Your 2012 resolutions


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I know how busy for the last few weeks, so I’ve taken the liberty of putting together some potential resolutions for you and your team in 2012.

This is a fairly extensive list, and you’re probably already very good at most of these things. Even so, there might be one or two areas where improvement will have a positive impact on your business.

If you will, let me know which of these are right for you, and tell me about any of your resolutions that I’ve missed.

1. Taking your customer experience to the next level. Your store/company’s customer experience is good, but deep down you know it could be so much better.

2. Improve your staff’s sales abilities. Your staff is really nice and delivers a very good customer experience. Now you aim to translate that to higher conversion and average sales.

3. Better clienteling. As online sales continue to grow and outpace traditional retail, in some segments the personal relationship between the customers and staff will become vital to keeping and maximizing customers.

4. More relevant marketing. The good news is you’ve got your Facebook page up and you’re posting on a fairly regular basis. The bad news is you have no idea the impact it’s having on your business. That probably means it isn’t having much.

5. Increase accountability within your store/company. This could be in all sorts of different areas. Maybe it’s expecting more from your frontline employees. It might also be holding managers and district managers more accountable for each store’s sales performance.

6. Move the underperformers up or out. If you’re tired of talking about the same underperformers over and over, maybe 2012 is when you finally improve their performance or promote them to customer. Yes, this goes hand in hand with #5.

7. Challenge and grow your top performers. The worst thing you can do is to not continue to develop your top people. It might be time to either create a new program for high-potential employees or, at the very least, figure out a way to better leverage their talents.

8. Invest more time and focus on developing your people. Unless you’re competing on price you’re probably competing with your people and the service/experience they deliver. Are you spending the appropriate time and energy on them?

9. Be more comfortable giving people the direct feedback they need to be successful. One of the managers I work with recently said to me, “I can’t believe I coach without thinking about it! It feels natural now to give feedback at anytime, to anyone, and not worry about how it will be taken. We all “get it” that it is just information we need to get the results we want!” That’s how we all need to think.

10. Improve your hiring process. This could be interpreted to be about improving the quality of the people you hire, but I don’t want anyone to think that you haven’t hired good people. You just need to get better at your process so you can do that more consistently.

11. Standardize your training and development. Chances are you and your stores/staff are good at training new people. The challenge is that no two new hire trainings are the same.

12. Work more strategically. Some people say you should work smarter but not harder. I think if you’ve survived the economy we’ve had for the last few years you’re pretty smart. A lot of people they just need to work from a better-defined plan and then work the plan.

13. Delegate more. I hesitated about putting this on the list since most of the time delegation isn’t the real issue. It’s usually either that people can’t give up control or they don’t have the quality of staff to delegate to. Whatever the reason, you probably need to do less.

14. Become a better merchant. Whether it’s buying, visual presentation, or financial management, you know that if you improve in this area you’ll see an improvement to the top and bottom lines. Frankly, I put this at the bottom of the list since I know that most of you I know are stronger at these things that the above items. But hey, they’re your resolutions.

15. Be more action oriented. Your list of things you were going to do or wanted to do is probably longer than what you did. Don’t feel bad, that’s true for most of us. But did you do what you know you needed to do to be more successful? The road to mediocrity is paved with good intentions.

So let me ask, what will your resolution be for 2012?

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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