How I found the right people and kept them

Sharon was a member of our FIT Group. This was a group of 12 jewelers who were accountable to each other and twice a year would gather at each other’s store to share everything from marketing to financials and everything else under the sun. Sharon called me one day and said “I want you to come to my store and teach me to do what you did. You just seem to have all the right people and they stay with you. I want that for my store.” So I went. This is what I taught her in a nutshell.

First we had to start with Sharon on the inside. I knew her for a short time and after a conversation, I was sure she loved to have fun and get things done. I was aware of her strengths and what made her tick. So the story of Sharon’s life is let’s have fun and let’s just do. Now that we understood Sharon , we knew what she wanted for the store, and that was; When you walk into my store you’re going to enjoy yourself and you are going to get it done.

Next we had conversations with everyone on staff. We learned tons about each other. Sheri was a get-along, detailed person. Mark the goldsmith was a highly detailed achiever. Kaycee was always smiling, laughing, big eyes and approachable and Tina was all calm, laid back and efficient. Now that we had everyone’s story, we could share it with each other and freely discuss strengths. For example, everyone disrespected Kaycee because she would always drop the ball on customer follow-up and everyone else would get caught in the crossfire. But the weird thing about Kaycee was that she is the top salesperson. If she stands in front of you at the counter, you are buying… period! And customers just love her for it. So when we discovered that her tendency is FUN, we could now work on ways to support her with her strengths and to have Sheri team up with her to support her with the details. What a team they make!

Then there was Mark the goldsmith. He is highly detailed and focused. He enjoys being appreciated by customers. Everything he touches ends up looking perfect. He is meticulous with everything and has an amazing attention to detail. So when one of the gals came in to have a quick jump ring soldered on Mrs. Best Customer’s charm bracelet, he would insist on the standard take-in process and promise date, because he could not take his focus off the job he was currently working on.

We had a store meeting and talked about what was great about each person on the team and then we began to learn how to talk to each other. For example, Kaycee was not built for detail. Her world revolves around fun, so much that if it’s not fun, she shuts down. That is what is great about Kaycee, she has this knack for lifting the spirits in the store when it’s slow. So now when talking with her, we knew that if we needed her to get a detailed project done such as custom, we would discuss how happy Margaret will be when Tom gives her this re-styled mother’s ring. And when talking with Mark about needing to drop what he was doing to take care of a great customer, we would use words like, “Mark, Mrs. Jacobson is here and you know she won’t let anyone but you touch her jewelry. She would love this ring sized up for her anniversary dinner tomorrow night. Can she count on you?”

So now Sharon had a team that is aware and understands each other. This built a phenomenal store atmosphere and respect among her team. Now her sales goals and pay plan are all melded together and she can truly enjoy her business. Also, because everyone knows each other’s strengths, Sharon no longer needs to light a fire under her staff. She began to light a fire within them and now they had the fire within themselves. In the long run, people began tp clamor at the door to work for Sharon and she has reduced turnover, except for the occasional retirement. Now Sharon can work ON her business instead of trying to babysit her staff to do what she was trying so hard to accomplish, grow the store.

Once you determine what makes you tick, you can then set the stage you desire for your store. This will also tell you where you need to hire. For example, Sharon enjoyed people and achieving sales and she was terrible at financials. So she hired a great bookkeeper who was also great at the details of inventory and other very work that neither Sharon nor her staff were interested in doing. It also helps your staff get in the right position. For example, Sheri was a person who enjoyed getting along and paying attention to details and she wasn’t as outgoing with customers as Kaycee, but she was awesome at the details. If you wanted a custom job, Sheri was your gal because she would listen to the customer intently and grab every speck of detail from them to have Mark create precisely what they wanted. Mark loved this about her. So Sheri just knew that she had team up with Sharon or Kaycee to engage the customer. As soon as the ice was broken Sheri was on her own. The result of this process was team work. They worked so well together to overcome each other’s areas of need. Also, when the need to hire more staff came (and it always will when this all a starts to pop), Sharon could determine what she needed to fill and plug in the right person for that position. By the way, there is a way to become aware and understand your staff quickly. And the same method works to get to know and understand a new hire candidate quickly. I’ll tell you more next time.

Now of course if you’re thinking this requires more work, it doesn’t. These strengths can all be discovered during daily conversation. Once you have engaged in these conversations, everything changes. It is easy, informative and fun! And guess what? Your customers will notice big time and sales will rise.

The funny thing was…. we found the right staff right inside her store!

Learn how do do this perfectly at the Platinum Jeweler’s Academy. You and your staff will be VERY glad you did!

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