Working as an SFS Freelance Retail Merchandiser is a great opportunity. It offers far more flexibility than traditional 9 to 5 jobs. It also provides you with the freedom that comes with being your own boss. And of course, the high earning potential is another plus.
Still, that doesn’t mean every day is a cakewalk. Like every other job, merchandising brings a unique set of challenges and hurdles that can make you feel insecure. Today we’re going to take a look at some of the most frequent pain points in the life of a Freelance Retail Merchandiser, and offer some tips for how to successfully manage them. Think of this blog as a pep talk filled with problem solving tips, and positive motivation.
How to Overcome the Challenge of an Uncooperative Store Manager?
Believe us when we say we hear it all the time: an uncooperative store manager makes things difficult for merchandisers. It seems like there’s never a “good time” for you to schedule a store visit. This is one of the most common and frustrating challenges for a merchandiser—it’s practically part of the job description. And though there is no magic solution for dealing with all store managers, there are a few things you can do to make life significantly easier for everyone involved.
Our advice: reframe your thinking. It’s not personal. In fact, they want you there. It’s just that they have a lot on their plate, and in all likelihood, under a fair amount of stress. Many times, it’s simply a matter of coordinating your visit with the store manager, to ensure you’re visiting at the most convenient time for them.
As a best practice, find out when their truck day is, and avoid scheduling visits on that day. If by some chance there’s nothing you can do, and you need to make your visit on the same day as their delivery truck, call ahead to give the store manager a heads up. Once they realize that you’re flexible and willing to accommodate, chances are good you won’t have any problems.
How Should You Handle Customer Questions?
Here’s another issue many of our Freelance Retail Merchandisers are confronted with fairly often: customers coming up to you on the sales floor with questions about store product, or where something is located. This certainly can be frustrating, particularly when you’re “in the zone” and working efficiently. The last thing you want is to be interrupted. But it happens quite often, and is something you’ll need to learn how to navigate.
Again, the best way to handle this is to reframe your thinking. Remember: it’s not the customer’s responsibility to memorize who is and isn’t a store employee. The one thing you should never do—under any circumstances—is tell the customer “I don’t work here.” Keep in mind that though you are not a store employee, you are working as an extension of their store staff. Think of it like being a guest in someone else’s house.
Always be polite, and do your best to answer the question. If you don’t have the answer, take them to an actual store employee who will be able to assist.
Take Advantage of Your SFS App
If you need information, don’t forget to check your most trusted resource: the SFS App. Our eKnowledge System puts a lifetime of merchandising knowledge, wisdom and strategies at your fingertips. Becoming familiar with it should be a part of your goal setting. Make sure you read it over closely, because when you’re in the field during work hours, it can mean the difference between failure and success.
If you have any other specific questions or issues, be sure to bring them up with the Zone Lead. They can help you solve virtually any Merchandising problem.
We Chose You for a Reason
Above all, remember this: it’s no accident that you’re working as an SFS Freelance Retail Merchandiser. We chose you for a reason. We saw something special in you—the ability to manage the challenges that come with various projects and retailers. Everybody, in every line of work has tough days. Don’t let them get the better of you. Remember who you are, and what you’re there to do, and everything will be fine.
Have any strategies for overcoming the unique challenges of Merchandising? Let us know!