Make sure product knowledge training is ongoing. Some of your clients will want assurances and the peace of mind knowing that if anything goes wrong that they will be covered. The Question \"How to Train Retail Employees\" Is Best Answered by Product training with emphasis toward product knowledge will be more effective in helping you deliver customer experiences that “Wow” before your competitors do. If sales professionals aren’t selling one particular product every day, they will need reminders on what the products are and what customer problems they solve. But how can you update your online training program on a regular basis to reflect the latest features and specs? You will be regarded by your peers as “the go to” person they come to for help and advice around the products. It’s the peace of mind knowing that if something goes wrong then the customer will not be forking out hundreds to fix it. Without value-adding product training, a marketing team cannot reach the right market, and a sales teams will fail to answer the critical questions customers are looking for. Provide product refresher training. Product knowledge is essential to run the meat department smoothly. Your products may have fixed pricing structures but in many cases there are different options that you need to understand – you will also need to understand any cross and up sell products too and any impacts this has on the price. If you’re selling pushchairs can you open and close them easily and be able to demonstrate this to the customer? We can deliver the training ourselves in a workshop environment or within your stores. Understand customer service in the retail sector. It can give you the edge as an expert and also help you to guide the customer. The majority of retail sales people that you come across seem to have this level of knowledge about a lot of the products they are selling. And narrow thinking doesn’t have a place in any retail … You can take courses and brush up on your knowledge when there is down time in your store. Some of them will be relevant to what you sell and others won’t but they will give you a flavour of what you need. The challenge is to make them realistic. The product knowledge phase should allow about 10 hours for the top 25 SKUs. Work with them to make sure your sales professionals receive collateral that identifies customer needs and the products that will meet those needs. RTS’ product training courses leveraging the power of the Internet to drive your message home and can include audio, video, animations, printable job aids, learning interactions, quizzes, certificates of completion and more. If you’re selling designer bags, can you easily demonstrate how to attach the shoulder strap and also the 2 hidden pockets on the inside of the bag? Can I have a different mobile if I choose a 36 month contract? You don’t even need to attend workshop based training to improve your skills because there are a lot of elearning content providers that help. Your knowledge and recommendations are sought after and you can lead training programmes for others. How Product Knwoledge is built in retail training? Gain an NCFE qualification in retail knowledge. In fact, Dillard’s has discovered that every hour its associates spend on product training increases their sales rate by 5 percent. And then there’s the distribution and availability of the product or service. It’s not only the written law that you need to think of but also the unwritten laws of being an ethical sales person with no lies or misleading information. Ask questions to learn their preferences and needs and then you can focus on the most appropriate items to help the customer decide. If you know your product inside and out, you are able to give information as needed and the enthusiasm will be organic. Remember if you struggle to do so then they will assume that they will struggle so you need to make it look effortless. When you have a good understanding of this history you are in a strong position to demonstrate why this product can now be the right choice. Often, when we think of sales training, what we are really thinking of is product knowledge training – educating sales and other professionals about a company’s products or services. What Do Our Retail Customers Expect From Us? It may all seem a little daunting, but let’s look at it one by one and you will soon get the idea. Take this retail quiz and see if you’ve got what it takes or not to rule the retail industry. Here are some best practices for product knowledge training. So make sure that you fully understand how your products and services are delivered to your customers if this is an option. While selling skills are an important part of sales training, it’s also important that sales and customer service reps understand the products and services about which they are speaking with customers. In this course, we will discuss beef primal and sub-primal cuts. Of all the training he received, not a single one was a one-off event or restricted to the classroom. There should be no surprises if a customer springs on you that a competitor is offering the very same product for 10% less down the road. The customer will be using it and when you can advise them on this aspect from your own experience you are more able to act as a Trusted Adviser. An example could be the special treatment of certain carpets with a stain protection agent as standard or how a piece of furniture is hand made by a master craftsman or how each of your products is created locally without the need to outsource to China or Taiwan. This is important for the customers as it is very important for the customer service agents and sales personnel. View a Sample Customer Service Training Course. If you sell clothes and a customer really likes a dress that you’re selling but you haven’t got it in the ladies size and it’s at the end of the season, then you should know instantly several alternatives that you can offer her straight away. If sales professionals aren’t selling one particular product every day, they will need reminders on what the products are and what customer problems they solve. Skip navigation Sign in. So beware! This may sound a quite simple topic but you really need to have deep understanding of your product knowledge with regards to what you sell. For in-person behavioral retail sales training, or training of the soft skills, allot a minimum of three hours exposure to the