Columnists Ivan Levi Stress and sales don’t mix

Stress and sales don’t mix

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Friends, this article is as timely as they come. Especially since we are all feeling the effects of our economic situation. In this article you will find how to navigate through trying times without stressing – and how you can immediately start creating an improved store environment for you and your sales associates.

Have your weekly sales meetings taken on a gloomy mood? Are you desperately turning up the heat on your sales associates to sell more and more and more? Have you hunkered down and decided to not try new product lines due to fear?

You are not alone.

Many weekly sales meetings across the country have become depressingly morgue-like instead of a greatly needed source of motivation and encouragement.

Unfortunately when a business is dictated by anxiety it creates an environment that is strained, angry, and detrimental to your bottom line. In a nutshell: Stress is an AWFUL business strategy.

The default setting for most owners and managers is to come down hard on sales associates (and themselves) as soon as times get rough. However this is the least productive way to address a downturn in business. And the results are unhappy owners, nervous sales associates, and lack of new merchandise to promote traffic into the store. Not a favorable situation to thrive and grow a business.

But now for the good news: In three easy steps you can turn your store around and have motivated employees, a wonderful working environment, and improved sales!

Step One: Continuing Sales Training for Your Employees

Your weekly sales meeting should have a section dedicated to continuing sales training. Other professions have ongoing training such as airline pilots and real estate agents. And now you too can harness the power of continuing sales education for your employees.

If sales training isn’t your strong point, then hire a sales trainer that can put a program into place ASAP. The benefits of regular training are astronomical: increased sales and decreased stress. A perfect combination!

Step Two: Change the Way You Think!

We can’t always change the situation we’re in, but we can change our interpretation of the situation - and then surprising and wonderful things start happening.

What are your primary thoughts throughout the day? Are you constantly worrying about sales numbers and lack of traffic in your store? Fretting and worrying will not help the situation – in fact, our lives tend to go in the direction of our thought process – so if you are focusing on lack of sales, then that is what will be predominate in your life.

But if you were to start being grateful for all sales (both big and small) and visualize your ideal day before the store doors open in the morning, guess what? That’s the direction your business will go – and your stress level decreases dramatically.

Step Three: Take a Holistic Approach to Your Business

There are many aspects to running and growing a jewelry business that are not talked about or taught. But by taking a behind-the-scenes look at your store you will start seeing how all of the pieces fit together to form your business. Ensuring all aspects of your business are in order decreases stress.

Those often-overlooked areas are: How satisfied are your employees? How well do you treat vendors? How well do you take care of yourself?

Start noticing those areas you normally don’t notice! Do something thoughtful for your sales staff to show you care. Be nice to your support team of vendors and service personnel. And especially take care of yourself by having days off and relaxing. Your business needs you at the helm refreshed and with clear thought. Become the best, stress-free manager/owner you know!

Yes, stress is part of life. But an over abundance of stress creates problems. Don’t buy those problems – instead create a business that has weekly sales training, an over abundance of gratitude, and an overall healthy business strategy that includes taking care of you!

Ivan Levi is celebrating his 26th year in the jewelry industry.  He is president of Ivan Alan jewels® and Ivan Alan Solutions™.  His dynamic sales training seminars are attended throughout the country at trade shows and in-store meetings.  To contact Ivan for seminar information, call 800-235-1918.

 
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