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Shane Decker: Manage To Win

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Strong leadership means making sacrifices, warns Shane Decker.

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Manage To Win

Know anyone who is a better salesperson than you? If you’re a sales manager, your answer should be: “Yes, and they’re working for me.” Too many sales managers hire salespeople who are weaker than they are. Why? Insecurity — they want to look better to the boss, and they do, by comparison. Problem is, sales suffer and the store suffers as a result of this kind of “growth killer” mentality. You have to hold yourself accountable to your store’s goals — not to your own ego.

To be a strong sales manager, you must be accountable to the following people, in this order:

1. YOUR SALES TEAM

Please tell me you’ve never done this: On a new salesperson’s first day of work, you put him on the sales floor with everyone else. A customer walks in to spend $10,000 and has no idea that the salesperson is brand new. The customer leaves thinking, “What an idiot!” That customer’s perception of your entire store has been affected negatively.

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As sales manager, it’s your job to make sure everyone is well trained in salesmanship, product knowledge, gemological knowledge and store procedures. Don’t let new salespeople practice and experiment on your customers. Too often, stores let people go for lack of performance, when in truth it’s the manager’s fault for not giving them the tools they needed to be successful. New salespeople should be in training from one to three months before selling on their own.

Another problem: Many managers wait too long to fire underperformers. Your golden rule should be hire slow, fire fast. If all your salespeople are writing $500,000 a year, except one, who’s writing $200,000, that person is keeping everyone from meeting their goals. It costs you in profits, in closing, and yes, in customers. Quit keeping weak people!

2. YOUR STORE OWNER

You’re paid the big bucks for a reason — to make sure things are run on the sales floor as if the owner himself were there. You represent his integrity; you handle his inventory and money; you deliver the experience he is promising to customers.

The store owner should never have to worry about the sales floor with you in charge. That means you’re responsible for handling conflict, whether among employees or with customers. You should also be active with customer follow-up and proactive selling — that’s what leads to customer loyalty (and owners doing cartwheels because they’re so happy with their sales manager!).

3. YOUR CUSTOMERS

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Customers are the lifeblood of your store — you need them, desperately. But always remember: They don’t need you.  
Be sure every customer is treated, smiled at and sold as they’re supposed to be. You want to be so awesome that you professionally steal other jewelers’ customers. Make them want to buy from you. When you close them and wow them, they’ll not only come back, but they’ll brag about you to all their friends.

4. YOURSELF

If there is ever a problem on the sales floor, look at yourself first. Where are you failing them? Figure it out, then step it up.

Train yourself. Hold yourself accountable to being fair but firm. And be a motivator. Stay motivated in order to motivate your team.

Don’t practice reactionary management. Be proactive, to keep crises from happening in the first place. And never be the one creating an attitude problem — lead by example.

Work on your delegating skills. If you’re a doer, you work for everyone else. If you’re a delegator, they work for you, AND more gets done!

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Promote others, not yourself. Don’t exploit your team members’ weaknesses, just their strengths. Awesome leaders are good at giving people reassurance and recognition.

You will sacrifice a lot to be a good leader. But guess what? That’s your job. And the bottom line is this: when you hold yourself accountable to your team, your owner, your customers and yourself, you’ll find that you can accomplish more for your store — and for yourself — than you ever thought possible.

Shane Decker has provided sales training for more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Contact him at (317) 535-8676 or at ex-sell-ence.com.

This story is from the May 2007 edition of INSTORE.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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Shane Decker

Shane Decker: Manage To Win

mm

Published

on

Strong leadership means making sacrifices, warns Shane Decker.

{loadposition shanedeckerheader}

Manage To Win

Know anyone who is a better salesperson than you? If you’re a sales manager, your answer should be: “Yes, and they’re working for me.” Too many sales managers hire salespeople who are weaker than they are. Why? Insecurity — they want to look better to the boss, and they do, by comparison. Problem is, sales suffer and the store suffers as a result of this kind of “growth killer” mentality. You have to hold yourself accountable to your store’s goals — not to your own ego.

To be a strong sales manager, you must be accountable to the following people, in this order:

1. YOUR SALES TEAM

Advertisement

Please tell me you’ve never done this: On a new salesperson’s first day of work, you put him on the sales floor with everyone else. A customer walks in to spend $10,000 and has no idea that the salesperson is brand new. The customer leaves thinking, “What an idiot!” That customer’s perception of your entire store has been affected negatively.

As sales manager, it’s your job to make sure everyone is well trained in salesmanship, product knowledge, gemological knowledge and store procedures. Don’t let new salespeople practice and experiment on your customers. Too often, stores let people go for lack of performance, when in truth it’s the manager’s fault for not giving them the tools they needed to be successful. New salespeople should be in training from one to three months before selling on their own.

Another problem: Many managers wait too long to fire underperformers. Your golden rule should be hire slow, fire fast. If all your salespeople are writing $500,000 a year, except one, who’s writing $200,000, that person is keeping everyone from meeting their goals. It costs you in profits, in closing, and yes, in customers. Quit keeping weak people!

2. YOUR STORE OWNER

You’re paid the big bucks for a reason — to make sure things are run on the sales floor as if the owner himself were there. You represent his integrity; you handle his inventory and money; you deliver the experience he is promising to customers.

The store owner should never have to worry about the sales floor with you in charge. That means you’re responsible for handling conflict, whether among employees or with customers. You should also be active with customer follow-up and proactive selling — that’s what leads to customer loyalty (and owners doing cartwheels because they’re so happy with their sales manager!).

Advertisement

3. YOUR CUSTOMERS

Customers are the lifeblood of your store — you need them, desperately. But always remember: They don’t need you.  
Be sure every customer is treated, smiled at and sold as they’re supposed to be. You want to be so awesome that you professionally steal other jewelers’ customers. Make them want to buy from you. When you close them and wow them, they’ll not only come back, but they’ll brag about you to all their friends.

4. YOURSELF

If there is ever a problem on the sales floor, look at yourself first. Where are you failing them? Figure it out, then step it up.

Train yourself. Hold yourself accountable to being fair but firm. And be a motivator. Stay motivated in order to motivate your team.

Don’t practice reactionary management. Be proactive, to keep crises from happening in the first place. And never be the one creating an attitude problem — lead by example.

Advertisement

Work on your delegating skills. If you’re a doer, you work for everyone else. If you’re a delegator, they work for you, AND more gets done!

Promote others, not yourself. Don’t exploit your team members’ weaknesses, just their strengths. Awesome leaders are good at giving people reassurance and recognition.

You will sacrifice a lot to be a good leader. But guess what? That’s your job. And the bottom line is this: when you hold yourself accountable to your team, your owner, your customers and yourself, you’ll find that you can accomplish more for your store — and for yourself — than you ever thought possible.

Shane Decker has provided sales training for more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Contact him at (317) 535-8676 or at ex-sell-ence.com.

This story is from the May 2007 edition of INSTORE.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular