Oh the stories to tell

So it has been a couple of months since I last posted. Much has happened in that time. Not only did I go back into the field – I took up an area of my own! It has been a fun experience with it’s own set of challenges of course. It has been great to see my plan set into action, but as always there will be stumbling and bumps along the road.


One of the major focuses I had when I took over in mid October was to get some of the territory’s metrics up. Something we did amazingly in November. But as always happens, when habits are not fully ingrained, your people will fall back to what they know.


In November, my market killed it with certain metric attach rate – so much so that one of my locations lead the company in never before seen numbers! Not to say my other locations were far behind – looking at the history, we were the only market to hit double digits with this particular metric! A metric that is highly important to our company and a metric that has recently gotten a lot of attention. Overall November was a huge success in that we showed what could be accomplished – not just to the company, but to ourselves. This was a month in which I had implemented ongoing in person training with my reps.


December has been a success so far – largely due to the holiday season. Not to say we didn’t have our troubles going into the month. We started the month second to last out of almost 70 markets! And it didn’t go smoothly for the first couple of weeks either! Not until almost mid-month did we pick it up. Going from 60% to trending over 100% to goal in a matter of 2 weeks!


There were a few reasons why it took a while for us to get going. From what my managers and reps had said, traffic was not all too great for our locations. This to me was nothing but lip service though as the traffic was there based on what I had seen personally and what our store trackers showed. It didn’t start picking up until I started my manager meetings again as I had set them to the back burner at the tail end of November so my team could better utilize their hours for sales. Once the manager meetings came back, the numbers followed suit. Impressive what a little direction will do to motivate and increase sales!


With my reps – even though we are still seeing double digits being sold for the aforementioned metric – we still trail what we did in November. This I believe is more so because the rep level training has seized and they have gone to their basic habits of going for the “low hanging fruit”; clerking our guests and not fully being the salespeople they actually are. Though this is the case, our market is still trending over 100% as a while with my lowest location trending above 95% to goal. Not bad – but can always be better.


As my team knows; I have a mission to make our district the standard for our company! From selling, training, down to the hiring process and in between.


We have a mission – and we will make it happen!


Stay tuned as we go through this journey together! Along the way more information will be shared into the habits that are formed within the district – and more importantly for you – how you can use these habit building techniques to help improve the lot you currently have in your employment!

Exciting Developments

It’s definitely been a very busy time for me and the managers I have been working with!


This last week we presented a training program to the president and high level execs of the company. What we thought was a presentation to get the green light to trial our program ended up being an approval to role out our program nationwide!


Needless to say – WE WERE BLOWN AWAY!


This is the inception of a training department for our company. It’s not exactly the program I specifically had envisioned, it’s a start in the right direction.


Also I have been given the opportunity to move to an area management position and will have the ability to role out the program within my locations! The next 12 months will be a pretty amazing project!


I plan on developing a program that will not only help my company increase sales, but also be a program that can be adapted into the retail world to decrease the time it takes an employee to become profitable for companies. I want to focus on smaller operations and not large retail chains though.


I look forward to updating you all soon!

And the Hits Keep Coming!

It has been a few weeks since I last updated everyone on the happenings of my project.


Part of the reason is I took a few days off to go on vacation with my lovely fiance!


But the other reason has been the schedule I currently have. Right before going on vacation I was tapped and advised I would moving to a different location again. The day before I left I was told I was  being considered for a territory manager in one of our growing markets! The funny thing is it was the original position I had turned down before coming back to the field.


Needless to say it has been a very interesting week back!


On top of being at a new store and going through the interview process for the new position, I have been working and meeting with a few other managers on our new hire training program. We will be presenting it at the end of this month to the top brass!


The project is part of what I wanted to create, but it’s focusing mostly on the operational side – which can be taught easily. BUT it is a step in the right direction.


I have not stopped working on the sales training program I originally had set up. The idea has gone from idea to manifesting at a location to possibly rolling it out at a market!


Yeah, I’m pretty stoked!


The updates currently will come as soon as possible, but this month has been busier than I had originally thought. More to come, that is a promise!

Recognition and Creating the System

So it’s been a few days since I last posted – almost a week actually.


A bit has happened since then. As I wrap up the first full month with my new crew, we have gone from green to not so green in a short 4 weeks. Within this time I have been able to push them and coach them on what I had planned out. I had gone over the training system with them as to what I wanted them to learn and by when.


