Retail Consultant Sales Training Lessons [Case Study]

Consultant working with store owners

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As a retail consultant, I partner with clients to increase conversions, attract customers, and become more profitable.

In this series of blogs, I'm sharing several case studies from some of the largest brands to some of the smallest mom-and-pops with lessons on your physical location, merchandising, branding, targeted marketing, and retail sales training - all of which you can use in your stores.

I’m sharing how we used intense retail sales training to increase sales by over 20 percent in three to six months.

The Challenge

A window fashions company that had used me as their "go-to guy" for sales training at their large quarterly meetings was looking to provide additional training for their independent dealers to help them stand out from their competition.

The Situation

The independent dealers, who had committed tens of thousands of dollars to upgrade each store's interiors, wanted a higher return on their investment.

The company was looking for ways to deliver that higher expected return. One salesperson shared, "I thought our owner paid a lot for those fixtures we didn't utilize."

The Prescription

We created a 2 1/2 day intensive sales training course. The goal was to raise the average sale and increase the closing ratio. We created a custom program incorporating the new store design, product scripts, a more detailed sales process, and new ways to follow up on leads. Particular emphasis was placed on limiting participant size. We offered lots of hands-on training, personal coaching, and role-playing for owners and their salespeople. We concluded the weekend with the dealers in teams teaching the rest of the group what they'd learned.

The Results

The stores that participated in the sales training weekend saw their sales rise 22.3% over the next three to six months. Five stores in the region that did not attend the training saw their sales decline during the same period.

Participants shared some of their "aha" moments, including, "My personal relationship to the customer makes or breaks the sale, I'm not just selling a product, I need to sell myself now," and, "I never had an 'approach' - I winged it, but I now have a process for myself to be consistent with my approach."

Lessons for you

You’ve probably attended sales training before. You’ve heard about features and benefits and making a customer feel important. Still, many sales training don't stick because people need to internalize the training, overcome their fears of selling, and have a chance to practice in a safe environment. My retail sales training does precisely that.

I don’t mean to toot my own horn, but if you can’t hire me for a custom retail sales training program, here are three things I include that lead to “aha” moments.

Try sharing these three sales training elements with your crew:

Role-play a customer and salesperson and ask the group if they would have purchased based on that presentation. You are looking for honest feedback on how it looked and felt.

Have your sales crew write their thoughts about admitting to family or friends that they are salespeople. Have them list three emotions they feel when they tell someone. Then, have them share it with the group.

Everyone goes through your store looking for a fixture or display not used to its best advantage. Then, brainstorm how to improve the use of those fixtures or displays to sell your merchandise better.

An added benefit of these sharing moments is a closer connection to your crew.

The more time you can devote to getting your sales force comfortable with selling, the more impact these training moments will have. Having participants teach it back shows how well they learned and can transfer that knowledge to others.

See also, Best Retail Consultant Case Studies

In Sum

It may not be new fixtures or a lack of return on investment that leads you to call me. It might be that sales are suffering, or you feel you’re in a rut, or you are wondering how much higher your business can go. Whatever the reason, if your store or region is not where it needs to be or if you’re not getting that higher conversion and higher average ticket, and you still intend to win at retail this year and beyond, I can help you demystify the sales process and upgrade your salespeoples’ ability to sell.

And isn’t that what success is all about?