Who's in the pilot's seat in your stores?  Who's dealing with your precious passengers (your customers) every day and can single-handedly determine whether they leave happy or frustrated?  Who decides whether you will 'soar above the clouds' or 'crash and burn' in a fiery death?

Why, it's your sales staff, of course.  In the eyes of your customers, they are your company.  They literally hold the power over your success or failure.

Are you comfortable with that?  Are your 'passengers' really safe with them?  Just how skilful are they at their job?  Or are they just 'winging it'?

If you're not sure, it's time for some more specific (and perhaps uncomfortable) questions.  Your company's survival clearly depends on your staff's ability to produce sales.  So have you ever actually properly trained them how to sell?  Did it work?

We're not talking about the theoretical garbage that normally fills most training programs.  They need to know the practical things that must be said and done in order to sell something.  Have you told them exactly what to say, how to say it, and when? 

Suppose we were to randomly select 10 of your store employees and ask them to describe your selling program or its steps.  How many could actually do it?  If the answer isn't 10 out of 10, that's not acceptable.  Scarier still ... how many can actually apply the content of your sales training program to their interactions with your customers?

For those who have provided some level of sales training in the past, you're not out of danger yet.  What have you done today (yes, today!) to continue their education?  Why is this important? 

The simple reality is that if you aren't reinforcing the learning process on a daily basis, you may as well just forget training.

Kevin Graff is the main guy behind all things Graff Retail. A renowned retail expert, Kevin is recognized in the retail industry as a speaker, author and expert trainer. Kevin's main passion is to help retailers drive staff performance.

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