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Top 5 Excuses for Not Training Retail Staff

To train or not to train?  The answer to this question usually comes down to a core belief in a retail organization.  It’s a mentality or culture that we see when working so closely with retailers for so many years.  The organization either believes in growing and developing their teams, or the organization just doesn’t “get it”.

If you’re wondering which side of the fence you (or your organization) are on, I’ve listed the top 5 reasons not to train below…or, as a retail training company with proven,  award-winning training systems available to all retailers, we refer to these ‘reasons’ as excuses.

1.  No time

Retail at store level is extremely task heavy.  A ton of responsibilities and tasks are pushed down to the store teams.  This is not done to have them shoulder all the work, but simply because, that’s really where all the plans are executed…it’s where the magic of retail happens.   So, we commonly hear that there’s no time for training in the stores.

This is no different than saying you don’t have time to go to the gym or go for a run…or whatever you do to win the ‘stay in shape’ race.  Everyone knows that the minute you commit to fitting in some exercise, you realize that you did have time and wonder how you ever made it through your week without this kind of conditioning.  Same is true of retailers who commit to the regular conditioning of their sales teams.  There is time, if you’re committed, and the ones who make the commitment are better conditioned for the retail race than the ones who don’t.

2.  My team already knows how to sell

Great!  But, in keeping with my exercise analogy…I can easily say that I already know how to run, but does that keep me in shape to run every day?

Staff who understands the basics of how to sell are further ahead than those who have never been exposed to proper sales training…especially retail specific sales training.  But, that one training session won’t hold them forever.  Retailers who comprehend the concept of building a selling culture in their stores (which means working out selling skills with their staff every week to stay fit), inevitably sell more, experience less turnover and have more positive customer experience reviews.

3.  My management team is seasoned and we don’t have turnover

Another great statement to be able to make, but everyone knows that to stay at the top of your game, you have to keep growing and improving.  So what if you’re seasoned?  Some may say that means your team was trained decades ago and haven’t kept up to the times.  Your team is stale.  Your team is complacent.  It’s human nature to want to learn and get better at what you love to do, so do your seasoned team of managers a favour and get a solid management training program/system pulled together for them.  We are never done learning.

4.  Our business is seasonal, so you know…

So what?  Football is seasonal.  This doesn’t mean the NFL teams don’t train all year for their big chance at the Super Bowl…that would be insane.

So how is your seasonal business any different?  Retail as a whole is seasonal with the majority of sales made during the Christmas selling season for most retail categories.  Christmas is the Super Bowl of retail, so get training!  No more excuses.

5.  All staff goes through company orientation when they are hired

I took a Jui Jitsu lesson once.  Let’s just say, I’m not a martial arts expert today.  Need I say more?

If this article has shifted your thinking even the slightest bit and you want some guidance on how to get a training routine in place for your teams, give us a call or check us out at We’re here to help!


For the first time ever, we’re running the soon to be ‘famous’ One-Day Retail Manager’s Boot Camp! 

One intensive day of learning that will push, stretch, grow and elevate the performance of every Store Manager who attends.  No fluff.  No theory.  Just impactful, proven ideas, skills and systems that will make them, their teams and their stores more successful.

Take advantage of our Early Bird Discount and Register Now!

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