“There is only one way under heaven to get anybody to do anything.

And that is by making the other person want to do it.

Remember, there is no other way.”

Abraham Lincoln 

I was a manager of a large bridal store for six years and I know how important it is to motivate your team. It is a never-ending process and it takes up a large part of your time as a manager. Not only is it your job to keep everybody happy, but you also have to make sure that they have everything they need to be successful. Here are 8 ways that will help you motivate your team of bridal consultants.

Give compliments to those consultants who are doing a great job

A  study by Bersin and Associates revealed that companies that provide ample employee recognition have 31% lower voluntary turnover rates than companies that don’t—a good sign that those employees are happier.(via Forbes.com) This would be reason enough to recognize your team for great work, right? Very often appreciation is a greater reward than money.

Some managers have the crazy idea that complimenting their team might make them either ask for a pay rise, or somehow feel that if they complement they are giving away some of their power. One day a bridal store owner told me “never give your team too much credit, they might start thinking that they are the reason for your success.” I couldn’t believe the stupidity of this statement. Somehow he made himself believe that he was the reason for the store’s success rather than acknowledging that there would be no store without the success of his sales team. Make sure that you acknowledge accomplishments. Be aware of over complimenting though. When you compliment a member of your team for reaching her targets then sit her down and make a heartfelt compliment. Don’t acknowledge her good work after every sale she’s done, because the impact and the sincerity of your gratefulness will then faint.

Make sure that you communicate a clear vision

Share your future plans and create a clear vision on how to accomplish that plan. When you are working towards a goal together, you’ll create a great team spirit that is hard not to be contagious. Enthusiasm generates more enthusiasm.

Challenge your team members

Setting goals, motivating and supporting your team to reach their goals is your number one priority. Make sure that the goals are challenging but reachable at the same time.

Create healthy competition

Stimulating some competition between your team by making their results public for them all to see or by having a “Consultant of the Month” award is a great way of stimulating some healthy competition. Do it in an easy and enjoyable way and everybody will have fun with it.

Listen to your team

When your consultants are getting a lot of requests for mermaid dresses or they feel there aren’t enough plus size dresses in the store, provide them with the materials they need to succeed. They are the people in contact with the brides, they know what goes on in their minds and what the trends are, so use their knowledge. Consultants that feel that they contribute to the success of your store will feel a bigger sense of ownership and will want to do even better.

Let them take some of the responsibility

Give the team opportunity to make certain decisions without having to ask for permission. If a pair of free bridal shoes will seal the deal, let them be able to make this decision without having to consult you. Give your consultants the freedom to find their own unique ways of solving issues. If clear guidelines are set, then this will only increase the confidence of your team.

Empower the individual members of your team

Make sure that your consultants know that you have confidence in their abilities. Sometimes a little personal encouragement will go a long way.

Create a great working environment

Most people spend more than thirty hours per week at work. Why would you want to waste this much time unless it was a great place to be? Make sure that you create a friendly and inspiring work environment. Celebrate your successes by organizing a nice dinner or night out together. If possible create a place where your consultant can come together at the beginning or at the end of the day. Cover it with pictures and messages of happy brides that bought a dress at your store. Remind them what being a consultant is all about: making bride’s dream come true!

In general you have to create a culture for your store that motivates your sales team. Strong belief in your company, your team and in yourself, plus a tad of pride and passion for this job and industry will create a healthy and successful business. No other way about it! At the end of the day you all depend on each other.

Are you interested in reading more about motivating and training a great sales team for your bridal store? Buy the E-book Selling in Bridal here.