September 27, 2012

Sample the Retail Team for Added Value!

Photo Courtesy - JSHJ on Flickr
Yes, you go into stores to demonstrate your wonderful product to consumers. Are you sampling and identifying the important folks that work at retail and can influence folks far after you have left the store on the benefits of your product? Do you have a Retail Personnel sampling and training as part of your agenda and checklist for demos? Probably not. The best companies do and so should you.

My clients know to address the staff of any retailer in their demo programs and to creatively consider how they can better educate and share value with those closest to the customer. We are not talking about hype and pretty buttons to wear. Rather, we are discussing solid education, sampling of the product, and a deeper understanding of the deliverable the particular product will supply to consumers.

Some areas to consider to build your wildly successful retail training program into your demo programs:

The Store Personnel are Valuable to your Goals.
You need to bring the materials and education into the store and break room for staff education and trial.  Once you have achieved buy-in, they will share your innovation, value, and important qualities with their store customers.

Convert the retail professional with a trial.
Most important is to offer a trial sample to the employee. Let them taste or use your product. They can influence scores of customers if this is done and actually will benefit you long after the demo team has left the building. Consider generally limiting your sampling in the largest retailers to the department or team leader over your category.  Your customers with only a handful employees should all receive training and samples if okay with store policy. Leave brochures, flyers, info, samples, and other materials in the employee break room.

Show, Demonstrate, and Educate the benefits with Internet Media
Internet, Youtube, and Web Training are cost effective means to deliver tons of information and insight to retail personnel. Creatively, you will need to develop quick and easy methods to impart your value to these store employees. If you can do it in 90 seconds, that would be great and then deliver via youtube video for their consumption at home or on break with use of their smartphone could be economical. Offer an incentive for finishing the super-quick training.

Include value for the consumer in the equation
Think about the effort to educate store personnel and then include some value for the consumer in the equation. Get the store people to talk to consumers about a promotion or extra benefit that is time sensitive and see the sales roll out the door.

Listen to the Store Team’s Insight
If you are sampling and speaking with team members, they often can offer retail insights, consumer comments, and competitive intelligence for your company to consider while growing their business.

They will recommend the product
If they like your sample and information they will recommend your product and not just in-store but often outside work even with family and friends. It is part of the training process and how many of the team members operate.

Retail Employee sampling will have long lasting benefit beyond any standard promotion that is available. It will provide value for your growth and success.

Please send me an email and let me know how your employee sampling benefits your company and be sure to sign-up for my newsletter below.

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© Tim Forrest 2012. All rights reserved
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