Have you experienced frustration when you have asked a salesperson something basic about a product and they don’t know the answer? The best sales people are experts in the products they sell. The more a sales person knows about the merchandise the more effective they’ll be in their jobs, and the better equipped they will be to help customers.

But how do sales people learn about their products and become experts, especially in a store with many SKUs? Some retailers encourage their staff to use the products themselves or purchase them at a reduced price so they become familiar with them. Other retailers train their staff regularly in product knowledge. However, many retailers neglect product knowledge and leave it up the individual sales staff.

Product knowledge is a vital requirement and a powerful tool in retail;

Product knowledge translates to increased sales.

A key responsibility of retail management is to ensure staff are receiving regular training on new products and SKUs. This requires managers to plan and strategise how they’ll implement this.

Training needs to be planned and needs to be ongoing. Every retailer needs to train their employees in their products, the benefits of the product and how to communicate this to the customer in easy to understand language. If you experience high staff turnover, training new staff in products becomes even more important.

Having a high level of product knowledge can result in fewer objections for a sales person. If a sales person is knowledgeable about a range of products, and instils confidence in the customer, this can make closing the sale a lot easier.

Customer objections can also be handled more effectively if the sales person has factual information regarding the product. Being well versed in not only your products, but similar products sold by competitors, allows you to easily counter objections as well.

Product Knowledge Training Tips for Store Managers:

  1.  Focus staff meetings on product knowledge
  2.  Hold “Take 5” training sessions throughout the week to test your team on their knowledge
  3.  Ask your manufacturer to supply a range of product information

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Benjamin Franklin