Shining Light on the Industry
Robinette: On installation services, we added a soundbar installation charge. The biggest thing that helped us with improving the accessory and audio sales is that we monitor and hold everybody accountable for their percentage amount of sales. And we go over this every week with the managers. It’s something we never did till this last year, so I think that’s probably the most important initiative: holding people accountable for numbers, and showing them a goal and a stretch goal.
We just make sure we keep track of what people are doing. By doing that, people can see where they are, and know where everybody else is. And if they need improvement, you can see a measurement there as to who needs it and who’s doing well. That’s why we’re probably about three times better than last year in audio and accessory sales. And we’ve also increased our commissions on these products, and considerably on audio, because there’s just not a lot of margin in TV.
Oates: We’ve tried to educate our staff to be the absolute best at delivering our value proposition. We’ve invested a significant amount in training, as has some of our vendor community, by bringing in good training to us so we can train our people in product knowledge, sales skills, and in how to deal with a customer in the changing demographics of our respective marketplaces. There are a lot of single-parent households today, and a lot where the female is the head of household. You have to learn how to deal with that; it’s not a male-dominated society anymore. But it’s incumbent upon the retailer to insist that vendors help. In many cases, all vendors want to do is come in and take an order, so you have to insist on it. And there’s value, ultimately, in what that training will bring to you.