The first phase has been completed.


The only one not doing well is the most tenured employee – my assistant manager. They have been put on notice as their current behavior will not b e tolerated any longer. As they say:


You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink.

I am looking forward to the change at hand. The second phase of their training had already started much earlier than expected.


As for the creation of the system…


We had a company meeting today to go over change in our compensation – for all reps and managers. The new compensation is more in line with the system and training I have been working on. Something I am happy to see come to fruition.


After our meeting, our training group got together to go over our scheduling for the training program we are creating and to go over material we want covered in the courses. I am very pleased to say that everything is coming together!


It is pretty late so I will leave with saying that the material we will be covering and the putting together will be of great use in not only educating and motivating new employees – but also in creating the correct habits to make them successful!

Something I want to be able to help others learn so you can adapt and use it in your current situation(s)!


Have a great night!

Catalyst for Change

Sharing your vision with others helps to inspire change and helps to create a catalyst from which change can occur.


I have been connected with other individuals within my organization to help create this change I’ve been pushing for. Our first meeting as a group will be tomorrow night. We are working on creating training material for a 4 week new hire class.


I’ve expressed interest in creating material that will go beyond just classroom training and beyond our reps as well. I have some of the material already created, but have much more in mind that I want to create.


I never thought that the training material would be a consuming project – until I began working on it.


I’m looking forward to sharing ideas and having a bit of a mastermind group for creating new material. This is the process that will change the foundation of which our company is based on – in doing so it will catapult us beyond what the owners of the company could have ever imagined possible.

The First Full Month

I am almost finished with my first full month back on the job.


And I am about to let go of one of my reps. The rep was left on board because we needed a body to keep the store open when we let the previous team go and were transitioning to a new team.


There is push to have them perform or lose the current position they have and possibly terminate their employment. I would like to rehab the individual – but as their behavior has shown, they could care less about the situation. With the new crew I have, I cannot afford to have a negative individual bring down the ship.


On a brighter note – the training material I have been working on has helped in guiding my reps’ attention and efforts. Also looks like I will be working with a couple of my peers in developing an actual training course for our new hires.


This is something I am very much looking forward to!


I will write more in the coming days – but at the moment I am busy with getting my team up to speed so that when I go out of the country on vacation I won’t have to worry about my location not making it’s daily quota!

Belief is Major

Nothing is stronger in cultivating change in an organization than belief.


Think about it; if you don’t believe in your people – whether employees, family, friends, teammates, etc – then no matter what you try, you are setting them up for failure.


In order for change to occur, you have to believe your people can change. Once you yourself believe, you can help instill that belief in your people.


This week I will be attending a training on leadership – my company is sending us to it. I look forward to what I can learn and see how it can be implemented. I will include that in Friday’s post.


Tonight’s post is fairly short as I am quite tired. I have been working open to close almost all days. Not because I have to, but because I choose to. I want to ensure my employees are focusing and driving sales as their efforts not only affect their pay, but also mine. I will have to learn to trust them more and at the moment that is a little difficult to do as they are still lacking in experience.


With that said, I do believe my reps are great sales people with great potential and talent. It is almost time to be able to let them spread their wings and show me how high they can actually soar!

Finding the Drive

What motivates you?


Is it the same thing that motivates your team? Probably not. But you can try to find out what does.


In my field. we use money as a motivation. Not in the sense that money makes the world go round. But what it can symbolize to the respective person. I love going over the potential gains my reps can make – if they apply themselves in our industry.


Letting them see that they can easily double their earnings makes a difference in how they perceive the position. Breaking it down for them helps them make it realistic. Showing them how to do it makes it possible. Having them do it makes it achievable and doable!


In any industry where you require production from your team, breaking down the components of their pay and how they can achieve the results makes a big difference between a pie in the sky goal and something they see themselves obtaining.


The crew I was left with is anything but a selling crew. If I had a normal retail store, where my employees were really just putting clothes away and maybe helping customers out, they would do great. They aren’t necessarily the type we would look for in our industry; but don’t let that deter you, they do have potential. They just needed the right leadership.


