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David Geller

David Geller: Battle Plan

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Ready to fight for big sales increases next year? Set your strategy and mass your forces, says David Geller. 

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[h3]Battle Plan[/h3]

[dropcap cap=E]ver notice how goal-oriented people seem to always get things done? That’s because they know what they are shooting for and are organized in their efforts.[/dropcap]

People have goals, groups have goals, armies have goals and, of course, companies have goals. Maybe now is the time to get down to business and establish your goals for 2006.

In the past, your goal has been to increase sales 10 percent, 15 percent, or some other number. Ambitious, but it’s not enough. In the 1990s, you could build a jewelry store and, as they said in Field of Dreams, “they will come.”

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No longer! Today you have to fight for every sale. Your troops must be trained and every soldier must know what’s expected of them. Achieve your goal, you win and everyone gets their reward.

[inset side=right]Your troops must be trained and every soldier must know what’s expected of them. [/inset]So, does your sales staff know what goal has been set by them? “Increase sales” is too vague. “Increase total store sales by 15%” is better, but not by much. What you need to do is create a battle plan to increase sales this year — one that will set goals for each individual foot soldier for each week, each month and the year overall.

To start, you’ll have to meet with your five-star general – yourself. Invite the colonel as well — your sales manager, if you have one. Choose the war you want to win. Let’s say you want to increase your sales this year by 20 percent.

First thing to do is to lay out a battle plan (spread-sheet) for each month of 2006 and have two columns. One column will include the sales you made each month in 2005. Then you’ll scratch your heads and ponder whether all 12 months were normal last year. Maybe one month was unusually slow because of a hurricane or maybe one was abnormally large because of a huge sale.

To achieve a 20% increase in “normal” months, multiply last year’s sales figure for that month by “1.20” to find the new goal for this year. Unusual months should be adjusted up or down, with differences being made up in other months. Because, remember, we must reach our target. Charlie Company must achieve a 20% increase!

Now lay out the battle plan for the people on the front lines. To do your bidding, they must know what is expected of each one of them. Right face!

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In this desperate battle for 20%, everyone will need to fight — our colonels will fight for increases and sell on the floor. Even our five-star general (store owner) will have to jump in to engage in hand-to-hand combat. After all, there are many customers who will only agree to be served by the top-ranking officer himself.

[inset side=right]Even our five-star general (store owner) will have to jump in to engage in hand-to-hand combat.[/inset]Now you have your total goal. Looking at it, you see that the general makes 25% of total store sales. If your goal is to do $1,000,000 and the general does 25%, then the remaining $750,000 will need to be split between your foot soldiers.

The yearly goal for your foot soldiers is based upon your month-by-month battle plan. Let’s use an example of January 2006. Your goal for the month is $75,000 — and since the general makes 25% of all sales, that leaves $56,250 in jewelry to be sold by your loyal foot soldiers.  

If you have four full-time, 40 hour-a-week foot soldiers, then each should be responsible for selling a quarter of the $56,250 goal — or $16,031 for the month.  

But what if some of your troops don’t work a full week, but are part-timers at 20 hours per week? Simple — just figure out what percentage of the week they work. Here’s how:

Let’s say you have four foot soldiers — three working 40 hours, and one working 20 hours. That means three staffers/soldiers work 40 hours (120 hours total) and one works 20 hours. That gives you a total of 140 hours for all of the soldiers for the week. To figure out the percentage of sales required, all you have to do is divide the number of hours worked by the total number of work hours in the week for all employees.

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[h4][b]Soldier’s Goals[/b][/h4]

Name Hours % Goal Goal
Tom 40 28.5 $16,031
Dick 40 28.5 $16,031
Harry 40 28.5 $16,031
Melvin 20 14.5 $8,157
Total 40 100 $65,250

The 40 hour per week soldiers work 28.5% (40 divided by 140) and the part-timer works 14.5% of the week (20 divided by 140). Then assign these percentages to the level of sales they must achieve.

If each salesperson hits his target, and the general adds his quarter of sales ($18,750), the the goal of $75,000 is reached!

Now, do the same for every month of the year. Break it down further into weekly goals. (Troops do better if they know what’s expected of them right away.) Place this battle plan on the command center wall – along with battle results when available. Those who hit goals will be seen by all other troops as true sharpshooters. Those not taking “their hills” will need to get extra specialized training. Remember: “Leave no man or woman behind!”

When we reach our goals there will be extra grub, lots of R&R, weekend passes and other goodies. We will share in the spoils of battle.  

Next month, we will delve into what reward befit a soldier on the front lines of any retail jewelry store. Yes, those glittering spoils of war … bonuses, spiffs, and commissions.

David Geller is an author and consultant to jewelry-store owners on store management and profitability. E-mail him at [email protected].

[span class=note]This story is from the December 2005 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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