material to start. In order to be a successful salesperson, you need to be confident in your product. Pay attention to the rules and guidelines that you train employees on. This will cover the features of each of the items in your ranges and will give you the ability to help the customer compare different options properly. On-line Courses – Web-based retail training courses are a perfect way to consistently communicate your standards, practices, product knowledge, and retail sales training. Would your connections like this too? How to Train on Product Knowledge The problem is most sales training focuses on building sales skills. Your marketing department likely has a great deal of collateral on the products and services your company offers. Strengthens Communication Skills. Integrate training into your organizational culture so that employees seek training when they need it. The other side of the coin is sales knowledge. It’s rooted in the areas of Brand and Product Knowledge, Selling, Functional and Leadership Skills. Maybe a potential customer has heard of problems or drawbacks that have since been addressed by the manufacturers or providers. This knowledge will cover how products work, what they are made of, how they are used, ranges and options and limitations versus benefits. There may be discounts and special offers that you need to take into consideration and any special sales that are taking place. Instead of just selling a product, sales reps will be partnering with customers to solve their problems – a much more effective tactic. While sales skills are essential, they are only one side of a very important coin: capability. Want to improve your retail sales skills? Some of the time this knowledge can be gained by attending your internal courses but most of the time it will be down to you to hone and refine your skills. Having a deep knowledge of how your products are made and put together can be very helpful. The display of the products at the retail store must entice the customers. This means that product knowledge is crucial to building effective sales and a lack of application of the right pieces of knowledge is frequently the reason people do not buy – and they don’t always tell you why either. Without understanding the needs of their customers, sales professionals will be unable to identify which solutions they can offer to meet those needs. Product training: In the retail industry, the familiarity of the staff with products is important as they deal with the customers directly. In retail, that could mean remembering and appreciating repeat customers, forging a local connection with shoppers, putting your product knowledge to good use, and more. You must thoroughly understand your terms. 5. If you sell goods that have warranties, servicing and repairs remember that what you are selling is peace of mind. When it comes to product training and deciding who should get it, you mustn’t look at it from a single perspective and only assign it to certain employees. You will be able to explain to customers why meat cuts have different prices and how to prepare each cut for cooking. And apart from having a good knowledge of your own organisation, you also need sufficient knowledge about rival companies too, if it’s relevant to what you sell, so you can demonstrate and protect the prestige of yours. There is no point in re-using the same material twice or giving unnecessary information to those who do not need it. Product knowledge training is an essential component to a business’ success. In this article, I’ll share 6 tips to develop a successful product knowledge online training … Salespeople and companies that fail to inform their customers of the full terms risk their future business and at the same time develop a reputation that they cannot be trusted. There is keen competition out there, so you must be aware of your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. Depending on the customer persona, the sales reps know which product to promote. MTD Sales Training | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo. This authority that you have gained will help you deal with more difficult questions from customers with assurance and greater confidence. When you are in this position people will talk more openly to you and…, I was in Dublin recently with a MAJOR player in the food retail industry and it reminded me of two of the very best retail sales tips that every store should use. The packaging of the merchandise goes a long way in improving the brand value of the product. They are Superficial, detailed, expert and master. Explore the retail selling process. Units include: Understanding the business of retail; Understanding customer service in the retail sector Are your competitors expanding? You need to know all of the options here. This is at the very top of the product knowledge tree! The most trusted source of information on the business of learning. After all, you don’t want to be making promises that you cannot keep. Product knowledge & sales training at Wranx can give your team the right tools to perform to their full potential and improve your bottom line. If sales professionals can access product information quickly and easily, they are more likely to use it when and where they need it, even when they’re on the road. You need to step into the shoes of your customers and understand how they will use the product that you are selling and then show them if they need it. Please share. To Summarise. Pair learners together so that one can practice being the customer and one can be the salesperson, practicing common objections and questions before they are in the field. For example, if you’re selling holidays and there are some damning reports on trip advisor, but since the hotel has addressed the issues and are now receiving accolades, then you need to know this so you can advise your customers. Product knowledge training must also be consistent, engaging and customised. Is there a purse the same style and pattern as this bag? Short, bite-sized videos can demonstrate products or services quickly and effectively, providing a concrete, visual memory for salespeople to draw on later. Another popular approach to our Retail Sales Training is where we train your store managers through a train the trainer programme. And all of this is done without overloading people with information either. You can categorise how much you know into 4 levels of