Don’t you wish there was a magic wand to help you overcome the challenges now facing the hospitality and retail sectors. The combination of rising costs, increased competition and the struggle to find and keep talented team members are putting retail, restaurants and hoteliers under pressure. We have heard how East, Carluccios, Jamie’s and other high street institutions are closing as footfall fails, costs rise and they cannot stop the decline.
Yet despite these organisations having a head office with a large support team, training departments and experts on hand their standards are dropping and their cookie cutter approach to service means instead of it being an experience it becomes an average shop, average meal, in an average place with average service.
Nobody wants average service
As soon as sales enter a decline, businesses start cutting costs, the first to go is the training and hiring budget. The good guys leave, there is a freeze on replacing them so junior team members have to step up, all the while they are not given the skills to be able to manage and motivate effectively, they and their teams become demoralised which in turn affects sales and so the vicious cycle repeats itself.
Nobody wants to join a business where there is no excitement or pride and everyone is just there for the money. Call a halt to the downward spiral.
Go back to basics and ensure the four pillars are in place:
How are your core standards known and reinforced? Forget 100 page SOP’s that people hate writing and never read, instead develop a series of 15 minute briefs to remind the team of the 10/15 most important, then build on them. This uses the 80/20 rule – 80% of the satisfaction comes from the most important 20% service elements. For example: Do your teams know about the universal caring behaviours and that when combined with upselling skills give an exceptional customer experience that ensures they return and tell others.
You do not have to be a professional sales person to be great at sales. Give your team key psychological upselling tools, from the 6p’s, the Sullivan nod and the sheep effect to the law of primacy and recency and the get out of jail free card. All of these and some more practical techniques can be delivered in 15 minute blocks or as a 90 minute skillsbootcamp session that will increase sales by at least 20%, without customers feeling oversold.
You have probably had people that have trained this in house for years however they may have left, so that you now have people delivering it third hand, miss important elements or deliver ‘Teflon Training’ that does not stick because teams are told what to do rather than making the development more facilitative, interactive and fun. Sometimes it is simply that they do not “hear” an internal trainer anymore, a fresh face and different approach can ‘wake them up’ even if the same message is being delivered.
Like many independent trainers and facilitators it is important we update the material, keep it relevant, fresh, find the latest research and build new activities to bring it alive. We are only as good as our last session as our businesses are built on referrals and repeat bookings, so have a vested interest in ensuring it is the best it can be.
When was the last time your team updated their upselling session?
Your teams want strong leadership, according to Best Places to work 2016 there is a direct link between inspired leadership, engaged employees, excellent customer service, increased sales and sustainable bottom line profit.
Many companies say they simply cannot afford to lose their management and supervisors for a day to “learn to lead” but you don’t have to. Why not give them three or four practical lessons in short 90 minute skillsbootcamp sessions. Many attendees say they prefer the skillsbootcamp route as they are not worrying about their workload, they can interact with delegates from other businesses, gain really practical tips and tools, some online resources for further reading and still be back by lunchtime.
According to The CIPD development is a motivator, people want to learn new skills and be given the tools to do their job as effectively as possible. Many want a career path and be given the opportunity to grow. Skillsbootcamp is cost effective and flexible, you can send 1 or 100 and the sessions build to give a comprehensive library of techniques which can be used immediately in the workplace.
Review the four pillars: standards, sales, leadership and development. How well are you doing, can you improve on any of them, perhaps you don’t nee a magic wand at all, just use the resources that are available to you.
Why not contact us at mjinspire and ask about our skillsbootcamp programme or bespoke facilitation. The next sessions are 18th April 2018 at The Dorchester Collection Academy: Upsell not hard sell and Aspects of Luxury – How to deliver five star service in any star environment? 8.30am – midday. See you there!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.