Retail Commercial Coaching

Retail Commercial Coaching

How commercial is your coaching?

Lots of companies say they have a coaching culture and skill set. Often this is true, however equally often not. When we ask what models they use, none are offered. If there isn’t a model then your coaching is not good enough to move numbers.


The retail world is changing in the way people shop. The choices they have and the way they expect to be treated is more focused on being consulted, not told.

The trends we see are highly variable from those who are exceeding their targets to those who are down on last year.

There is a noticeable trend that indicates lower consumer confidence, there are peaks and troughs in sales, but the troughs are lower than the peaks; this is a typical trend when there is a lower “propensity to consume”.

This means that those who visit your store are more in the market for something but equally they are more likely to:

  • already have done some research
  • have quality, function and price comparisons to hand

So what? – the savvy shopper needs a savvy sales person, who in turn needs a savvy coach etc…

When coaching doesn’t work

There are a number of coaching models e.g. GROW, and most have 4 steps

  1. The opportunity
  2. The plan
  3. Implementation standards
  4. Review and learn (accountability)

Key actions

  1. Set a target
  2. List the actions that directly move the number
  3. Inspect what you expect and develop learning conversations
  4. Review, always review – did you do what you said?……..did it work?


A key question for any coach is – are the actions agreed good enough to move the number (achieve the target)?

Coaching has 3 stages to deliver change

  1. Coaching the number – identifying the commercial opportunity, setting targets and creating the plan
  2. Coaching behaviour – practicing techniques and how to form new habits
  3. Coaching the person/teams – review, learn and renew

Accountability for actions before outcomes.

A manager tell their people what to do, a coach identifies an opportunity and asks how it can be achieved.

The reason most implementation fails is the level of change is not enough, we keep doing the same old, and keep getting the same results.

Benefits of commercial coaching

Coaching should bring many benefits, both intrinsic and extrinsic:

  • Individuals and teams have more of a say about how they do their job
  • Having a defined system gives direction, focus and techniques that will actually move numbers
  • Through the feedback model, managers are more in tune with what is working and what is not
  • The focus is on performance and helping people, therefore reducing irrelevant conversations
  • Workload is more evenly distributed
  • Collective thinking is more productive than passive, following instruction
  • Co-creation of plans spawns creativity, energy and momentum

Most importantly it moves numbers.

In our experience working with many varied clients, the gain is worth 10% to 30% in like for like sales (food 2% – 3%) and delivers an average 7 times return on investment, meaning investing in a proven coaching programme is worth it!

Everyone is a coach at their level:

To see how we can help you with your people performance, call Scott on 01344 849397 or email

Next Article: How to Convert More Customers In A World Of Savvy Shoppers