knowledge. This video is about Product Knowledge 1. Product training is an important part of an organization’s success. Details in these areas can vary by product or service offering, which can make quite a difference to your customers’ ultimate satisfaction. Some of the time this knowledge can be gained by attending your internal courses but most of the time it will be down to you to hone and refine your skills. In addition to that if the same lady wanted the dress in purple, do you actually offer it in purple? Also be aware of the options that are currently not available for whatever reason. You need to achieve a minimum of seven credits from a range of units for the award, and a minimum of 13 credits to achieve the longer certificate. It’s very frustrating isn’t it, and there are many things that can go wrong with this. Retail Product Knowledge Training Skin Biology Basics & MSKIN PRO Innovation . You can do this because you have gained a deep understanding of what customers really need. We mentioned previously about the importance of understanding about your industry as a whole. We recommend that you really get to understand the background and the history of your company. But they also need the confidence that comes from a deep understanding of customer needs and their company’s offerings. This video is about Product Knowledge 1. Benjamin Franklin summed it up when he said: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” – remember it well throughout your sales career because it’s so important. Customer service training and product knowledge training are excellent candidates for branching scenarios. If you are relying on this level of knowledge you must do something to change it – it is unprofessional and very risky to attempt to advise customers without a good enough understanding of what they are buying. This is a scalable solution if you have hundreds of retail staff. You participate in webinars and attend trade shows voluntarily and you pro-actively liaise with suppliers, manufacturers and service providers. This knowledge includes information about the particular product they are selling but also the story behind the product – how it was made, what … And does your company offer an online retail experience too? If you’re selling cars do you know exactly where the latch is to open the bonnet? Practice 2: Blending Classroom Training with Online Training. Stronger communication skills will allow a salesperson to recognize and adapt a sales presentation for the various types of customers. Therefore, it is vital that the retail staff have an in-depth knowledge of the product or service they are representing. The importance of your sales associate’s product knowledge and the in-store experience they provide your customers cannot be understated or overlooked. If you’re aware of the areas where they have an advantage over you then you can plan your response accordingly. What happens with the delivery of these items? You will be secure in your knowledge and your customers will have the confidence they need to be able to buy from you. Can they also receive the item quicker if they pay more? Understand similar and complementary products. Pairing Sales Enablement Technology and Training Content for Continuous Learning. Product Training. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when you have experts already in your company! Product knowledge gives us courage. If you want to be a future shop keeper you should be able to connect with your prospective clients. It is considered an important knowledge area for any role that puts you in front of customers, investors or the media. The employees should have full knowledge on new products so that they can satisfy the customer needs. The retail sector is a significant contributor to the UK economy, employing approximately 4.9 million people and generating £406 billion in sales in 2017. Award in Retail Knowledge; Certificate in Retail Knowledge. Stay up to date on the latest articles, webinars and resources for learning and development. It’s also an important criteria for judging the quality of customer service in a company. Product knowledge is the ability to communicate information and answer questions about a product or service. That’s narrow thinking. This may sound like you know everything but this is really the minimum level of knowledge needed to provide a basic service to your customers. It is important to have the most up-to-date product knowledge when working in the meat department. Product knowledge is crucial to building effective sales and also developing your skills and expertise. What Makes a Great Training Organization? Publishing training content online also makes it easier to refresh when products are updated. It also means they can answer questions on the spot and overcome common customer objections. Product knowledge builds enthusiasm. Look at some of these findings from a recent survey by Tulip Retail*: 83% believe they are more knowledgeable than retail store associates Make sure product knowledge training is ongoing. It might seem obvious to know how to use the goods you are selling, but not everyone in sales has this understanding. Integrate training into your organizational culture so that employees seek training when they need it. It’s achieved more by listening, understanding and succinctly advising as appropriate. Offers like providing insurance against accidental breakages can add an additional 10-15% on to the price of the item. Have you ever been a sold a product only to be let down on the delivery? In closing and to reiterate the importance of … Product knowledge ensures that sales professionals can communicate effectively and enthusiastically, building trust and confidence in customer relationships. For example, an organization may offer product knowledge training for executive management, sales, marketing and customer service roles. There are a wide range of product knowledge areas that will be instrumental in reaching the ultimate outcome of a transaction. Working our way up the ladder, next is the detailed level. It is also important to remember that everything that you sell is now subject to legislation! “Knowledge retention can be enhanced with knowledge management tools, the use of technology, newsletters, best practice examples, publications, and most importantly, monthly staff recognition.” 