Successful Selling - May 2013

Successful Selling From May 2013

By Josh McGinnis

 

Now that the economy is turning upward, many retailers are adding sales support. But the process of hiring the right retail sales associates (RSA)—the ones that take your organization to the next level—takes much more than placing an ad in the newspaper. A typical flooring store concentrates too much on how to compensate an RSA and ignores the issue of how to hire the right person from the start. This column will help you attain that type of employee without losing your mind or your money. As a consultant and business coach, I have walked hundreds of business owners through the process of finding, training and keeping great salespeople.

Before we look into solutions, let’s first take a quick glance at the top five problems business owners run into when hiring a new RSA: what to look for in a sales associate, how to compensate and motivate a sales associate, how to train a sales associate, how to hold a sales associate accountable, and how to know when to let go of a sales associate. Though the course of the next several months with this column, I will work through each of these problems, offering solutions.

Hiring the wrong employee costs stores more than you might think. To calculate the cost, consider how much money you paid a bad hire. Then, add all the lost sales this person was unable to capture. Your true cost is a mixture of what you paid and what you lost, which is why a bad hire can easily cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on how long you hold onto them. This doesn’t even consider all the extra time you spent to manage them. But you can avoid this financial and time-related loss by hiring the right RSA from the outset.

What should I look for in a sales associate? Many managers do not know what to look for when seeking an RSA; others hire the wrong type of person again and again, and hiring the same type of person produces the same results. 

As a manager, ask yourself this: do I have a clear description of what I am looking for in an RSA? Do I have a good track record of hiring?

If you answer no to either of those questions, then it is time to take action. Start by determining what the position will involve and exactly what type of person is best suited to fill that position, the specific accountabilities and competencies (professional and personal) that you desire in a sales associate representing your brand. I know this may seem like a chore that is slowing down the hiring process, but, believe me, minutes spent on the front-end will save hours later on.

To begin this, you must understand what makes a great salesperson. Below, I have created descriptions of four different types of salespeople: A, B, C and D salespeople.

A salespeople are the best you have ever seen. They are all in the top 10%, if not the top 5%, of their field. When you talk to them, you can feel their passion for making things happen. These players improve the performance of your whole team, making everyone better at what they do. They don’t just write orders; they produce sales. They take initiative to grow and better your business. And they reflect the core values of your business in their interactions with customers. These are the RSAs that you aim to hire.

B salespeople are strong, in the top 20% of RSAs. They reflect your core values accurately and are knowledgeable about products. They may not take initiative that improves your business overall, but they make consistent sales and build relationships with customers. These people are the lowest standard you should be willing to accept.

C salespeople are okay. They do their job, though maybe not particularly well. They rarely take initiative or volunteer. These associates are very much “middle of the road” when it comes to performance, but, because they are average, owners have trouble letting them go. They may cause dissension in your team.  

D level RSAs are bad for your team. They are poor performers and often generate a toxic atmosphere or an atmosphere of under-performance in the workplace. They are dead weight and need to be cut immediately from your team.

Your goal should be only to hire salespeople who are at the B caliber or higher. If you do this, your business will improve, and the rewards will be significant.  

Once you nail down your specific accountabilities and competencies and establish a standard to rate your sales team, you are ready to move to the next step in the process, which is knowing how to compensate and motivate your sales team.



SAMPLE LIST OF ACCOUNTABILITIES AND COMPETENCIES

FOR A FLOORING BUSINESS RSA

Accountabilities

Sales of at least $___ a month

Tracks leads, follow up, and outcomes

Generates leads through key activities

Maintains a margin of __%

Competencies
Ability to learn product knowledge
Ability to learn installation/measuring knowledge
Ability to handle objections without sacrificing price
Track record of being great with people
An eye for design
Consistent improvement
Desire to grow
Hard worker 


Copyright 2013 Floor Focus 




Other Archived Articles

Volkswagen Chooses Chattanooga for New SUV   Full Article
Chattanooga, TN, July 14, 2014 -- Volkswagen said it will invest $600 million to build a new seven-passenger SUV at its factory in Chattanooga.

