The recession is looking more like a depression and you’re stressing out because your sales are down.
You’re desperately thinking of ways to bring in more business.
This isn’t your fault is it? There’s nothing you can do about your falling sales, is there?
This letter appeared in today’s Austin American-Statesman.
I recently went to three department stores at
in a vain attempt to find a certain item. I was unable to obtain assistance at any of these stores. Capitol Plaza
At one large chain store, I could not find any employees on the floor. At another, I saw three sales clerks, but they were all huddled up front discussing, I am sure, a very important matter. I asked a security guard for assistance.
At the third store, apparently independent and locally owned, the store opened five minutes late. A gentleman who seemed to be a manager informed me that an employee was late and they were doing me a favor by letting me in.
I was very surprised to receive such treatment with the economy in such bad shape and stores going out of business every day. So much for shopping locally. I am going back to shopping online.
Several weeks ago my CEO conducted a virtual town meeting with our employees. He acknowledged the difficult times we are in but he told us there were also some hopeful signs. Feedback from the meeting was positive and it helped morale. It’s “all hands on deck” to ensure we weather this crisis.
If I was the owner of one of these businesses above, I would call my own town hall meeting. I’d be very transparent with my employees and I would challenge them to do everything they could to increase sales and cut costs. I’d make it darn clear that standing around talking to each other while customers wander the store is unacceptable behavior.
I would also try my best to ensure all customers received the assistance they needed by focusing on staffing the sales floor.
Have you talked with your staff? Do they have a clear understanding about the roles they can play in making sure their employer survives and even thrives during these tough times?
“We must hang together, gentlemen…else, we shall most assuredly hang separately.”
—Benjamin Franklin, speaking during the American Revolution.