Five criteria of sales training

The job of hiring and training employees is a never-ending process. As a jewellery storcowner or manager, we are in the business of hiring and training staff members for the rest of our business lives. Just when you think, you have a permanent staff something is going to happen or change. The jewellery industry, the products, and our customers are constantly changing as well. In order to keep up with all the changes we need to constantly and consistently train our staffs.

As adults it is very difficult for us to learn new information. Our brains are full of so many things that it is sometimes extremely hard to retain new information that is to be learned. In addition, everyone learns differently. Some people are visual learners, others are more auditory learners while some learn through hands on experience. The bottom line is that all of us need to learn, retain and apply new information in all the areas of our lives, especially professionally when it comes to salesmanship. There is so much new information to learn and the jewellery industry is changing so quickly that it sometimes seems nearly impossible to keep up to the pace.

I believe that there are four basic areas where people need training when it comes to jewellery sales. The four areas are product knowledge, sales techniques, store operations, and customer service. Each of these four areas is equally important. I look at these four areas as the tires of an automobile. If one of the tires is flat or is going flat, the automobile isn’t going to operate at peak efficiency. If one of these four areas is weak in a salesperson, then the salesperson is not going to operate at peak efficiency either.

It is my experience that if an adult is to learn, retain and be able to apply new information the following five criteria must be met.

1) Hear the information – Through the spoken word or through audio media. In some cases the information may need to be listened to a number of times.

2) Read the information – Some learn through reading. Reading the information allows the participant to go back to the information and review it immediately. And if the information is not understood completely then they should read it over and over again.

3) Write the information – Written understanding, or testing the information being taught guarantees that the information is understood well, and thus the training is memorized and the retention begins.

4) Role-play the information that was taught – Through role-playing a person begins to retain the application of the information that was taught thus increasing the retention and application factor. Role-playing allows for a more hands on approach to training.

5) Do it in real live situations – Implementing the strategies or techniques as taught in real life makes the learned information “real” and proves to the participant that the information does in fact work. Again, through role-playing the process adults will retain and be able to consistently apply the information being taught.

Should the trainee then decide not to use the information, then I would consider the person insubordinate or unwilling to apply the information that was taught. It symbolizes that there is a problem. Only once the five criteria of training have been met can we hold people accountable to the new information that we are teaching Everyone wants to be and feel successful in their jobs. As busines owners, managers and assistant managers it is up to us to provide the information and then teach it in a way that will cause people to learn and apply new strategies and techniques increasing the likelihood that they will be successful.

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