Education Management





Your Experience
Your Solution
My product is not that simple. How do I educate the sales people in the stores?

Shall I start by educating the buyers at the headquarters?

Your energy must focus on the stores. Face-to-face education is the most effective but also the most time-consuming/expensive.

There are alternative effective ways to reach the sales people. Using your website actively is a key to your success.


Education of buyer/headquarters

Utilize the printed information you already have given them. The headquarters does not have time to go into detail regarding your product.. If you try face-to-face education, make sure you bring all the material when you visit the buyer - and the demonstration had better be good. Do not expect to use more than 10 minutes on this part of your meeting. Instead, focus on Category Management and future plans.

You might get more time with a buyer if you invite the buyer to an attractive off-site sales demonstration. It can be tactically wise to invite buyers from competing chains to the same sales demonstration. You and the buyers could all benefit from a personal relationship. Some buyers may even only come to meet their colleagues. This is a sensitive area and you have to be aware of the ethical and legal issues.

Education of sales staff

The sales staff needs to be educated in your products and the best people to do this are from your own company. However, you compete with all the other vendors and the retail stores headquarters for time and attention from the sales staff.

Most chains plan their education and training programs several months in advance in order to maximize the limited time available of the sales staff. To increase your chances of being able to implement a face-to- education program with the sales staff it is critical you inform the headquarters of your plans. To avoid any negative reactions and misunderstandings with the buyers, communicate directly with them and not the retail stores themselves. You never know, your training program might very well fit into the headquarters own plans.

However, there are alternative ways to educate the sales staff if you cannot do face to face training. Make the information on the package so good so that the sales staff can obtain all the necessary information and even customers understand your unique selling points (USP).

  • Develop sales material that is easy to read and includes graphic illustrations (sales staff need clear and simple statements).
  • Produce and distribute CBT (Computer Based Training) on CD-Rom to the stores. However, the stores will need incentives before they allocate any time to a CBT programs.
  • Dedicate part of your website to demonstrations, explanations (potentially CBT) and FAQ’s.

Provide incentives for sales staff that complete your educational program. They could i.e. get a diploma, picture on your website, free samples, bonus trips etc. (use your imagination). Make i.e. a website and call it your name University.

Jens Welling


The author of this article Jens Welling has worked with retail purchase, retail sales and retail marketing over the last 15+ years. Jens Welling has written a number of articles as a good source for any new and established company who want success with retail sales. Below are short descriptions and links to other articles.

Why You Have To Do Your Homework
Selling through retail is one of the toughest sales channels there is. Reactions come instantly. There is no mercy for mistakes in retail sales. One word covers what you need: Preparation. ...Read more

Choosing Sales And Distribution Channels
Make the right choices from the very beginning. Group the sales channels and start with the companies that fit your size and that do not compete head-on with each other. Use the distribution channels actively to get contacts inside the sales channels....Read more

Category Management
Learn to understand and use Category Management to your advantage and earn money....Read more

Unique Selling Points (USP)
Take the time to find out exactly WHOM your consumers are. You need to find your Unique Selling Points (USP). Once you get to know them, you'll know what to say to them!...Read more

Price Strategy
Right from the beginning, you have to be aware that On-line stores will “dump” your prices if you are not in control. Base your price strategy on your long-term goals: Where you want to sell the most products....Read more

What The Buyer Wants To Know
The buyer does NOT want a lot of information. He/she is living in a very high-paced environment and only wants your information in brief bullet points. Follow some simple rules and you will give the buyer what he needs....Read more

Exit Strategy
You must prepare your business for the anticipation risk of large quantities of products to be returned. You need an exit strategy. The returned products can be used to create new sales channels and partnerships, turning this somewhat hopeless situation into a profitable one....Read more

Price Setting
Consumers have psychologically priced a product with a certain amount that they are willing to pay (price point). If you exceed their psychological value, you risk failing in retail....Read more

Negotiation Tactics
It is obvious to focus on price as a sales factor. However, help yourself by prepare for negotiation tactics by highlighting the other Unique Selling Points (USP) - and at a minimum explain the price per performance compared to competitors....Read more

Rejection From Buyer
The buyer can reject you for several reasons. You must talk to the buyer to find out exactly WHY you got rejected.....Read more

Marketing Strategy
Selling to a retail chain often means you have to advertise in their catalogues, newspaper ads, etc.
This alone does not create a brand; you must also supplement the retail advertising with your own marketing strategy....Read more

Education Management
Your energy must focus on the stores (retail training). Face-to-face education is the most effective but also the most time-consuming and expensive....Read more

What retail warranties are you ready for? Depending on your sales channels, you must consider the quantity of products that may be returned...Read more

Building A Brand
You must raise the consumers' awareness and perceived value of your product through brand development.
Once you do this, consumers can and will identify your product as a brand....Read more

A high tech vendor will eventually have late delivery of products regardless of penalties. So what should a vendor do when the logistics fail?...Read more

Keeping Your Store Sales Alive
Keeping your retail store sales alive is a never-ending process....Read more

Product Development
One of the advantages to having a relationship with the sales channels is that you can discuss future product development....Read more