Skip to main content Navigation

Sales Strategy

Collaboration Is Essential! |  June 10, 2015 (0 comments)


Austin, TX—Today’s sales professionals exist in an increasingly complex and ever-shifting place of change. As a result sales professionals need to rely more than ever on the intelligence and resourcefulness of each other. Collaboration is not a “nice to have” store philosophy. It is an essential ingredient for retail store survival and success.

And it’s not just retail store profits that suffer when collaboration is low: the sales team loses something too. Individuals lose the opportunity to work in the kind of inclusive environment that energizes teams, releases creativity and makes working together both productive and joyful.

Here are five tips for building collaboration in your jewelry store:

1. Silos Kill! I am a girl brought up in Iowa. Silos are part of life in Iowa. Silos are good if you know how to work around them, but they can also be very, very dangerous. Silo mentality in a jewelry store is a mindset present when stores allow sales pros to not share information with others in the same store. This type of mentality will reduce efficiency in the overall operation, reduce morale, and may contribute to the demise of a productive store culture. Silo is a business term that has been passed around and discussed in many boardrooms over the last 30 years. Unlike many other trendy management terms this is one issue that has not disappeared. Silos are seen as a growing pain for stores of all sizes. Wherever it’s found, a silo mentality becomes synonymous with power struggles, lack of cooperation, and loss of productivity.

2. Human Element. Collaboration is, first and foremost, a change in attitude and behavior of people throughout an organization. Successful collaboration is a human issue. You need to make sure the management supports this and that all your sales pros understand it. It might take awhile and it might mean watching how your team interacts and actually coaching them into a place of collaboration.

3. Team sport.  If the future vision belongs only to owners and managers, it will never be an effective motivator for the sales team. The power of a vision comes truly into play only when the employees themselves have had some part in its creation. Put everyone together in a room and talk about this together.

4. Develop relationships. The outcome of any collaborative effort is dependent upon well-developed personal relationships among participants. Not allowing time for this can be a costly mistake. You’ll get better results if you give your sales team time (upfront) to get to know one another, to discover each other’s strengths and weaknesses, to build personal ties, and to develop a common understanding.

5. Enforce the Good. When you see the collaboration happen don’t forget to acknowlegde it. Make sure you are also collaborating with your managers and staff. It’s always a trickle down effect. What behaviors you want will ultimately need to come from you first. That’s just how it rolls.

After over 30 years in the jewelry industry I have worked with the big corporate companies and the small mom and pops, no matter what the size and what the business when a store was in sink and really jelled was when there was collaboration. The same goes for all the different teams I’ve been on in my life…swim teams, softball, sailing, basketball, cycling, non-profit boards, sales teams...hell even when I would detassel corn we had teams. I’ve been on good teams and bad teams but the best teams and the winning teams all had this collaboration that jelled. We left our egos at the door and got the job done. We had a team vision not an indivdual vision.

Add some collaboration in your stores and see what happens.

Pat Henneberry, founder of The Jewelry Coach, is vice president of global learning for Hearts On Fire. With more than 30 years’ experience, Henneberry is one of the diamond world’s top trainers, having helped build multiple brands for the jewelry industry. She spent 10 years with DeBeers’ Diamond Promotion Service, where she helped launched new brands, worked on national ad campaigns like "A Diamond is Forever,” and helped retail jewelers build their diamond business. While there, she was the proud recipient of the Diamond Symphony Award by Diamond Promotion Service and DeBeers. Later, she was part of the Hearts On Fire international training team, where she traveled the world teaching retail jewelers how to sell diamonds and grow their business. Her firm The Jewelry Coach is about building positive principals for self-improvement and personal jewelry sales development, and offers an online 24/7 sales training community. 

Share This:

Leave a Comment:

Human Check