Retail Sales Training: Don’t Fall For This Training Lie
A salesman for a retail management consulting and training company calls or emails you and gives you the hard sell. He tells you how your retail stores will increase sales and profits by some large percentage and that you’ll recover your investment in no time at all. The sales guy’s promises are so good that even if it generates just 1% of what he tells you, you’ll still make much more money.
Does this story ring any alarm bells with you? Because it should.
So you pull out your check book and sign up some of your people. It costs you a few thousand dollars. The salesman goes away and in no time at all you receive confirmations and venue details.
This company is on the ball! But six months later you’re still sitting in your office wondering where your sales increases are.
So what went wrong?
All your competitors use outside training and it must work – otherwise why do they do it? Your team attended the training and all came back with rave reviews…but still you haven’t seen improvement.
So you call the salesman you wrote the check to and tell him you’ve had no positive results. He suggests your people must have dropped the ball or they didn’t take advantage of the follow up programs. He tells you to sign up new people and he’ll make sure they join in the follow up program and the company will offer extra special support to them. Definitely you will get better results this time, with different people, and he asks for your money once again.
That makes some sense so you go ahead and write another check for another few thousand dollars with much more hope this time around. But, a few months down the road, the results are no different. Now you feel foolish for wasting money on training and you are convinced that training is worthless. You are still struggling for sales despite spending thousands on training your people.
The training guy calls you up again and you tell him it’s a waste of your time and your money and it’s simply not working. Then he tells you the biggest lie about training:
“This type of training cannot be measured instantly. You can’t just assume that your investment wasn’t worthwhile because you haven’t seen immediate results. This type of training is helping to build your team and make your people better and better. You can’t calculate your return on investment overnight. You need a company- wide program. Look at what the big retailers do. They repeat the training programs over and over again until everyone is on board.”
The truth about retail sales training…
If the training program you send your people doesn’t work once, it will never work no matter how many people you send and no matter how many times you send them.
People who measure their results know that the first time an employee attends a training program, they see a difference in that individual’s results. If they don’t see a difference, they never will.
The truth is, most companies who sell training will actively avoid doing anything that allows you to measure their results. So when you see an ad for a training program that will transform your business – don’t be fooled. Chances are that the people who wrote the ad have idea if the training works or not.
Many training companies have used advertising full of false claims for decades to keep their customers in the dark about how effective their work really is. The plain, unpleasant truth is that most training companies have no idea whether their training works at all.
But if you rely on sales you can’t afford this. This deception will continue to be used forever until business people wake up and see that results can be effectively measured and training dollars can be targeted to where it does most good.
Am I saying that all training companies are run by schmucks who just want to grab your money? Absolutely not. There are plenty of reputable consulting and training companies out there.
But how many of them are skilled and experienced enough in retail management? Not so many.
So the next time your training salesman asks you to sign up and pay big bucks to send people to a training program, think twice and ask him some simple questions, like:
“Really? What makes you so certain I’ll see results.”
And, “Can I talk to a couple of the people who have gotten results through your training programs?”
Or even: “How about I track the results and, if there is no improvement, you give me my money back?
You’ll soon find out how confident they are in their ability to make your business better.