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The Retail Training Equation

By:  Erik Miethner, MT, BPHE, DMSRetail 

Retail Management Training
 


Economic times are cyclical. At present, the cycle is in a down phase and needs to recover as quickly as possible. During such times, it is people who will make the difference in your business. It is most often the people who have been trained appropriately that rise to meet and overcome these challenges. Industry specific training not only enables businesses to achieve fiscal prosperity; training of this nature will enable a person to think. Thinking critically and strategically and being adaptable to various business situations is where successes will be found in times such as these.

When a company employs staff members to interact with and sell to customers, would it not behoove that company to acquire, support and train those staff to be the very best in the industry? One of the most charismatic and captivating senior consultants with DMSRetail has always followed this philosophy when hiring, training and developing sales staff: hire the best, train them to be better, pay them more, expect more and get more. This works, regardless of the particular industry, geographic location or market sector.

Thinking about the importance of training and education in any industry, consider the following equation. If one were to apply a proportional weight to each component, what would your organization allocate to “Top-to-Bottom Training”?

Vision + Determination/Motivation to Succeed + Top-to-Bottom Training = Successful/Profitable Company

Of course, this is a dramatically simplified equation, which does not assume many of the intricate business challenges that are ever present, but it does capture the essence of achievement. Broken down slightly further and simplified to another level, the equation might be read as:

The Goal + Drive to Achieve that Goal + Capable Personnel to Implement the Action Plan = $$$$$

Remove any one element of the equation and the entire formula becomes void. How can a capable team of individuals with vast amounts of motivation achieve anything if they have no idea what it is they are to achieve (The Goal)? Similarly, what use is a spectacular goal and plan, if there is a deficit of trained, capable personnel to make it happen? 

The truth about training is simple: trained personnel are absolutely critical to the survival and longevity of any retail operation. 

Investing in training for the people that ‘make it happen’, so to speak, is absolutely invaluable. The “Vision” can be conjured by the executives. The “Determination/Motivation” can be aroused and fuelled by company leaders as well. The “Capable Personnel” need to be trained by experts with a passion for retail and a wealth of relevant experience. 

One of the greatest success coaches of all time, Anthony Robbins, coined the acronym CANI; Consistent and Never-ending Improvement. This should apply to every area of your retail operation. The executives need to find ways to develop further their capacity for strategic, long term thinking to assure the continued growth and prosperity of the corporation. Mid-level management should consistently be pushing beyond their comfort zones with regard to customer service and sales tactics, motivational capabilities, operating efficiencies, etc…. The full and part time store personnel; these employees need to direct massive amounts of energy to improving their capabilities as the company’s front line players. Nothing will happen until something gets sold, and the in-store personnel are the people who sell; teach them well. Every way that improvement can be found and ratified, should be capitalized upon. 

Take a minute to reflect on your own business practices, those of your company and those of your competition. Make a mental list of all the training practices that are present in your store, in your organization and in your competitors’ organizations. What does that list look like? Do you feel confident that you are doing everything within your power to separate you and your colleagues from the competition? How can improvements be made? What sort of activities and information might help? Who might be able to illuminate the resources necessary for this re-configuring of our company’s training initiatives? 

DMSRetail specializes in researching the most detailed, leading edge market information available and maintaining consistency within their training seminars. These training sessions, as well as their library of training tools, have enabled countless companies throughout the world to achieve great success within their own unique markets. The DMSRetail Brand Consultants will customize any one of their training seminar series’ to suit the needs of your company and ensure that the competition is left questioning; “why have sales increased for them, and not for us?”

The retail training equation is only one aspect of the business which we all have invested ourselves in, but it is certainly an important aspect. Without proper training and effective tools to apply the new knowledge, you are no further ahead. Seek to improve, achieve improvement and success is certain to follow.
 

You can reach Erik Miethner at emiethneratdmsretail.com

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