Ever been hired for a position for which you received little to no training? Tell us YOUR story.

Imagine that you go to the local tennis shop for a new racket. The clerk greets you and asks how she can help. You explain you are new to the sport, looking for a good beginner’s racket and ask her direction.  She looks at you blankly and says “No clue. I really don’t know anything about rackets. Just see what feels good to you.”

This is likely not the response you were expecting or needing. Here you are, left to fend for yourself. The clerk had been zero help, she was clueless. And do you know why? Because she wasn’t trained properly or self-assured in her ability to help. She lacked the knowledge and skills necessary to be of service.

Now, imagine a slightly different scenario where the clerk says, “Certainly! Follow me right over here and let’s look at the options. We have exactly what you need.”

Thinking about this alternative scenario, how does this clerk’s level of assuredness and confidence influence your willingness to trust him and purchase from the store? What impact would it have on your level of satisfaction? Do you think you would be inclined to spend a bit more if the employee was able to thoroughly present options, demonstrate the differences and match you to the best racket for your skill level?

Self-confidence and assuredness are directly related to customer satisfaction and their willingness to buy.

What does that mean for your environment?

As a manager, it means that if your goals are to retain employees and make significant sales, you must focus your attention on building your employee’s product knowledge, sales skills, and confidence.  You need to ensure they have all the tools they need to succeed. While building confidence in themselves, they will be developing trust and confidence in you.

Helping employees build confidence can be simple. Here are a few suggestions:

-Provide on-going training on tools they will need to succeed

-Invite them to weigh in on new systems or on fixing broken ones

-Ask their opinion on an important decision

-Encourage them to share their ideas

-Ask for their assistance with a unique project

-Say thank you every day for the job they’re doing

-Show your appreciation in small ways – thank you notes, pieces of candy, matching t-shirts

-Acknowledge them individually for an activity they did especially well

As your employees develop greater confidence, you will see it reflected in your business’ bottom line. As they project assuredness and perform at a higher level, you’ll enjoy the benefits of your labor. You’ll have happier employees and more satisfied customers.

So, what will you start doing differently today to build greater skill and confidence in your employees? It’s all up to you!

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