you for the replies and time you have spent on them.

    I just need to clear a few things up, i do not own a store, i wholesale product into storse, so i do not manage the staff, what im after is ways to be in the forefront.
    of their mind when a customer comes into the store

    So a customers walks into their store and they could show them 10 different products, i want they to speak about our products.

    What would be the best way to motivate shop staff in others stores?

    Thanks

    I think people see through BS these days and the truth is what customers are after (and they know when they are getting it). Sales people realize this and generally prefer to be honest when recommending products (unless there is big incentive otherwise). Simple question – is your product better than the competition and why? Give them a genuine reason to recommend it over other products. Draw up a matrix showing the market leaders and you rated against key product criteria. If you don’t rate number one (or top 3 at least) then that’s your starting point.

    Helping build better businesses and better lives with expert financial and taxation advice. info@360partners.com.au www.360partners.com.au 03 9005 4900
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