What makes a great sales associate?

Today’s RetailWire discussion focused on “ten essential attributes” of a great front-line store associate. They include empathy, friendliness, respect, flexibility, confidence and more. I see the skill set needed in store as a little more nuanced:

If you can find a sales associate with all ten of the qualities discussed, she or he probably ought to be promoted to management! Yes, sales associates ought to have basic “people skills” but at least some of the employee mix needs to include people who are task-oriented, detail-oriented or visually-oriented…these may not be the same people who are on the front lines connecting with customers. So it requires a careful skills assessment on the part of management in order to fit the right type of personality with the right job. It’s a particular challenge for small specialty retailers where the employees are likely to fill multiple roles.

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