If there is one thing you’ll want to avoid while creating the pop-up/retail store of your dreams, it’s hiring a bad manager. While generating a pop-up can be costly, choosing not to invest in the right talent to manage your store will plague your store with issues.
It’s no secret that the retail industry has a notoriously high-turnover rate. While there are many factors that lead to this – our assessment is that good management can help avoid the high-turnover that often comes running a pop-up. Those of us who have worked in retail know first hand the horror stories of mismanagement and it’s something we’d like to help you avoid.
You should evaluate all potential managers on three specific skill sets, those being: communication, leadership, and sales ability.
Finding an effective communicator is paramount. When assessing candidates you need to make sure that they can effectively communicate with customers, employees, and your corporate office.
Bar none – this should be the most important skills you need to assess in potential candidates. In a world that is increasingly focused on digital touch points with customers, customers are craving in-person contact with brands. Your manager should show a masterful knowledge and command of the products available to sell and should be able to speak to each product in depth. A good manager will assist in articulating your vision for your brand to customers with ease. Working in retail requires adept problem-solving skills when it comes to customer service issues and eccentric customers. Your manager should be able to masterfully navigate the varied personalities and interactions with customers that inevitably arise throughout a day on the job.
Easily as important as communicating with customers will be assessing a candidate's previous experience communicating with employees. Poor internal communication will be reflected in the store's performance and inevitably affect your employee's interactions with customers. Your manager should have a plan to have daily and weekly check-ins with the sales team in order to create an established protocol of communication with every team member. Communicating sales goals, schedules, projects, and events to each team member for each shift will be necessary to ensure that the sales staff feels essential to the success of the store.
You’ll need to find a manager that will hold themself accountable for relaying information from the corporate office to the rest of the team. Your manager should also have the ability to act with discretion when it comes to disseminating information from your corporate offices. An effective communicator will be able to separate information that is necessary teams performance as well as unnecessary. Oversharing can lead to confusion, under sharing will lead to a lack of motivation from the sales team.
Your manager should also be constantly relaying information to you based on the multiple customer interactions they encounter on any given day. Your manager and sales team will be your brands biggest ambassadors, make sure that you can provide your manager the necessary tools to circulate information.
2) Leadership Ability
“People who feel good about themselves produce good results.”
— Kenneth H. Blanchard, The One Minute Manager
A good manager will never ask a coworker to perform a task that they would never do/help accomplish. If employees understand that their manager views no task is beneath them, they won't perceive the manager as trying to push off their unwanted work. Potential candidates should never feel as if they are better than the rest of their sales team.
A manager is a team player and understands that not all designated retail duties will be glamorous – regardless, that manager understands how to create a positive culture of accountability and hard work.
3) Sales Ability
Great salespeople take their buyers on a journey through time – from before they even knew they needed your product to when they’re a happy loyal customer. An effective salesman should know that every customer that walks through their store is an opportunity to gather information about the brand.
Your manager should always engage customers with an open-ended question - the types of questions that begin with who, what, when, why or how. Your manager should know how to pull the following questions out of an interaction with a customer:
“When was the last time you bought something with us? Or a shopped with a brand similar to ours?” ( If it’s a new customer)
“Did you have a good or bad experience in our store? Why?”
In 1-2 words, what did our store/pop-up make you feel when you walked through its doors?
How did you hear about our brand?
Were our sales associates helpful in giving you all the information you needed with yo
“What were the factors that led you to come to our store?”
Every person that walks into your store offers an opportunity to gather insights into your brand’s pain points as well as potential opportunities you might have missed when setting up your pop-up.
While there are numerous other things to evaluate in potential candidates, a manager that possess excellent, communication, leadership, and sales skills will give your pop-up/retail the best chance at success.