We have all been managing disruptive lives since COVID-19 came into the world. The data supports what everyone feels: the Consumer Confidence Index recorded an astounding drop of 31.9 points in April. Do you have a plan in place for your (potentially full-time) virtual salesforce? Are your current salespeople equipped with the skills to adapt to a post-COVID-19 world?
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If you are already on the path to becoming a retail manager or are simply considering it, here are some important and interesting things to consider before embarking upon a retail management career.
1. You Must Have The Right Personality<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3NjQxNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNTgwMzc3MX0.7aCF0Oc1U3OOWQ6IXgKEWp0860fV-_3p5RFkE-bjOlA/img.jpg?width=980" id="47782" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="ec47d90e64dfbb06111a12e113665790" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Retail manager talks with a retail worker on the job" /><p>Compare your traits to those commonly found in successful retail managers.</p><ul><li>Results-oriented</li><li>Ability to motivate, train, and develop others</li><li>Strong customer service skills</li><li>Natural leader</li><li>Patient</li><li>Cheerful</li><li>Good communicator</li><li>Professional</li><li>Good listener</li><li>Strong negotiator</li></ul>
2. Retail Management Is More Than Just Sales<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3NjQ2My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMzQ4NjY0M30.kLXdqTKPg_J7kFimtEtfPqa_aUur99ZUO9mTNl3t5u8/img.jpg?width=980" id="35082" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0beb7438a38406fc29d7d6c3fa485eeb" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Two retail managers working at a clothing store" /><p>Retail managers oversee everything that makes a store work, from behind the scenes functions (such as buying, inventory, and merchandising) to the sales floor (such as sales and customer service). Some common tasks you can expect to perform during your retail management career include:</p><ul><li>Hiring, managing, and motivating a team to increase sales</li><li>Overseeing vendors and the buying process</li><li>Managing inventory</li><li>Creating and maintaining store displays</li><li>Developing and executing sales and promotions</li><li>Analyzing market trends and researching competitors</li><li>Monitoring sales figures and forecasting future sales volumes, and meeting sales quotas</li><li>Dealing with questions, complaints, and comments from customers</li><li>Monitoring budgets, controlling expenses, and maximizing profits</li></ul>
3. Experience Drives Growth<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3NzQ1OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNzQ3NDIwM30.5VlSSdt5wuvardg_TXC1-v9NzWI1TeZn4agNrSKEJ1k/img.jpg?width=980" id="bb9c4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6cdfd7f4a43493be6b17881c0a118723" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman working an entry-level retail job" /><p>One of the most important factors in getting a job in retail is experience. So, prepare to start in an <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/entry-level-job-search-mistakes" target="_blank">entry-level job</a> and take the time to learn every aspect of retail while you work your way up to your desired position. </p>
4. You Don't Need To Have A College Degree<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3NjQyMC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MzU2MjMyNX0.M70rx0yIiETZB3GvKsbrRjECIviGmhjx_-uTklkjbow/img.jpg?width=980" id="0a19f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6cd6b6b23b56e99da1c1533d21b0ebca" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Retail manager of a grocery store" /><p>Many retail managers worked their way up to the position from the sales floor, but it's easier to land the job if you do have a degree. Most have a bachelor's in business administration and some even have an MBA.</p><p>For those without a degree, internal training and development programs will help to propel you forward.</p>
5. There Are Many Specialties In Retail Management<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3NzQ2Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNzI2MDU4MH0.BIkhuTFuLqypjGQ_LQnwmLRlnyiV-hrV7GW8wSaU1dM/img.jpg?width=980" id="9e422" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="64a17d778257931a59e2e21480d10e03" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Man working in retail management hands a woman her bag" /><p>As you move up in your career, you may have the opportunity to specialize in an area that interests you, including:</p><ul><li>Buying</li><li>Pricing</li><li>Merchandising</li><li>Marketing</li><li>Personnel</li><li>Customer service</li><li>Training</li><li>Operations</li></ul>
6. Moving Up Often Requires A Physical Move<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3NjQ3NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMzYwMzI1N30.mYV3DD2irsJe667Z4cYxBDAMscGDZdOmomdAvMEkNIg/img.jpg?width=980" id="cb1ed" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f34fde77e5aebf311cf6fbad8b52d821" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Retail manager holds an item from his grocery store" /><p>As you grow in your career, you are typically promoted by moving to larger stores in larger markets, or to area or regional management. Due to the nature of retail, these positions are rarely in the same city.</p>
