Essential Sales Training for Defining Moments in Retail

Couple buying jewelry

Access My FREE 5-Part Retail Sales Training Email Course!

Updated April 30, 2024

The moment of truth arrives in a retail store as a customer asks a question, but just before they get an answer. The customer wonders:

  • Will they care?
  • Are they listening?
  • Am I going to get what I want?
  • Am I going to get an attitude?

Your employee holds the golden key to success: the customer feeling valued and welcome or the pain of being seen as an annoyance.

There's the quick C answer - often short and not much help.

The B - here's an answer to the question, but I don't have to think.

And then the A answer - the one for which you must train to help the customer and build a relationship.

These moments of truth in retail can be challenging.

Following are a few questions and responses showing the best answer last.

Q. Do you have _________ blend tea?

  • C. No, we don't
  • B. No, all of our teas are listed on the wall behind me.
  • A. We don't have one with that name, but with 70 different teas, I'm sure we have something close. Was it black, green, or white tea? (after a few more qualifying questions from you) I can make up a single cup, and you can taste a few.

Q. Do you have replacement blades?

  • C. If we do, they're probably over there.
  • B. We have lots. Have you looked on the shelf?
  • A. For what kind of saw? (Walk around the counter to join the customer. Then, escort the customer to the hand tool shelves.) Can you tell me a bit about the model blade or saw you have?

Q. What's the soup of the day?

  • C. Up there
  • B. See the sign up there? We have a couple.
  • A. We have two kinds: a split pea with smoked ham and our signature chicken noodle, which we make daily right here. Which would you prefer?

Q. Do you ship?

  • C. Yep
  • B. Where to?
  • A. Yes, we do for about $15. Would this be for you or a gift?

Q. Is this on sale?

  • C. I don't know, I just came in
  • B. It's on the readerboard out front if it is.
  • A. I'm not sure; let me check. I'll be right back.

The key to delivering an exceptional experience is to train a good, better, and rotten answer to a moment of truth on your most common customer questions.

That way, the employee can self-identify if they deliver the type of response you want because there is no grey.

See also, 14 Ideas for Effective Retail Customer Service Training

In Sum

If you are representing a large brand that has spent millions to deliver that person into your store at that moment in their lives, you'll close the loop on loyalty to both the brand and your business by providing retail sales training to your sales team.

Those moments of truth will lead to great customer service and a loyal clientele willing to crawl naked over broken glass to return again and again.