When the SVP, Stores got up to address this group of multiunit managers, he talked about people.  He made the connection that when times are tough in retail, the leadership message is often more focused on operations and back to basics.  But he wanted this group to know that the focus now more than ever needed to be on leading and inspriring their people.  He talked about how coaching associates to meet and exceed customer needs was more powerful than driving them to achieve metrics at all costs.  He gave an example of a customer who came in to buy an electronic component and after learning what the problem was the associate told him he didn’t need the part and he could do it another way.  The customer was so taken by the associates level of knowledge and helpfulness that he asked about other products they carry and ended up buying several items worth many times the original request.

Trust built with the customer is key.  The SVP acknowledged however that when DMs come for a store visit their conversations are to drive achievement of the goal more than help store teams improve their ability to build trust and sell in a customer-centric way.  Leadership needs to help remove obstacles to exceeding customer expectations. And, he reminded them, in many instances, it doesn’t cost anything more to teach and support those teams through leadership.

What do you think your message is when business is tough?  Do your leadership have the skill and courage to elevate team morale and make new business possible?  Post a comment here or tweet us @mohrretail.  In Retail, every day is a chance to learn. MOHR.


About Michael Patrick

Michael held positions in retail management, merchandising, and human resources before joining MOHR Retail’s predecessor in 1986. In 1990 he purchased the retail division of that firm to form today’s MOHR Retail. Michael holds true to his retail roots by delivering learning that changes behavior—providing both immediate and lasting business impact. In addition to facilitating MOHR Retail training programs, he offers executive-level coaching in one-on-one sessions dealing with critical strategic issues such as succession strategies and executive team development. The author of “The New Negotiation Mindset: Guarantee A Bigger Slice,” Michael is a longstanding member of NRF as well as ISA: The Association of Learning Providers. He has a B.A. from San Diego State University, completed Master’s level work at Arizona State University, and lives with his family in New Jersey.