Incremental Products: Employee Training

Posted on: August 10th, 2017 by Rob Baumhover

Hello Again,

We last talked about how to find the best incremental products for your DME. Before your staff can sell new products, they need to be trained and comfortable with them. It would be nice if everything we brought in would just sell itself (and some will), but the majority of the time it will need someone knowledgeable to educate the customer. To position these incremental products correctly, let’s talk about staff training and some tips to properly train and keep an employee trained.

First, get the employee(s) input and feedback on the products you plan to carry, as discussed in my last blog. It’s weird but when it’s their idea or even if they were part of the conversation, they seem to get a little more excited about the products and back them more.

Second, as soon as the products come in, allow the staff to test out the items personally (if applicable). There is no better training than hands on training. This also gives the employee a real life testimonial they can use when they are talking with a customer.

Third, set up a time where the vendor who you ordered the product from can come in and give an in-store training on all the features and benefits of the products. This visit is good for a couple reasons, (a) it allows the employees to receive proper training right from the experts themselves, (b) it also allows time for questions and answers, (c) it builds excitement around the products differently than you saying we need to sell these items. “You can only bring home the next best item from a trade show so many times before they look at you and say here we go again.”

Fourth, set up and discuss expectations and any incentives, this way each employee knows exactly what’s expected of them and the team from the get go. There is no bigger let down to an employee than them finding out later that they should be selling x quantity when they were under the assumption that y quantity was great.

Fifth, set up an on-going training program, this should be a mix of vendor training pieces, (could include a webinar, online videos or educational courses, or even a question and answer session over the phone) and in-house training like roleplaying. Roleplaying is a great tool, but typically not a fan favorite out of the gate because it makes folks have to step out of their comfort zone.  This tool will truly give them the best real life scenarios that they will encounter every day. Looking back they will be glad they practiced with friends first.

Thank you for reading my latest blog. I encourage you to be on the lookout for blog #4 highlighting how to properly merchandise/display the products to gauge customer’s interest and help sell.

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