7. Home » In-House Training » Retail Sales Training » 12 Important Product Knowledge Topics In Retail Sales. It is vital that you understand the relevant laws and controls over your goods, services and also the transactions that you have with your customers. When you understand these properly you can often help the customer to make a good buying choice that they otherwise might miss out on. The PUMA Retail training curriculum encompasses the skills needed to ace day-to-day business. Knowing as much as possible about your products and services is a fundamental part of your role as a Retail sales Professional. Chunk training content into bite-sized pieces: one module per product or service. Are they opening 3 new stores within 5 miles of your location? Unearthing Customer Needs During A Retail Sales Interaction. Product knowledge training can transform employees from sellers to client partners. There are some retailers that have a very strong persuasion power that they can convince you to buy something you are sure you did not need. Impressive presentation of the Product. When your knowledge is up to date you should be able to avoid difficulties in this area. Product knowledge online training helps your sales force seal the deal. In business, product knowledge is all the above…and more. And the fear of loss is a very influential factor that you need to take into consideration when you sell. A helpful aid in enthusiasm is knowing exactly what you're talking about. We can develop your retail sales staff and store managers to help them take their game to the next level. Make sales training content and job aids available online and on multiple types of devices. You must have all of the areas ready where you are far superior to your competitors to make it a level playing field. Solid knowledge about your product coupled with parallel information about similar products sold by your competitors—gives you that added advantage to easily counter objections. Changes in fashion, taste, habits, the economy and so on should all be noted so you can adapt your approach accordingly. Know when to enforce rules and when to give employees room to be creative. It is also the set of processes around the product such as the planning, R&D, customer base (who is buying/using the product and for which purposes or goals), and knowing when it is time to end production of this particular version. They skirt over the details and seem to rely on appearing knowledgeable rather than really understanding the real information they should be aware of. Product knowledge is generally the ability to acquire as much knowledge about a product being sold. Team members can complete them between customers in a self-directed manner and you can track results via the web. The definition of superficial in the dictionary is ‘only outwardly apparent rather than genuine or actual’. So it doesn’t matter what you sell in…, 12 Important Product Knowledge Topics In Retail Sales. In addition to information about your competitors products, you also need to understand information about your industry as a whole and your competing organisations too. Certified Professional in Training Management (CPTM™), Managing Learning Technologies Certificate, The Business of Corporate Training Landscape. You will contribute to product and service development, making suggestions on how they are made and marketed. Does your product have any special manufacturing processes? If you sell contracts, for example mobile phones, there can be many terms and conditions that you must understand in order to advise your customers properly. It is important to get acquainted with the different types of animal carcass cuts. When customers step through the door, they expect a certain level of customer service. There can also be associated products that are available at special prices if bought together. Many customers come to the store already prepared with the product information they need, so it is important that you are well trained in order to answer their questions. You study relevant literature and industry publications. This area can be really useful to you when customers have choices – so make sure that you know the options that are available but avoid presenting too much information at once. Being up to date on these matters will enable you to have intelligent conversations with your customers about the latest and greatest and will really set you apart from someone who just works in retail as opposed to someone who is a true retail professional – someone that is a trusted advisor to their customers. And in terms of the delivery, you’ll also need to know if the customer will receive a specific time in the day when the item will be delivered or if it will be anytime between 9 and 5 for example. Below I’ve categorised the product knowledge that you’ll need into 12 main areas. All of this is really important. You consistently provide extra advice and support to customers to help them make their buying choices, often at increased margins for you. When the UK financial service industry went down that route they ended up paying out billions in compensation. Other key aspects are the changes that have taken place to improve its performance and benefits. • Pricing structure • Options and styles • Colours or models available • Special manufacturing processes • How to use the product or service • How your customers benefit • The history of the product or service • Product distribution and delivery • Any servicing • Warranty and repair information • Information about your organisation • Any legislation requirements • Information about your competitors • An understanding about your industry and market conditions. Improve Retail Employee Product Knowledge And Productivity. Each unit is worth one or two credits. There’s much more to it than just understanding features and benefits. Customers are very much influenced by the reputation of the business they are buying from. So if you sell a large furniture item for example then you need to know the lead times of delivery – sometimes this can be weeks so you will need to inform the customer of this. 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Manufacturers or providers the customer decide to identify which solutions they can offer to meet those needs retail! Skirt over the details and seem to rely on appearing knowledgeable rather than understanding! And customer service roles of mind and needs and the products that will meet those needs be discounts and offers...