While it rages everywhere and almost no sector is spared, today’s retail is no exception in the face of hiring difficulties.
Although the use of the term in the European context of our concern may seem inappropriate, in reality it is a fierce battle raging among recruits of all stripes, willing to add compromises to attract the most motivated professionals into their ranks.
But while many of us are calling for a point-of-sale redesign that puts the human at heart, haven’t we tended to forget the human who is its core: the salesperson? Often subjected to impossible working hours, victim of a lack of attention from the head office and from some clients, and let’s face it, traditionally low pay, it seems that this job, rightly, no longer attracts… It’s time to switch with common sense and radicalism!
Make the seller a consultant
In the particular luxury segment, it is worth noting that 95% of customers prioritize the physical point of sale over e-commerce, in order to get advice there (Source: Boston Consulting Group)! And for good reason: while it seems undeniable that there is nothing and no one equals transaction performance and e-commerce experience, what good can a store still have if not able to find the quality and priceless of advice? Because they often benefit from very deep product knowledge, tangible consumer relationships, and sometimes also a genuine passion for their craft, field sales reps are today in the best position to become brand ambassadors, able to deliver and champion. Pour les y accompagner, il sera bien évidemment nécessaire de les former, d’une part, mais aussi de les outiller – y compris digitalement – pour leur permettre de ritualiser la découverte des produits, et d’être le en mesure de conseril d , right on time.
In the right place in the customer journey
At the point of sale, the place and the moment in which a human appears is critical. It really holds the first key to the brand experience. What to think about, for example, of a sign (often above the range) that places a security guard at the entrance? Or even those (mainly in the DIY world) where it is almost impossible to get to the seller to understand (a thousand) the subtleties of a paint color? In addition to the professionalism of the assigned employees, ensuring a fair place and a fair role in the sales process is essential. There must be added value in the shop! And as such, let us remember, to have a working comfort commensurate with its role: the location of the reserves, the layout of the rest areas, the choice of lights, the sound environment…. It seems necessary to review the POS layout, for them too, even for them in particular!
Corner of local life!
It’s not just the brand and its products that sellers know like the back of their hand, there are customers too! Depending on the region, village and region, they are different, expressing specific expectations, which the Parisian head office cannot imagine, anticipate, or process … Also, from today, sales personnel must be wisely used by marketing departments for this unparalleled field knowledge Its (more than useful job recognition), then having the ability to revitalize the store over time, adapting to local culture, local events, but also through social networks. The latter in particular can allow them to ensure a follow-up between two visits, for example, or simply to super personalize the relationship with the brand, to a level no CMS can reach.
In the end, I bet the profession of sales as we’ve known it until now no longer meets customer expectations, doesn’t align with the new ambitions of retail, and, let’s be honest, doesn’t matter to many candidates anymore. However, I think it has never been a branding strategy, in the multiplicity of inputs and functions that it could fill so soon. So there is an urgency (and a scarcity): let’s listen to them, train them, equip them, and respect them.