Let me start by saying that I completely understand the need for computer based and virtual training in today’s retail environment. Shrinking margins and lower labor has forced companies to re-think how they train their employees. In the fast paced changing times and short attention spans, there is merit to these delivery systems. They are short, cost effective and merge nicely with the reliance of devices that exist today. Having said that…..
I have been involved in developing and training retail employees for 25 years. Our company, over a 19 year period, has trained well over 500,000 people. Some through video and computer based training but most were trained LIVE. I love all forms of training but to me there is nothing like being in a room with a group of people, who when done, their faces and body language reflect that they got it! Now it’s true that associates can take surveys after watching a video or taking computer based training to show their company that they “got it”, but are they answering truthfully or are they writing what they think the company wants to hear? Tough to do that when you’re looking a participant eye to eye.
Dating web sites are great, but the face to face live meeting determines if there is a spark or whether you tell your date “I have to get up early, let’s make it a short night”.
Let me start by describing a training scenario most of us have likely experienced. You register for a retail sales training class or seminar, paid good money, and your expectations are high. After sitting through the session, you're completely blown away by the experience. The facilitator captures your imagination and makes you feel like he/she is speaking directly to you even though there are 200 people in the room.
The training content is specific, relevant, and spot on. When it's over, you can't believe you just sat through a 5-hour training session. It felt more like an hour. You never once nodded off or wanted to check your text messages. In fact, you have 20 pages of copious notes because you were trying to capture every thought and sales step.
You leave the training session charged up and thinking...wow, that was a seminar!
Now, full disclosure, one of the things my company specializes in is retail sales training and motivational seminars. In fact, over the last nearly 20 years, it's really what has built our reputation even though we do so much more. Our training is unique (to say the least) and it leaves an impression with an audience. We consistently hear from clients, "no one connects with an audience the way you do." The best compliment we can ever receive (and it's happened often) is when we train or meet with a company’s employees, and at the end of the session they can't believe we don't work for their company as in-house employees. That's when you know you've hit the mark!
Here's the thing...the success of our retail sales training programs never starts with the live performance! That's actually the last step. Here’s why...