Sights on Success

Published on March 31st, 2015 | by FFL Unleashed

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No Train, No Gain

Let’s get straight to the point. If you’re not completely, effectively, and immediately training your employees, you’re leaving lots of money at the table. Yep, the gain I’m talking about is cold, hard cash.

Poor or non-existent retail and sales training equals lost sales, lost customers, and lost time. It all adds up to lost money. As the owner or manager, you are probably the best sales person in your organization. The challenge – and opportunity – is to teach your sales staff what you know to improve their retail sales and customer service skills.

What would your business look like if everyone on your team were well trained and performing at your level?

Here’s an example…

no train_image

A little bit of retail sales training adds up to a whole bunch of money! $27,000 annually in the case of the example above. WOW!

While the garden variety untrained retail staff member is busy holding up the counter and making sure your telephone works by making personal calls, a well trained, motivated employee keeps the cash register singing, your customers happy, and the store running like a top.

Not yet convinced that training is a great investment of your time and money? You want more gain? You got it! When you train your employees you gain three powerful freedoms.

Time Freedom

Stop for just a minute and think about how you spent your time last week. How much of it was spent answering questions your employees should know? Fixing problems caused by employees doing the wrong thing? Redoing projects that your employees did incorrectly? Trying to do everything yourself because no one can do it as well as you can?!!

Spend some time up front training your employees what to do, and how to do it correctly. You’ll gain long-term time freedom.

Mind Freedom

For years, I walked my dog twice a day in a gorgeous, wooded park. I hardly ever noticed the beauty of the place or spent any time playing with my dog. Nope, I was always thinking about the store. Specifically, I was trying to figure out what to do about two employees who never did what I wanted them to!

Train your employees well and you’ll eliminate those nagging worries, the pesky thoughts that wake you up at night. A cracker jack staff keeps your work life from taking over your personal time. You’ll gain mind freedom.

Physical Freedom

True story. There’s a guy I know who owns a store and he hasn’t taken a vacation for eighteen years. Feels like the whole place will go to heck in a hand basket if he leaves for even one day. Do you ever think that going on vacation – even a short one – is more trouble than it’s worth?

When you’ve completely, and effectively trained everyone on your staff, you are no longer physically chained to your store. You’ll gain physical freedom.

The backbone of consistently great sales training is a great employee manual. Everybody learns the same information, and it’s always delivered the same way. This is the first step in getting everyone to do the same things, the same way – the way you want them done!

If you don’t already have an employee manual, grab a yellow pad right now. Or dust off that earlier attempt at a manual. Here’s how to start.

Figure out the bottom line.  Start with the basics, the bottom line. What does a new employee need to know before you put them on the floor, face to face with your customers, bringing, or failing to bring money into your business?

You can add to and modify your manual as you grow as a trainer. But in the beginning, keep it simple and start with the most important stuff first.

Write it down.  Word of mouth training will get you in trouble every time. Did you ever play the game “Telephone” when you were a kid? You whisper a sentence in the ear of the first player in line and they pass it on to the next player until the sentence gets to the last player. The way the sentence started out is never how it ends up.

If it ain’t written, it ain’t real!

A quick word of caution. Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress. You don’t have to create a graphically stunning masterpiece or put your manual in a fancy binder. You just have to write it down.

Your job is to make sure that your customers love everything about your store – especially your staff and the service they give. And a great retail staff starts with sales training and retail training.

Remember…no train, no gain.

 

 

It’s the mission of WhizBang! Training to help as many independent retailers as possible, so this article is reprinted here with their permission. All recipients of FFL Unleashed are invited to sign up for the free e-mail WhizBang! Tip of the Week.

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