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5 Step Warm-Up to Retail Training

By now we are all settling into the New Year and getting back to some kind of normal in our day-to-day lives, both at home and work.  Many of us have kicked off 2017 with a goal of getting back into fighting shape at the gym, or at minimum, committing to some kind of physical activity as part of our on-going, healthy lifestyle.  This is probably the #1 resolution that we see when the calendar year flips over.  We all want to perform better and to perform better, that means some kind of on-going training.  We accept that this is the only way to achieve our physical fitness goals, so why is it so difficult for us to apply this same kind of thinking to improving performance in our stores? 


With almost 30 years under our belts working with all kinds of retailers, I think we end up slotting retailers into a few different categories when it comes to training.  1. The ones that don’t believe in training, 2. The ones that know it’s the right thing to do, but don’t have the commitment necessary to roll out a sustainable training program or system and 3. The ones that just ‘get it’ and do a nice job of executing an on-going ‘retail fitness’ program or system across all their stores.  Which one are you?

If you can get behind the idea of staying fit, I know you can follow this same kind of thinking when it comes to training your sales teams to be the best that they can be.  If you are inspired by making 2017 the year you finally get faithful to seeing a training initiative through all the way, I have 5 easy steps to getting you started! 

Your Retail Training Warm-Up

1.       Take a Walk

Start your day off right every day.  Get out there and walk your store before you open the doors.  Walk it with your staff and endeavour to have fresh eyes every time.  This is a 5 minute exercise that will give you a chance to observe your actual store and share with your staff along the way.  Guaranteed you come away with a fresh idea to drive business each and every day! 

2.       Huddle Up

If you aren’t doing shift starter meetings with your team every time a shift changes, you need to start.  This little POW WOW session is no more than 2 to 5 minutes and it’s a chance to share ‘the lay of the land’ with the team before they get out on the floor and start working with customers.  Talk about new products, share goals, assign tasks, share a selling tip….the content for these quick morale-boosting mini meetings help to set the stage for the day and can directly impact sales performance just by the simple act of sharing information.

3.       Set Goals and Track Achievements

It’s not enough to set and track goals for yourself.  You have to share with your staff.  Create a little sales tracking board in the backroom.  Start posting goals and actuals every day.  Start posting helpful selling tips every day.  Fill this board with anything you think that will inspire your staff.  Fill this board with information your staff needs to be able to perform to the best of their ability.  Get your team used to checking out the board.  Host your shift starter meetings in front of this board and make it your central hub for all things selling!

4.       Build Some Muscle

And by build some muscle, I mean see to it that your staff learns something new every week.  When we develop muscle we know that it helps our bodies perform more optimally.  The muscle makes everything we do in a day just a little bit easier.  Same is true here.  Pick a selling skill that your staff needs to develop. Teach them the skill and then practise that very skill out on the floor until they master it…until it comes naturally to them.  Then, move on and build some more muscle!  Work on this every week, all year long because we all know what happens when you stop working out.  You lose your muscle, right?

5.       On the Spot Coaching

If you are a backroom kind of manager, it’s time to get out of the backroom and get out on the sales floor with your team.  You can’t coach and develop your staff from the locker room.  You have to be out there on the field with your team.  Simple as that. 

There you have it.  5 easy steps to getting some kind of regular training underway in your stores.  This is just a warm up though.  If you want to discuss a full workout for you and your team, give us a call or click here check out more about our training programs


Blog Authors: Mary & Kim

Mary GordonKim McCutcheon

Mary Gordon and Kim McCutcheon have been supporting retail front lines for as long as they can remember. A dynamic duo, Mary and Kim understand what it takes to make training work at store level and know how to inspire, coach and support retail teams in all of their training endeavours.

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