Too many owners and managers work on correcting results, rather than working on correcting the actions that caused the results. To try to improve a result is pointless unless the actions that caused the results have been addressed and corrected. Supervisors often times talk to their people about not hitting their sales goals, add-on percentages, closing ratios, etc. Telling them that they have to make improvements or start making the numbers is similar to a sports coach telling their players that they need to score more points.
Salespeople and athletes know that they need to sell more or score more points. What they need from their coach or sales manager is how to sell more or score more. Telling people what they need to do, rather than how they need to do it, is what causes people to lose respect for their supervisors. Beating someone up without giving them the tools that they need to improve is just crazy.
Often times I find that the owner/sales manager knows what needs to be done, but doesn’t know how to communicate the actions needed to make the necessary improvements. For example, let’s say a salesperson has a low or unacceptable closing ratio vs. the store average. The actions that may have caused the results could be that the salesperson isn’t asking for the sale, it may be that they are not creating value through their demonstration of the product, it could even be that the salesperson isn’t asking the right questions to determine what is important to the customer in purchasing a particular item. This is just one of numerous examples.
Just as in sports, there is an art and science to the sales and sales management processes. The salesperson and sales managers institute their personalities to the party, which brings the art to the process; the science is what often needs to be taught.
I am still amazed at how many retail jewelers don’t have a training program they offer to their salespeople and their sales managers. I will be the first to admit that training is expensive, if you don’t use it. It is priceless if you use it, and use it correctly, to give people the valuable help and guidance they need to do their jobs correctly.
I just had a retail owner call me and mention that he had a 400% sales increase since implementing our training programs. I’m just saying, give your people help, not hell and the results will be incredible!
I know what some of you are thinking: What if I spend all this money on training and then my people quit or go to the competition? The proper question is: What if you don’t and they stay?
Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit his website at www.iastraining.com.