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Getting and Keeping Attention: The Most Important Skill for Your Career

Here's a twist on an old head scratcher: If you do a great job in your stores, and nobody knows, does it even matter? I say the answer is no. Here's why...

Getting and Keeping Attention: The Most Important Skill for Your Career

In the same way that you're just one of hundreds of thousands of workers who field-merchandise stores, the products and sets you work on and with are just some of tens of thousands of products calling out to shoppers to absorb their share of very limited wallets.

And just like the products that get 'noticed' and therefore earn their trip past the checkout, you need to position skills 'for sale' to your employer and your store managers so that you can earn your trip past the promotion, opportunity, and pay increase milestones.

And it turns out that to procure either (more sales at the register for the products you touch, the manufacturer(s) you serve, and the retailers you serve) or (more opportunities for yourself, more responsibility in your current and better-paying jobs, and higher salaries) the key is: you need attention.

We're all aware that incremental space, endcaps, displays, stack-outs, clip-strips, cross-merchandised items, in aisle product knowledge training, and customer upsells are necessary for successful work in field sales and merchandising -- but what we don't often think about is what is the driving factor behind all of those activities: Attention.

So long as you're working within the 'rules' that are set forth by all of the people you serve, the more you can do to call attention to your products on the shelf, the more those products are going to sell. And part of how you call attention to those products is by doing an excellent job at all of the sales activities above -- in addition to blocking and tackling with fronting, facing, backfilling, cleaning, dusting, and keeping up with your tags, signs, voids, and out of stocks.

But going back to the thought at the top of the article is -- even if you're doing all of that perfectly, you might not get the credit for it. So that's why getting attention for your products isn't enough -- you have go make sure you get attention for yourself as well.

Do you make a habit of greeting store management with every visit? Building rapport with them, and attempting to befriend and/or find common interests? Are you using your mobile technology CRM features to the maximum to help you remember all of the details about all of the important people you interact with?

Do you let the stores' management know when you're about to leave, offer them the opportunity to inspect your excellent work, and make sure there's nothing else they need from you before you leave?

If you're not doing both of these things (getting attention for your products and yourself on purpose) you're cutting yourself and your company short. 

So go out there and get as much positive attention for your brands and yourself as possible, and then enjoy the fruits of increased job security and better opportunities for yourself and your family by just keeping this one word in your mind: Attention.

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Topics: merchandising skills sales career advice