Columnists Brad Huisken Making cuts!

Making cuts!

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With the economic conditions that exist today, I keep hearing jewelry retailers talking about making cuts in order to maintain profit.  I agree you must make some cuts today in order to maintain a profitable company, however, a cut in the wrong place can kill your business.  Let me caution you - do not cut your lifeline or your training budget.  Your salespeople are, without question, the most valuable asset that you have.  They are the first, last and middle impression that a customer has of your business.

When a sports team is having a rough season, they don’t cut out practicing – they practice even more.  When a new technique or process is developed in the medical field, each and every doctor has to be trained and practice the new technique before working on a patient. When the tax laws change, accountants have to be trained on the changes.  If a person is having trouble in school, or in a class, you don’t quit teaching, you give extra effort.  I could give you dozens of examples - I’m sure you get the point.

The worst thing a jewelry retailer could do today is cut-off the training that they offer their staffs. For that matter, when times are tough you should increase your training budget.  Most stores are doing about half of what they should be doing.

I assure you it is easier to increase sales through sales training than it is to hope that a new ad campaign will work or to hope that a new product line will be the answer.  The answer is in helping your sales people to maximize the selling opportunities that they currently have, and how to create selling opportunities. 

If you are at the industry average of selling 22% of the people that come into your store, you should easily – through training – be able to reach a close rate of just 25% or a 13.64 % increase in sales.  Just selling 3 people out of the 78 (at a 22% close rate) that you are not selling will have a major impact.  For many of you, 13.64% would be the difference between a sales and profit increase or a negative year.

Sales training does work, if you make it a process, rather than an event.  I could give you hundreds, if not thousands of testimonials and success stories where training has made the difference between a thriving organization and one that is planning for a GOB.  If you are going to cut out training – or if you haven’t invested in the success of your staff, you might as well slice your wrist.  Further, if you keep doing what you have always done, how could you expect any different result? 

Cut the fat from your organization but keep the heart intact and you will get through this tough economic time.

The consistent application of sound business principles insure the success of any business!

Most businesses fail because they are managed based on opinions, rather than facts!

A successful sales staff is completely trained, working toward objectives, held accountable for their results and rewarded based on performance!

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training.  Mr. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and  produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it visit his website at www.iastraining.com.

 
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