I used to assume that if someone was struggling to do something, it was because they needed more training. Sometimes that was the case, but sometimes what she/he really needed was to successfully apply the skills and knowledge the person had already learned.
How do you know the difference? Here’s a simple but effective way to look at it.
1. People first need to know WHY we do, or need to know, something. If people don't know why you're asking them to do it, they rarely do it. Or at the least they're much less likely to do it especially well.
Why should I learn three things about my customer?
Why should I show an additional item without asking? I
It is also important that your team know if these actions are required or optional.
2. Next, each person needs to learn HOW and/or WHAT.
How do I engage customers in a conversation to ask questions in an authentic way?
How do I show an additional item without being perceived as pushy?
How is this product made?
What makes these products unique and different?
Never assume your staff know the HOW or WHAT. You’d be surprised how often leaders assume the staff knows this but they don’t. They know it’s supposed to be done, but nobody has worked closely with them to learn and practice the skill.
3. Now, people need to DO it. If something is an expectation of the position, people need to meet that expectation. This is where the biggest breakdown happens.
People don't do what's expected of them and the manager/owner assumes the person can't do it and needs more training.
In fact, most often the person doesn't need more training. What he/she needs is observation and coaching so they can do whatever it is they need to do, and do it well.
After that, they need to do it or be held accountable for drifting from it. That’s why accountability is such a key element to leading and coaching a team.
If your staff is struggling in a particular area, walk though these three steps.
1. Do they know WHY?
2. Do they how know HOW or WHAT?
3. Are you requiring them to DO it, and to keep doing it?
So let me ask, does your staff need more training, coaching and accountability, or a combination of them?
How to use this article
Think about two particular service/selling actions you'd like to see your staff do better. Then apply the three questions. This will help you determine if they need additional training, or you need to be working with them to do it.