7. It's A Numbers Game<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3NjQ0OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NjMzNTAwMX0.nRIw8lOlEIFVgSR5z7HogVPi7EsR3YmkXVzGbt1Uxjw/img.jpg?width=980" id="70f8b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="8e66b5607d2250dc07ca6b24f7dbecb6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Two retail managers worried about paying the bills" /><p>Success in retail is measured purely by sales and profit. Your job will be to improve commercial performance by meeting customer demand, increasing product turnover, and maximizing profitability. Although there are other considerations, compensation is highly dependent on these types of measures.</p>
8. Customer Service Is Paramount<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3NjQxOC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyOTE5ODgyMX0.KFPVKOowNidem6k8U_TWRrhJT3E8D1VxPuK-gOnic-Q/img.jpg?width=980" id="db6c1" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b117498505a907f8fa59322641ba24ce" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Retail manager uses her customer service skills at work" /><p>As the saying goes, "the customer is always right." Knowing that sentiment, retail managers are often presented with the most challenging situations and must exercise the utmost care when dealing with customers.</p><p>In today's "<a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/social-media-in-hiring-process" target="_blank">social media</a>" driven society, mistreating a customer is the fastest way to destroy what was once a good reputation. </p>
9. It's Not A 9 to 5 Job<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3NjQ5OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMjE1NTQwMH0.Yr-UBl1qGlX2stnEwVnOB5513vyRO47GBCFUCEjqM3Q/img.jpg?width=980" id="62bb4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0504790e3fb24aae84bfa0f119c24884" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Man pursuing a career in retail management" /><p>Stores are meant to serve the public, a public that often works from nine to five and thus have to shop in the evenings or weekends. Therefore, retail managers are often required to <a href="http://www.workitdaily.com/happy-at-work-long-hours/" target="_self">work non-traditional hours</a> to maximize their effectiveness.<br></p>
10. Don't Burn Bridges<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzI3NzQ3MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMzM0Njg4MX0.gVM0EWpydUlJE4czxptszzfWkmODAWzjwi0T7SEd5pM/img.jpg?width=980" id="333f4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1ef3a6483884b6b920adcab6ce26823e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman pursuing a career in retail management" /><p>Especially when in the same local or regional market, retail is a small world. Everyone knows each other and the bridge you burned yesterday at one company may be the one you have to cross before you can get your next job.<br></p>
I have been working for the past 15 years with channel partners all over the globe and I am just loving it as the industry keeps changing and the challenges as well. Working with channel partners offers a wide range of opportunities to grow and improve your hard and soft skills.
1. Business Acumen<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjgwMjU3MS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5ODYwOTUyMX0.Ix6BKWts3m1bDZs0oAlS7cXYPTa7reUaGplXJWf4keg/img.jpg?width=980" id="b7e90" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="58d2f743685b3a4879dab993a14c992f" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Professional man in channel sales presents to his partners" /><p>In a partnership, both parties are there to do business and come to a winning agreement. With channel partners, you need to have a quick and strong ability to understand different business models and be able to create, implement, and execute business strategies which should end up with a unique value proposition to generate profitability, cash flow, and shareholder value.</p><p><strong>Are you a <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/10-ways-become-better-leader" target="_blank">good listener</a>?</strong> If so, this should definitely help you ask the right questions to your channel partner and have a quick understanding of his or her business strategy, market, and customers, and come up with an impactful proposal.<br></p>
2. Relationship Building<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjgwMjU4Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5ODY4OTIwNH0.9izsEvjRCghTZc0CN_3krkO5iStjYN7IalU6m8piaeI/img.jpg?width=980" id="c8272" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f7928104ee0a3c2ba413485745720259" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Channel sales partners build a good relationship with one another" /><p>Every single channel partnership is mainly built on relationships and trust. This relationship begins when you have your first contact with your channel partner and lasts for a long time. Sometimes it can last even after you leave the company.</p><p>I still have great relationships with some of the partners I have worked with more than 10 years ago. You need to be a people person and be able create this <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/how-to-connect-with-coworkers" target="_blank">social connection</a> when you meet people for the first time because this will end up being the basis to influence, close deals, keep a good reputation, and sustain commercial relationships.</p><p><strong>This skill should also help you implement mutual beneficial communication and workflow between both parties.</strong> Relationship-building skills enable channel executives to accomplish tasks easier and make better-informed decisions.</p>
