10 Ideas for Training Meetings for Your Retail Store

Make your meetings worth the time investment you are making

The most important thing to consider is the difference between a meeting and a training session. Do not let yourself get bogged down in meetings. Instead, hold a training session. Training focuses on a change in behavior of your staff and an overall change in attitude. And remember this: Training without a change in behavior of the employees is as useless as a parachute that opens on the first bounce. 

While "training" and "meeting" are not interchangeable ideas, in small business, they often get used that way. The focus for you is on training. You are one person, and you need a team to meet your retail goals. Whether in sales or customer experience or any retail topic you want to discuss, it is the employee who is the make-or-break person for you. It is their behavior that will grow your business or slow your business. 

Here are 10 great topics to consider when training your employees. They focus on ideas that either make your store money or save your store money. There are detailed articles linked for each topic to help you prepare. Spend some time preparing your training session in advance, don't just wing it. There is no value in doing training unless it results in a change in behavior. Once you have your training, follow up and check to see if they are doing it on the sales floor. Inspect what you expect. 

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Refunds and Returns

Retail credit card transaction
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Can your staff spot fraudulent refunds? Do they know how to turn a return into a sale? A lot of money is lost due to a lack of training in this area. 

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Technology at Work

Woman on phone in store
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It's true. Even though technology has brought us many exciting opportunities, it has also brought us many distractions. Do you have a policy in your store? Or are you just trusting the employees to "do right?" Make sure your employees are focused on customer experience and not their mobile devices. 

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Learning to Sell

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The most important skill your people need is selling. After all, selling is service and service is selling. Selling skills should make up at least 50% of all of your meeting agendas. It's the key to helping your business grow. 

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Safety Standards

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The key to accident prevention in retail begins with awareness of basic safety. It's also a great topic for the next staff meeting! While many things seem like common sense, don't leave the safety of your employees to chance. 

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Handling Shoplifting

Two female friends shoplifting.
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The store meeting is an excellent time to review the retailer's shoplifting policies and procedures for reporting store theft and ways each employee can prevent shoplifting.

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The Tie-Down in Selling

Tie Down
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Getting customer agreement with your sales pitch is paramount to them saying yes when you ask them to buy.  There are terrific sales techniques that are easy to teach and train in a staff meeting. 

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Giving Back to the Community

People volunteering, cleaning up garbage in park
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Getting your people involved with the local community is a great way to build brand recognition and loyalty for something more than a low price.

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Having Great Sales Events

business fashion and advertisement concept, sale 50%
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Ever run a sales event in your store and it not do well? Isn't it even more frustrating when it is an event you ran successfully before? There are some key components to making a great sales event in your store. In fact, in studying what works in retail, here are five marks of a great sales event (in no particular order.) 

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Creating Customer Experience

Happy customer experience
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Customers are not interested in service anymore - they want an experience in our stores. This change in shopping behavior is paramount for your employees to understand if you want to survive the battle with online retailers. 

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Looking at Problems as Opportunities

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When a problem arises for a customer how we handle it can make all the difference between meeting expectations (which are usually very low of you) and exceeding them. And when customers expectations are exceeded, they tell others. And when they tell others, our advertising costs go down - win win. 

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Put Yourself in Your Customer's Shoes

Retail sales woman helping customer.
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While this last idea is not a topic for your next meeting, it is a foundation for every meeting or training session you conduct in your store. If you are not using role play in your stores, you are leaving money on the table - it's that simple. 

Effective Retail Sales Training

One of the biggest issues with any retail training session is that it can quickly become a meeting. And meetings do not change behavior. So instead of planning a meeting, do a training session.