Aggressively growing your sales

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I’m really excited about my new Four Weeks to Becoming a Sales Growth Coach and Leader program, starting on March 17th. In today’s article I’d like to share why I created this program, and some tips on becoming a sales growth leader. (Details on the program here.)

In working with retailers and other customer-focused companies, I meet two types of leaders.

The first type of leader runs her/his store or business. Most of them do a great job. They work very hard at everything they do. They’re constantly looking to improve their merchandising and marketing. They also work with their staff to keep them current on new products, and on their own development.

The other type of leader, while he/she may look similar to the first type, is in reality very different. These leaders are driven to aggressively grow their sales. They’re constantly looking for and driving the next level of performance in their staff, product mix, merchandising, and marketing in order to substantially grow their sales.

Many owners and managers fall somewhere between the two types. Strong leaders who want to grow sales, but are not always sure how to obtain dramatic results. Here are a few tips and questions to consider for becoming a sales growth leader and coach.

1. Own your obstacles and results. Your role is to create results in spite of any challenges. In spite of the weather, local economy, road construction, staffing issues, the decisions of key vendors or upper management, or any of the other obstacles and challenges that always pop up.

The only way to do that is to own the obstacle. If you don’t, you don’t have the power to change it. You’re a victim of circumstances, and that will almost always hold you back from being able to aggressively grow your sales.

The alternative is to take more and/or different actions. Sales growth leaders take action. Others make excuses. The difference is in how (or if) you rise to the challenge.

How often do you and your team brainstorm ideas to overcome obstacles? If you and/or your team fall short, are you able to list what you tried, even though it didn’t work out?

2. Narrow your staff’s focus. As a leader, you usually have a lot of balls in the air. That’s part of what it takes to be successful. That’s not the case for your frontline team. Sales growth comes from narrowing the staff’s focus. Drive improved performance in a key area, and then move on to another area. If your staff doesn’t keep a narrow focus, your team never truly develops and any improved results are short-lived.

What is your staff focused on right now to grow their sales? If you asked each person individually what his/her focus is, will they all give the same answer?

3. Search for substantial incremental growth. I know, you don’t often see “substantial” and “incremental” together, but sales growth leaders find it and drive it. The easiest, fastest, and most profitable growth is with the customer you already have. Too often people think they need more traffic to aggressively grow sales. Not the case. What you need is to better maximize the opportunities in front of you. We’ve been able to immediately grow a store’s sales by 10% or more – just by discovering that opportunity.

What two or three things do you know your staff can do even better to increase the average sale and/or conversion? If you’re not sure, consider spending time this week observing your staff and looking for those opportunities. No matter how good your store, there’s still substantial incremental growth to be found.

4. Daily development. If you’ve heard me speak you know that I’m almost evangelistic about changing behaviors and actions first in order to change results. As simplistic as that sounds, many leaders attempt to create growth without changing the behaviors and actions of the frontline staff. You don’t change staff behaviors and actions by talking about it. You change it by driving development on a daily basis.

What did your employees personally focus on yesterday to accelerate sales growth? Does each employee know what his/her next level of performance is?

Ultimately, the biggest difference between the leader that runs his/her store and the one who is aggressively growing sales is mindset, action, and his/her own personal development.

So let me ask, where do you fall? What is your opportunity to become a better sales growth leader and coach? (Learn more about becoming a sales growth leader here.)

– Doug

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Doug Fleener
As the former director of retail for Bose Corporation and an independent retailer himself, Doug has the unique experience and ability to help companies of all sizes. Doug is a retail and customer experience consultant, keynote speaker and a recognized expert worldwide.

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