Trust and motivation go hand-in-hand for luxury retail selling staff to achieve their sales goals.
The luxury retail market is undergoing dramatic changes amid dismal earnings, sales declines, and store closings. But one thing remains, a major asset for all luxury retailers is their selling staff.
During these difficult times it can be challenging to get the most out of them but it is important to remember that these selling staff are the major reason your customer shops in your store. Yes, location and traffic are critical but more often, the bulk of your sales are coming from regular clientele, and that clientele want to work with a specific selling professional.
So how can you keep your selling staff focused and committed during more challenging times?
Keep in mind that sales is a mindset and one of the most common challenges for sales staff and for selling managers is motivation. For sales staff, staying motivated is a key priority to keeping on track with goals and keeping up the selling mindset by staying positive and focused. Traditional management thinking has centered on fear-based motivation but the study of neuroscience, or how our brains work, is shedding new light on things.
Sales Management: From Fear Tactics to Better Practices
New research shows that the best way that selling managers and leaders can motivate is through praise and support. Dr. Judith Glaser has drawn on the neuroscientific evidence of how praise can create a flow of positive neurochemicals in the brain that will lead to employees internalizing an intrinsic motivation, one that can open new pathways for thinking creatively, remaining engaged in work, and ultimately achieving their sales goals.
Lead Your Team with Trust and Reap the Rewards
Another aspect of motivation, and a more critical component to leading a team, is the notion of trust. Trust in the brain produces the same neurochemicals as motivation and the two go hand in hand. When trust is activated in the brain, we produce dopamine, the feel-good hormone that gives us a positive, glass half-full attitude. In addition, oxytocin, a bonding hormone that makes us feel connected to others, and endorphins, another feel-good hormone, are produced when we pick up signals of trust. Activating trust in the brain can lead to your selling team having a more positive outlook on the future and can further develop their internal motivation for success.
The best ways to signal trust in the brain when working with your selling staff is by asking open-ended questions, specifically questions that are posed from a place of curiosity rather than judgement or frustration. Focus on listening to the ideas presented and give cues that you are excited to hear their thoughts and ideas.
Quite often, selling staff focus on aspects external to their own efforts when faced with roadblocks to achieving sales goals.
For instance, they may claim that sales are down because the POS procedures are not easy or the store doesn’t have the right merchandise the client is seeking. While these may be true, they are not things the selling associate can control.
To activate trust and the positive neurochemicals associated with it, redirect the conversation to what aspects they do have control over and how they can focus on those things to drive business.
This will leave them feeling more empowered and motivated to put those behaviors in place that they can actually control, which will lead to better results in the long-term. Follow that up with authentic praise and your selling associate is primed for better performance.
Getting Started with Team Motivation
You can use new discoveries in neuroscience to help build trust and ultimately motivate your team. To learn more about building trust, check out Dr. Judith Glaser’s book, Conversational Intelligence: How Great Leaders Build Trust and Get Extraordinary Results.
Author: Keila Tyner, PhD
Ms. Tyner is Selling Director – Women’s Designer Shoes at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York. She also teaches and writes about everything from the industry, to the psychology of fashion.