The Trials of Training
Still, by rights of their having created the device or solution, vendors have a type of direct product expertise that retailers should not ignore. Dion believes that one way to harness this knowledge is for retailers to request that suppliers prepare brief, customized, how-to literature on product basics that salespeople can read over and learn from quickly.
"Retailers should work with vendors to create a single page 'benefit sheet' for sales associates," Dion recommends. "The sheet should have a clear and succinct list of features and benefits about the product to help sales associates sell it."
In almost any store, technical expertise aptitude will vary among sales assoc-iates. So will curiosity—some salespeople will clamor to be the first to try a new product, others will be less enthusiastic. Even more practically, floaters and part-timers may slip through the tech training cracks, and cost sales by not being able to address even basic questions from interested customers.