That is something we often overlook in sales. We find someone we believe to be good based on personality, but then when it comes to actually selling, we don’t understand why they aren’t producing. Most often it’s because they lack the correct skills and need to be trained up to the level we want them at. This is very important to understand. Having an idea of what their training should be like and also having it built around habits that are stackable makes a huge difference in your ROI.


With that said, they are definitely making me proud, but still have a ways to go before I can confidently not need to jump in to assist them and focus more on bringing in business for them to close.


And also remember, what you thinketh, becometh! If you think you’re crew is crap, they are as you will confirm this with everything you come across. Change the thought and know they have the potential to be what you saw in them, but you need to lead them there! Change your inner dialogue and it will make a huge difference. Once you’ve changed yours – theirs can and will change.

Moving the Needle

Moving the needle in the right direction

This is a phrase I have heard often in the last 9 months and a phrase I’m guilty of using quite often as well.


What does it all mean? We’re heading in the right direction.


So far my ship and crew are not – talking about my location. Granted have new staff and poorly trained staff that I am working with and this is going into my second week at the location. The location has in the past done 200+ units – which is very good for a location of its size. But it definitely has far more potential; something I want to show through the training program I have been developing.


For the last 4 months, the location has been struggling to hit 100 units – one of the reasons I was asked to take over the location. Currently the location is trending 70+ units. Something I am not pleased at. The store does close on Sundays and closes too early for my taste.


Where most of our locations are open during the week for at least 10 hours and open 7 days a week (Sundays being a shorter day), this location is open only 9 hours a day and only for 6 days. This will be changing later this month – in a about a weeks time actually. The added 48 hours will help in getting the location back to where it should be.


In the meantime I am left with shaping my crew up and getting them ready. I started doing the company coaching forms on Saturday, along with operational items. On Monday I began my own coaching forms and had 1 on 1’s with my employees. I have my final coaching for the week tomorrow.


I understand that it will take time to build up my team to get them to produce 400-500 units a month consistently – but just as some managers and owners out there, we want the results now! Not later! It may feel hard to stomach the growing pains and learning curbs – but it’s a must and easy to do, just requires work.


I know that I have a hand in the store not trending 200+ units so far – but I have to take care of my operational items. This doesn’t mean I have lost sight into what I am pushing to attain – especially 4 days into the month.


As I told my boss and his boss, don’t let the sleeping tiger fool you. I am out to prove something – I am competitive and I AM OUT TO WIN!


And for you reading this, that is where you benefit. You will see some of the struggles and adjustments I will have to go through to get the training program up and going and show I can turn a crew of not-the-greatest reps into some of the best sellers in my company.


Feel free to ask questions and to share any insights you may have! I’ll share the info on how my reps are doing every week as they will be doing 1 on 1’s with me weekly!

A Week Back in the Field

It has been about a week since I have been back in the field now. I can say I’m happy to be back and look forward to bringing this change from the inside out.


Currently I have been working on a training workbook to help my employees (and later the whole company) get a solid foundation in both our industry and the company and to help maximize their potential earning power – all while keeping them “self-accountable”.


As mentioned throughout my previous posts – I am a believer in using psychology to help my reps become better at what they do. Teaching psychology is not an easy task and most would not understand how to implement it effectively. Using the workbook as a starting point will help bring in some of the psychology into helping our employees become self sufficient.


I know what you might be thinking – if it was so easy, everyone would do it! Well everyone does actually – at least anyone actually still in business and growing. They may not necessarily understand how or why it works, but it does. What I am doing is breaking down the pieces into small chunks and sprinkling them around. After all, this is about creating habits and habits is psychology at work!


I started it today formally by doing 1-on-1’s with my employees using the standard company format.


How is that starting anything different?!


Change is easier when it is paired with the familiar! Part of the training procedure I am doing with them involves also creating an action plan. One they themselves write out. But how does this work??


Well there are a few simple principles involved. A couple of the biggest are the “foot in the door” technique and the consistency effect. By having them both verbalize and write out the action plan, they are essentially visualizing themselves actually doing the action, but more importantly they are committing themselves to what they are writing. People do not like to be inconsistent with what they say they will do. By having them write out the action, one step at a time, it opens them up to increase that action down the road as they’ve already committed themselves to doing so.


If this doesn’t make too much sense to you yet, I would recommend checking out the following video by Dr. Robert Cialdini – and reading his book Influence: Science and Practice!