Designing a powerhouse retail sales training program is one of the best ways to simultaneously promote your products and impress your customers. The direct nature of retail sales calls for a blended training approach that combines online learning with the application of learned skills on the job. Below is a look at 10 key elements to stress when training sales associates and a simple formula for building a top-notch retail sales training program.
What is Retail Sales Training?
A retail training program is a means of arming sales representatives with the knowledge and skills they need to sell products directly to individual consumers. Typically facilitated by a store manager or corporate trainer, retail sales training focuses on improving the following general skills in a salesperson:
- Extending an inviting, face-to-face welcome to customers who enter a store
- Using product promotions to incentivize customers to finalize a purchase
- The ability to guide customers in their purchasing decisions by explaining the features and benefits of products
- Providing an unforgettably high level of customer service
- Building a base of repeat customers who return for product guidance and support
Why is a Retail Sales Training Program Important?
Your retail sales associates are the face of your brand. They play a powerful role in customer purchasing decisions, and can influence a customer’s opinion of your establishment or products. A knowledgeable sales associate with great customer service will often prompt a customer to purchase your products, while a rude or uninformed sales associate may drive a customer into the arms of your competitor. For this reason alone, retail sales training plays a critical role in the success of your business.
10 Components of a Successful Retail Sales Training Program
A retail sales training program should be customized according to your brand, your products, and your customer base. And while every training program will be unique, most retail sales training programs seek to teach trainees how to do the following:
- Greet the customer in a warm and genuine manner. A warm greeting helps customers feel comfortable and welcome, making it one of the most important skills to master.
- Use discounts and special promotions to close sales. Making effective use of time-sensitive discounts and promotions to convert customers may seem intuitive, yet it is a strategy that some retail sales associates often forget to employ.
- Develop customer service skills that will help your business stand out. Outstanding customer service is the cornerstone of a successful retail business. Sales associates must learn how to manage problems, handle difficult customers and increase consumer satisfaction.
- Evoke passion. Training retail sales associates how to speak passionately about your organization and products can be challenging. Start by educating new sales associates about the many features and benefits of your products and organization.
- Showcase your expertise in a helpful way. New retail sales associates need to learn the difference between “feature dumping” and sharing product knowledge in a way that prompts the customer finalize a purchase.
- Know your primary competitors. Succeeding in the highly competitive retail sales industry requires sales associates to be familiar with the products and prices offered by their key competitors.
- Demonstrate your dedication to helping the customer. In an age when it can be difficult to find live product support, customers are often immediately won over by sales associates who proactively express a desire to provide help and guidance.
- Build trust with new customers. The art of earning a customer’s trust is one of the most difficult skills to teach a new retail sales associate. A good starting point is to encourage trainees to strive for transparency when interacting with customers.
- Focus on building long-term relationships. A training program for new retail sales associates should consistently emphasize the importance of building a loyal customer base.
- Turning retail salespeople into ambassadors for your brand. Your retail sales associates will formulate their own opinions about your brand and products. Make sure that you earn their confidence starting on Day 1 by providing them with a comprehensive training program.
A Simple Formula for Effective Retail Sales Training
The best retail sales training programs succeed in transforming newly hired sales associates into product experts who embody the ten skills outlined above. This transformation does not occur overnight, but can be facilitated with a strategically planned training program. The winning formula for effective retail sales training is created with the three ingredients below:
- A robust online training program that uses videos to show examples of excellent customer service
- Live coaching by a sales manager or sales trainer
- Ongoing support and guidance before, during and after the training program ends
Enlisting the Support of a Retail Sales Training Expert
The market is ripe with vendors attempting to sell sales training materials and online learning programs. With each vendor promising to increase your sales, it can be difficult to separate the contenders from the pretenders. As you build your retail sales training program, you should seek the guidance of a trusted online learning expert. An industry expert can help you craft the online learning components of your training program.
The Secret to Success for Your Retail Sales Training Program
The online learning experts with Knowledge Anywhere are devoted to helping retail business owners arm their salespeople with the skills they need to prosper as brand ambassadors.
With nearly 20 years of industry experience, the Knowledge Anywhere team knows how to bring enjoyment and convenience to retail sales training. Our user-friendly online training programs are designed to help retail salespeople learn on the job, enabling your salespeople to learn and produce results faster. Contact us today to find out how we can help you design an award-winning retail sales training program!
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