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Retailers: The Most Important Person You Forget In Your Training Plans

retail sales trainingHave you ever gone to a store and purchased paint, only to discover when you get home that you have no brush?

That’s kind of what it’s like with many retailers’ training programs…

They may have had an outside company (like me) develop their material, or they may have spent hours, weeks and months developing their own program…

But when it comes to the actual training, they forget their most important person, their Learning Manager, the one who will actually assign and monitor their training. Continue reading Retailers: The Most Important Person You Forget In Your Training Plans »

What Retailers Can Learn From Grudge Purchases

retail sales trainingMost retail salespeople – even commissioned ones – can make a sale by showing a cheap product first.

Here’s how it works…

A customer comes in and tells the salesperson what they want. The salesperson shows them what is on sale, tells the customer how much they will save, and rings up the purchase.

The salesman feels he did a good job. It’s less hassle, less time and requires no rapport building, no negotiation, and little salesmanship … and little product knowledge.

Continue reading What Retailers Can Learn From Grudge Purchases »

Training Retail Employees: What Is Your ROI?

ROI retail sales training“What if I train my retail employees, and then they leave?”

It seems like every time I hear from a manager who’s trying to talk themselves out of retail sales training, they come around to this line of thinking.  They’re afraid of spending the time and money to train their employees, just to have the employee leave a few weeks or months later.

On its face, that seems like a valid concern. You certainly don’t want to invest a lot of money in short-term employees. However, that thinking is flawed, and overlooks a far more important question…

“What if you don’t train them, and they stay?” Continue reading Training Retail Employees: What Is Your ROI? »

9 Benefits of Using Online Retail Sales Training

online retail sales trainingThe Internet is changing not only the way retailers interact with customers, but also the ways in which they can prepare their salespeople for success.

In the past, you might have hired someone to come in and work with your crew for the day to teach them how to sell your products better. You might have even hired me to do that…

But what would have happened the next day?

More often than not, that training struggled to take hold. To change their bad sales habits and impart correct selling habits takes time and coaching. Continue reading 9 Benefits of Using Online Retail Sales Training »

8 Ways To Have More Confidence Selling Retail

retail confidence sellingThis post is for the retail salesperson who isn’t making his/her goals, the manager who is struggling, the newbie who is unsure how to sell …or anyone looking to sell more

Selling starts with your own confidence.

So if you’ve searched for how to get more of it, here are my tips for lifting your self-confidence which will improve your retail sales.

1. Talk positively to and about yourself. Do you put yourself down because you work retail? Customers and your boss will pick up on this. Associate the good things in your life with having this job in retail, and smile because you have a job in a nice store. There are a lot worse jobs – be grateful.

Do you hear voices in your head that say,  “If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all,” or do you tell yourself, “I never win”?  Stop it! It’s that simple. Notice when you hear negative messages and nip it in the bud. You can choose to just as easily to say, “I can be lucky,” or, “Good things are happening right now.”

Monitoring self-talk is the best way to improve your confidence. You have to believe in you before anyone else will.

2. Nix trash talk. Do you talk about your job, your boss and your customers like they are one step away from Satan? People with low self images usually trash talk others to feel better about themselves. Stop it! Customers and co-workers can pick up on that – and not want to help you or talk to you. Stop trash talking and they’ll turn around.

3. Dress appropriately. Regardless of your store’s dress code, do you give much care to the way you dress? Is it appropriate for working with a diverse group of customers?

On the one side, just because your employer has a relaxed dress code, it doesn’t mean you jump out of bed, pull on a pair of jeans that have Juicy written across the butt – and haven’t been washed in a week – top that off with a shirt you pull out of a pile and a pair of sneakers.

Or if your employer requires you to wear a uniform, don’t ball it into your backpack and slip it on five minutes before your shift to look like some homeless person who found the shirt.

On the other side, dressing to the nines with extreme makeup, a dress you should only wear on a fancy date or a suit and tie will make you standout from everyone else on your sales floor – and not in a good way.

Always take a shower, do your hair, brush your teeth and select clothing that is at least one step up from others working in your department. Even if you aren’t feeling particularly confident yet, don’t give in and dress the way you feel at that moment. Consciously choosing clothing that makes you feel confident can, in turn, make you feel more confident on the salesfloor.

You want to attract people to you, not repel or have them judge you.

4. Speak up. Whether you are a shy and retiring Amiable personality or a wannabe Broadway belter, you need to match your volume of your voice to your surroundings. People who suffer from low confidence speak almost apologetically, which requires the listener to strain and ask them to repeat themselves, which no one wants to do.

Want to check your volume? Place your smartphone on a table 3-4 feet away from you and set it to record. Speak a few lines in your normal volume. Check and see how loud you are. Bonus if you add some music in the background like most stores have.

5. Learn to smile. Most of us think we smile a lot, but might your customers see you as more of a frowner? People who smile are perceived as more confident. Have you ever wondered why the same actors and actresses get the best parts? They know how to smile.

Videoing yourself during a sale is a great way to check your own smile factor. You can also check yourself as you walk by a mirror.

6. Collect good times. Every time you make a sale, review why it worked so well. Did you make them laugh? Did they make you laugh? Did you upsell them? Did they trust what you said for some reason? Reviewing what you did when things went well gives you the confidence to reinforce that you as a retail salesperson know what you’re doing.

7. Ask for a raise. If you are breaking goals, if you are an asset to the company, ask for a raise. You may not get it,  but giving your boss the reasons you are worthy will give your ego a boost. If you don’t get it this time, ask what it will take to change the answer the next time you ask.

8.  Cultivate a feeling of gratitude. That means finding something every day, throughout your day to be grateful for.  Could be a relationship you are in, a special purchase you just made or just that you had the best club sandwich for lunch. Being grateful fills your heart from inside so you don’t have to try to fill it from the outside. That makes the inevitable personal slights from others and rejection on the retail salesfloor have less power over the way you feel about yourself.

You must be aware of the way you look, speak and talk to yourself; no one can give confidence to you.  Confidence, once again, starts with you.

What say you?