3. Adaptability<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjgwMjU5My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDkzNDM2Nn0.qjwpS_-2BCZg3v5fsCV1icrXmM1kd3oTGHoENSLTB3I/img.jpg?width=980" id="91380" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="7ce2a01ed08c82fca2fdc4386935222e" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Group of people in channel sales" /><p>I've had numerous discussions with channel leaders and there was always one point that we could all agree on: <strong>Being a channel leader feels like being a constant tightrope walker.</strong></p><p>Indeed, the situation with your partners can change drastically from one day to another. Even from one hour to the next.</p><p>With these situations, you need a high level of adaptability. You have to be ready to address any unexpected issues, and be proactive. Get creative and be ready to come up with <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/benefits-of-hiring-creative-employees" target="_blank">innovative ideas</a>. Sometimes you just have to think outside the box.</p><p>I had to adopt that kind of approach on specific delicate situations and I had to come up with new business models or new ways of doing business.<br></p>
4. Time Management<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjgwMjY0Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzA4NDY5Mn0.app7Y5RxNg3js6eII_rFwksorhmVcmtza9QYHUjOvPM/img.jpg?width=980" id="8a0ff" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="5d3ac8898cccfe13f46766d1095617ce" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Woman in channel sales with good time management" /><p>Organization becomes a golden skill when working with channel partners. We all have endless to-do lists, but the strength here is to be able to prioritize, delegate, create strategic planning, and be a star at how you address problem solving.</p><p><strong>You will get plenty of requests coming from your channel partners network but also from internal teams, and at some point you will need to set priorities that are aligned with your goals but also support your partners' goals as well.</strong></p><p>Delegating can be challenging at times as well as <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/managing-stress-at-work" target="_blank">managing stress</a>. With partners, you won't be able to give the necessary support by yourself. All the technical and marketing support needed to optimize partners' enablement can be done in collaboration with the marketing and technical teams.<br></p>
5. Commitment<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjgwMjY4OC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxMjU0OTY0Nn0.NeVBSfv40zA46pyYExrhMu-_DkqO5adIRzT_nc4Tu44/img.jpg?width=980" id="d6cf9" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="da837472f94d78e48d002e606834b65a" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Channel sales partners discuss goals at a meeting together" /><p>I already mentioned the importance of implementing a trusting relationship with your partner. Commitment goes further than that. <strong>Through your level of commitment, you gain trust.</strong> At the same time, your high level of commitment will motivate your partners to spend time selling your solutions/products.</p><p><span></span>A channel partner role isn't exactly a 9-5 position every single day. You will have to keep a high level of energy, positivity, and a <a href="https://www.workitdaily.com/keys-to-career-success" target="_blank">goal-oriented</a> attitude.</p>
If your main stumbling block to starting your own business is you don’t think you’re good at sales, take heart. Not all businesses require their owners be sales pros. For one thing, you can attract business with advertising and marketing, and plenty of businesses are designed to bring customers to them. If you offer a valuable commodity in the marketplace, you can help your customers find you. Related: Ready For A Career Switch? Consider A Franchise Just consider the types of businesses you typically seek out: the chain restaurant a mile down the road that all your friends are raving about or the store you’ve heard positive things about, thanks to an advertising campaign. Plenty of examples also exist in service businesses, from print shops to package mailing sites. Many of these businesses are franchises — which have the added advantage of coming with a full toolkit on how to run the business. So not only do you NOT need to be a great salesperson, you also don’t have to start your business from scratch. A huge variety of very successful franchise businesses that don’t require sales expertise are available — and they come with a whole cadre of experts to help you learn the business and support you along the way. You’ll find more great options in the following categories: