If you don't already have a sales training program in place to teach your sales staff how to sell and service your customers, you need to get one! If you do have a sales training program in place, but it's not working as well as you hoped, maybe you are missing a key ingredient to sustain your training efforts?
Have you ever considered adding Role Playing into the mix? Most people shudder at the thought of Role Playing. It's right up there with the fear of public speaking. But I'm here to tell you that it can be your #1 key ingredient to help bring your sales training to life and it will be the very thing that makes your staff finally just "get it!"
Getting your staff to embrace this training technique doesn't have to send them running for the door. There are ways to make it fun!
- Role Playing doesn't have to be formal. Start by observing your staff out on the sales floor. In between customers, spend some time re-enacting sales conversations that didn't net out in a sale. Keep it casual.
- Role Playing doesn't have to be in front of the entire sales team. Warm your staff up to the idea by using Role Playing in your one-on-one coaching sessions. Just you and your staff member; no judgement.
- Role Play the good and the bad. You'll be so surprised how quickly your staff grasps a selling concept when you act out "what not to do!" Not only will it cause uproarious laughter which relaxes the team, it will clearly reveal where things went sideways in the sale process.
- Once your staff is comfortable with Role Playing, integrate one scenario into every Shift Starter Meeting. This is a great way to kick off each shift during the day. It immediately gets everyone thinking about sales and it allows Managers to select one selling skill a day to focus on.
- During larger staff meetings, allow time to Role Play as a group. Put a bunch of "What Would You Do?" scenarios in a hat and give everyone a chance to get up and act out the perfect sale.
Role Playing is the most effective and efficient way for a Store Manager to reinforce selling skills and build an on-going sales culture amongst their team. Role Playing works well for training members of management too. Start to think about incorporating Role Playing when coaching Assistant Managers on their core competencies - how to properly conduct an interview scenario, how to offer feedback to an associate, or how to lead a Shift Starter Meeting...the possibilities are endless!
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.