Three tips on how to be a great floor leader this holiday


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I learned so much from the first manager I worked for. Maybe that’s because he was always teaching. Funny how that works, isn’t it?

One thing he emphasized was the importance of floor leadership during the holidays. He used to say that no team makes it to the Super Bowl with a mediocre quarterback. To win the big games, you need a big game quarterback. (No Deflategate comments, please.)

The same is true throughout the holidays. The difference between a good and a great holiday season may well be determined by how well a store’s “quarterbacks” lead on the floor. Here are three things I learned from my manager about being a great floor leader during the holidays.

1. Lead in the moment. 

If you’re the floor leader, that’s what you do. Lead the team. No merchandising. No paperwork. Just focus on your team and drive results. If you think you need to get other things accomplished when you’re the floor leader, you’re not actually leading the floor. If you absolutely have to be off the floor, make sure you’ve assigned another person to be the floor leader.

2. Stay calm. 

As a young manager I had a tendency to get worked up if the POS went down, or a delivery showed up when the store was packed and we were understaffed. (Why does that always happen?)

One day after I freaked out over something my manager asked me, “How did that help the situation?” Of course, I didn’t have an answer. He’d then ask, “How did it hurt you?” I admitted that it probably got everyone else upset and made a difficult situation even harder. He said, “Yep,” and walked away. Lesson learned.

3. Add value. 

Your staff should benefit from your leadership. As a result of your leadership on the floor they should sell more and deliver a better experience. You don’t do that by just ringing sales or even worse, taking over someone’s sale.

You do it with proactive coaching, silent sales assistance, and doing whatever it takes to help your staff be more successful. Be sure you’re giving the staff feedback that adds value to the employee and customer purchase experience. Let the little things that annoy you go.  They rarely add value.

So let me ask, are you ready to be the best possible floor leader this holiday?

Here’s how to use this article as a leadership development tool.

First, have your entire management team read this article. Next, ask each member of management to identify two things they do well as floor leaders, and two things they will focus on to be a better floor leader/quarterback this holiday. You might even post the answers in the office for the leaders to see throughout the holiday.

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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