“The most successful retailers have been able through nurturing, to obtain and develop exceptional employees throughout all areas of their businesses - whether it be sales, administration or distribution,” says Wayne McMahon in his “State-of-the-Industry” report in this issue. It’s a common sense statement. Without competent people, a business can neither create value or execute policy. The question for thoughtful retail owners and managers must therefore be, “what are the best ways to nurture exceptional employees?”
There is no place where this question is more important at retail than on the sales floor. It’s the place, Joe Capillo tells us in his One-On-One article (page 86), where “success still comes down to what happens between one salesperson and one customer.”
It’s in the sales arena, Joe suggests, that sales associates must receive correct teaching, (coaching) to bring low-earners up to average in a process of continuous improvement.
Success in applying Joe’s prescription depends not only on the quality of coaching but also on (1) each salesperson’s willingness to accept this coaching (not applying their own, personal winning formulas) and (2) their persistence in negotiating a personal learning curve without getting discouraged. This second attribute is what Angela Duckworth calls Grit in her TED Talk and book Grit: The power of passion and perseverance. She suggests that Grit is an attitude of passion and perseverance, viewing life as a marathon. Google her TED talk, which points at ways perseverance can be selected and coached. Also check out the thought provoking sales management/ sales education articles in this issue of Furniture World Magazine.
Russell Bienenstock is Editor-in-Chief of Furniture World Magazine, founded 1870. Comments can be directed to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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