When customers come to your store, they are looking for an experience. As soon as they walk in, the ball is in the court of your frontline retail team. If they play their cards right and treat customers to a great in-store experience, they gain some level of control on how much money the customer spends and whether or not they return to the store.
The math is simple – the more productive your frontline staff is, the more traffic you drive into your store. Even then, most retail businesses invest minimal time and resources in training their customer-facing employees. And this is reflected by the higher employee turnover rate, reduced frontline accountability and lower profits.
Unfortunately, most retail salespeople lack experience and fall short when it comes to the art of starting a conversation. But the good news is, it is not a problem that’s too difficult to solve. With the right kind of retail training program, you can transform your frontline staff into great salespeople who can recognize and seize every opportunity.
Here’s what you need to keep in mind when developing a training program for your frontline retail team.
1. Conduct refresher training sessions
Most retail businesses train their frontline workers only once, at the time of onboarding. Instead of a one-time training, there should be refresher training sessions organized on a regular basis to give the customer-facing employees a chance to polish and update their skills. This is one great way to boost sales team productivity and keep employees up to date.
2. Go beyond imparting product knowledge
There is no denying the importance of inventory training and the necessity of familiarizing the staff with your products and services. However, effective frontline training should go beyond that. It should incorporate the fundamentals of relationship building and customer engagement as well as inculcate a deeper understanding of customer expectations.
3. Focus on problem solving
Pushing your products without knowing the needs of the customer will damage the reputation of your stores in more ways than one. This brings into focus the one area where most frontline training programs lack – problem solving. If you teach your sales reps to focus on the problems of the customer and then suggest a relevant solution, they can never go wrong. Teaching your staff to adopt a consultative approach centered around the customer’s best interests will drive more sales than you can imagine.
4. Make sure your training program clearly answers the “What's in it for me” question
Most retail sales reps are young workers looking for an opportunity to kickstart their careers. They will stick with you and feel motivated to work only if you make them understand what they stand to gain from their role with your organization. Once you create that value and outline a clearly defined career path for them, they are more likely to be loyal to you and work to the best of their abilities.