By Becka Johnson Kibby, Edge Retail Academy
Omaha, NE–Meetings are a common practice in almost all businesses. That said, it is interesting that many retail jewelers do not hold them on a regular basis—or at all. Meetings are a powerful business weapon. Not only can they help you overcome any struggles individually or as a company, but to keep a team cohesive and working together fluently, they are essential!
Let’s take a look at the key elements of running effective team meetings so you can move into your busy season with some useful tips to help grow your business through meetings.
As you read this article, think of your business. Gain ideas as to how you can change the way you currently run your meetings, to create team meetings that everyone looks forward to.
Why Have a Team Meeting? A team meeting is all about engaging your team. It is important to talk about general business – where you are at (previous day, week, MTD, YTD) and where your targets are. Operational details (attention to detail!) are also imperative, as you want your business to run the smoothest and most efficient as possible. Training is essential, as everyone on your team (whether they are new or a long-standing employee) can learn and feel refreshed after training.
Engage Your Team. A little non-business at first is always nice, but make sure you keep that to a minimum and maximize the time you have with your team, to enrich them and energize them for the coming day, week and month ahead.
When you share information about your business, it makes everyone feel a part of the company and empowered to help make a difference. Motivate them! Inform them! Focus them! Team meetings are a great time to share victories. Praise the team members that deserve a “job well done”. Showing appreciation is important and makes others want to strive for greatness.
At times, a team building exercise or activity can be fun and can present unity within the team.
General Business. Sharing company results month to date and year to date, against your budget or plan let’s everyone know where you are…and where you are headed in the coming weeks and months. This can include anything from sales volume, to average sale, discounting, repairs, customers that walked (didn’t buy), etc.
Operational Details. Meetings are a good time to discuss as a team, any issues that have come up recently or frequently. It is also important to note, that this discussion should be focused on solutions and not excuses! Possibly hold a rule that staff members can only report a problem if they come with a possible solution or ideas for change.
Another area that can be missed with the full team is an update on any marketing that is taking place. Share all current and planned marketing so everyone on the team is informed and knows the initiatives and upcoming events.
Training. If you want your team to be at their best, then training is an essential part of each team meeting. This time of year, a training on “back to the basics” can be good to ensure everyone remembers the key elements of your sales process and concepts.
Some training ideas:
- Build out topics for a series to be presented, and built upon each week.
- Product – Ensure the entire team can speak about each and every collection your carry and know the history, how it is made, something fun about the designer, features and benefits of each, etc… Maybe even select one staff member each week to present a line/collection/brand.
- Show a sales training webinar and discuss it as a team.
- Role-play is mandatory. Period.
- Assign training topics to individual team members to present and facilitate. Each team member is strong in certain areas, so have them speak about the concepts they perform the best. This allows them each to research, prepare and be a part of enriching the team.
Guidelines for an Effective Team Meeting. Consistent meetings are important for growth. Have an agenda – always! (and circulate to the team before the meeting). Enlist a team leader for each meeting – and for each topic. Create a time-line for each topic to ensure you get through all you need to get through in your given meeting time. Start on time and don’t wait for tardy members. Ask for feedback every couple of months (how are the meetings going and what people would like to see changed?). Have a suggestion box for topics to discuss at upcoming meetings. Ensure each team member is responsible for reporting on some topic during the meeting (if possible and appropriate). Summarize important tasks to be accomplished. Document tasks that will be accomplished going forward, then ensure they are being accomplished (Assign person and give deadline). Remind everyone of the next meeting date and time.
But the most important…plan regular meetings and be prepared!
Becka Johnson Kibby’s 25+ years of experience in retail fine jewelry sales and training demonstrate her passion for jewelry and an understanding of today’s competitive marketplace. Her career path includes both training and management positions for Q Report, Robbins Brothers The Engagement Ring Store and Borsheims. Becka is a Graduate Gemologist (GIA), worked as an instructor with the Gemological Institute of America and is a past member on the Program Advisory Committee for GIA. She is also the VP of Chapter Affairs for the International Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA).
In addition, Becka has been an independent jewelry educator and consultant, offering specialized training in the areas of selling skills, jewelry product knowledge, communication, and retail management. She has conducted seminars and training programs for retail jewelers and various jewelry industry events and shows across the United States and Internationally. Becka is committed to using her expertise to help jewelers and sales associates build their selling skills and grow their business. Contact her at (714) 925-2456; firstname.lastname@example.org