A retail client of ours, one with a national presence, was asking about our work with associate performance and how to move them from being just friendly to being real salespeople.  Now we both agreed that at some point we would need to talk about what the senior leadership vision is around service and selling and what the organization’s messages are to the stores.  At the same time they’re looking for some quicker impact ideas.

We have helped hundreds of retailers improve both their service to customers and their bottom-line results.  Sometimes it’s a fairly tactical training intervention and sometimes it’s a large scale consulting engagement starting with senior leaders all the way through the organization.  Both create results; some are more long lasting than the other.  It seems to me that for retailers who tend to think fast on their feet and want lightening quick results, slowing down to explore the full organizational operational and systemic alignment isn’t a natural bent for them.

Focuing on a targeted group at store-level though isn’t an all bad idea either.  Training not only builds skills to improve relations and results but is also a way to communicate what the organization expects.  Even if they haven’t figured everything out yet.  Can training be a beginning phase or should it always come after exhaustive organizational analysis.  I’d like to hear your thoughts on this one.  Tweet us @mohrretail or just post a comment on this blog.


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.