Median Age, Credit Scores For High-End Borrowers Fall   Full Article
New York, NY, July 14, 2014 -- The median age of borrowers seeking high balance mortgages has declined steadily over the last three years, according to private lender LoanDepot.

Meritage Homes To Acquire Atlanta Builder Legendary   Full Article
Scottsdale, AZ, July 14, 2014 -- Meritage Homes said it will acquire the Atlanta-based homebuilder Legendary Communities for approximately $130 million.

Previous Record Low Rates Hurting Home Sales   Full Article
New York, NY, July 11, 2014 -- Low interest rates are keeping some people from selling their homes, which is limiting supply and putting a damper on the housing recovery.

Metroflor's Aspecta Wins Award   Full Article
Norwalk, CT, July 11 -- Metroflor said that its new LVT contract brand, Aspecta, was acknowledged by the Product Innovations 2014 awards bestowed by Buildings magazine to a group of 30 finalists exclusive to NeoCon exhibitors.

Buchanan Hardwoods Gets NWFA Certification   Full Article
St. Louis, MO, July 11, 2014 -- The National Wood Flooring Association said that Buchanan Hardwoods, of Aliceville, Alabama, has earned the NWFA/NOFMA Mill Certification for its Elite Flooring.

Business Economists See Improving Economy   Full Article
Washington, DC, July 11, 2014 -- Business economists have lowered their expectations for second quarter growth but don't believe a recession will occur anytime soon.

Initial Jobless Claims Beat Expectations   Full Article
Washington, DC, July 10, 2014 -- Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell 3.5% to 304,000 for the week ending July 5, according to the Labor Department.

McGrane Named Executive VP at Max Windsor   Full Article
Adairsville, GA, July 10, 2014 -- Joshua McGrane ?has been named executive vice president? of ?Max Windsor USA.

Tile of Spain Seeking Design Contest Entries   Full Article
Madrid, Spain, July 10, 2014 -- The 13th Tile of Spain Awards of Architecture and Interior Design is seeking entries.

Lumber Liquidators Lowers Forecast, Stock Plunges   Full Article
New York, NY, July 10, 2014 -- Shares of Lumber Liquidators fell as much as 15% in after-hours trading on Wednesday after the company lowered guidance for the full year 2014.

Soniclean Partners With Shaw on Soft Carpet Vacuum   Full Article
New York, NY, July 10, 2014 -- Soniclean said it has partnered with Shaw Industries to address the growing demand for a vacuum cleaner capable of cleaning soft style carpeting.

Teragren Names Vice President of Sales   Full Article
Bainbridge Island, WA, July 10, 2014 -- Teragren has named Mark Jordan vice president of sales.

Dixie Group Added to Russell Stock Indexes   Full Article
Chattanooga, TN, July 10, 2014 -- The Dixie Group said it was added to the Russell 3000 Index and Russell 2000 Index when Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes on June 27.

Congoleum Closing New Jersey Warehouse   Full Article
Hamilton Township, NJ, July 10, 2014 -- The Congoleum flooring warehouse here will cease operations later this year.

CRI Posts Model Specification for Commercial Carpet   Full Article
Dalton, GA, July 9, 2014 -- The Carpet and Rug Institute said its Model Specification for Commercial Carpet is now available online at Carpet-Rug.org.

Bamboo Hardwoods Names Flooring Sales Director   Full Article
Seattle, WA, July 9, 2014 -- Bamboo Hardwoods has named Bruce Boulden as the company’s national flooring sales director.

Mortgage Application Volume Increases Last Week   Full Article
Washington, DC, July 9, 2014 -- Mortgage application volume rose last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Ardex Academy Sets Training Dates   Full Article
Aliquippa, PA, July 9, 2014 -- Ardex Academy offers free classroom and hands-on product installation training at eight locations throughout North America. Participants learn substrate preparation and the newest installation techniques.

Judge Ends Laminate Copyright Dispute between Home Legend and Mannington   Full Article
Rome, GA July 3, 2014 -- A U.S. District Court in Rome, Georgia ruled in favor of Home Legend in a legal dispute over similar looking laminate floorcovering. The judge ruled nature can't be copyrighted.