The Yearly Review

Once every year, one of your managers will sit down with you and let you know how well you are performing and how you fit in with everyone else. They may even give you a numeric score.

Recently, I had my yearly review and I must say, it gave me a deeper insight into what I need to do to get a promotion. The numeric score they gave me is on a one to five scale. If you are a three, you are average. In other words, if you are doing exactly what you were told to do, you get a three. Anything below a three is not good. This means that you are not a good fit within the company. On the other hand, if your manager scored you a four, this means that you're above average. There are two things that your managers look at in particular. The first is how and how well you make decisions. The second is how well you can sell.

Show Your Managers that You Are a Sales Leader

Retail is all about sales. If you are a cashier, you probably know this. Not only do you need to check out your customers, you also need to ask every customer if they want to:

  • Get a store discount card - they get points for every item they buy or they get their goods at a club price.
  • Apply for the store credit card
  • Donate to a charity
  • Get a service plan for one of the items they purchased
Why You Should Care

As an average associate, you probably don't care whether your customer gets one of these as they check out. You probably don't even care if you get promoted, lets say if the job is only temporary or a little money on the side.

Regardless of how much you care for your particular job, you should always look at it as a learning experience. Learn how to sell the items in the above list, and you will be able to sell anything. Sales skills are transferable to any other career.

Why Your Managers Care

Sales skills are the second most aspect to promotion. Your manager will want to give you more money if you get more money for the company.

Some Tips on Sales

Do you have trouble asking each customer about every one of the above items? Just keep in mind that every customer is a new opportunity to tweak your presentation, to learn what works and what doesn't work.

After some time of asking every customer all the questions, some customers may respond harshly or they are in a hurry to leave. Remember, even if you ask every customer five different sales questions, each customer is only asked five questions. They don't get tired of you asking. Everyone is different.

Why the Store Want a Customer's Email

Gaining an extra email for the company allows the company to contact the customer directly. They may send them weekly flyers or personalized deals based on what they usually buy. If they don't get an email, the last chance the store has to make a sale is at checkout. The customer walks out the door and the relationship comes to an end.

Permission marketing is the name of this game. This type of marketing is more powerful than advertisements alone. The guy who came up with this idea, Seth Godin in his book Permission Marketing, describes this type of marketing as dating your customer. At first your customer gets to know you, and after some time you make a sale.

Now your company may not follow his idea to the letter, but overall it is trying to start a long-term dialog which will result in a sale (or payments over time). Try to use this idea to your advantage. 

Ask every customer each question until you can sell anybody anything. Work on your sales skills every day to get rated four out of five. Not only will you help the company you work for, you will also help yourself.