Business Advice Centre

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Problem solver: Good staff will love a sales challenge

Feargal Quinn

Published 17/07/2014 | 00:00

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Feargal Quinn. Photo: Tom Burke
Feargal Quinn. Photo: Tom Burke

Q I run a hardware shop and I am trying to look at ways I can get my staff involved in the sales process. How did you achieve this in Superquinn?

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Feargal sys: Many retailers underestimate the value of their staff in influencing the overall sales process. The reality is that, in the right circumstances, staff can contribute 3pc-5pc additional sales so it is well worth your time and energy to focus on this area.

One of the simplest measures you could use is to look at the average sales price/average transaction value for each customer going through. I would recommend you make your staff aware of this figure and give them some training on how they might influence it. For example, staff may be able to up-sell a different product where appropriate or make a related sale when a customer is buying one product. The important thing is to assist staff in how they might assist the consumer better and achieve an increased average transaction value.

Also I see a lot of independent retailers displaying a weekly and daily sales target on a board behind the scenes where the target is displayed and the actual figure is plotted in beside it. This gives staff a real sense of involvement and an understanding as to how the business is performing.

I was always passionate in Superquinn about informing staff about sales performance and it would be worth your while to meet with your staff as a group every Monday morning, brief them on the previous week's performance and talk through the targets which should be achieved for the current week. Staff members love to be given a challenge and get a great sense of achievement once results are delivered. You could also consider putting in either group or individual incentives to reward times when targets are exceeded to add to the focus.

Do you have a problem with your small business? Email your question to 
problemsolver@independent.ie

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