Successful Door-To-Door Sales

Summer and fall months are a prime time to utilize door-to-door sales tactics.  The weather is nicer, there are more daylight hours and households are more likely to stay up later, giving you the opportunity to present your sales case.  Additionally, you have the ability to meet your customer face-to-face, demonstrate your product and its advantages, and the added benefit of creating face recognition.   However, just like any sales tactic, there are many things to take into consideration and prepare for prior to getting started, and we’re here to help you put your best foot forward before you start ringing doorbells.

PERFECT PITCH

Door-to-door sales can easily be compared to those dreaded public speaking classes you took in school.  But, preparation and practice are all you need to have the confidence to sell.  First, know your product inside and out, and how it compares to other like products on the market.  This will ensure that you will have answers to any questions, and lets your potential customer see that you are the expert, thus giving them the trust they need to purchase from you.  Additionally, you will be prepared for any bumps in the road and any unforeseen instances that occur.  Second, practice, practice, practice!  The more you know exactly how you will approach a customer, the easier and less stressful your sales pitch will be for you.  It may be easiest to practice in front of a mirror, that way you can see how you appear to your potential customer, and change points in your pitch that may not come across like you hoped.  The combination of preparing yourself ahead of time and practice will give you all the confidence you need to successfully sell.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING…

…and, I mean this in more than one way.  In advance, think about the time you will start knocking on doors.  Monday mornings are more than likely not the best option, as people may be on their way to work, dropping kids off at daycare or running errands leftover from the weekend.  Try researching the neighborhood ahead of time, and note which homes have cars, and seeing who may be home during the day versus at night.  Additionally, think about this as an opportunity to set a future appointment instead of selling.  This will do two things: you will be able to prepare a meeting with the customer, and know that they are more than just a cold lead, as well as relieve the customer of any pressure of making a decision on the spot.  It will also make you look very courteous, with the customer knowing that you were mindful of their time.

Another thing to think about regarding time: how much time you need to spend with each household in order to meet your sales goals.  Whether you want to make one sale a week or day, knowing how many houses you need to reach each day will give you a realistic target and will teach you how to manage your time with each home.

TRIAL AND ERROR

When getting started, it is possible that the first 25 to 50 homes will include a lot of trial and error.  That’s okay!  However, make note of what works and what doesn’t, so you can change your game plan for future sales opportunities.  Just remember to sell confidently and be flexible with your plans, and you can expect success to come along.

What are your door-to door tips and tricks of the trade?  What do you suggest for first-timers?  Comment below so we can help everyone out with their sales plan!

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THREE LINKEDIN FEATURES YOU SHOULD BE USING

Upon creating your LinkedIn account and looking around, it is not difficult to understand how you can feel overwhelmed and bombarded with a plethora of information and news.  However, once you get through all the noise, there are a few features you may want to think about enabling to enhance your LinkedIn page.

1. BLOG RSS FEED

With this feature, you are able to add your blog updates via an RSS feed.  This simple and easy to use tool allows you to promote your blog content to all visitors who visit your page.   Keep in mind that you will need to ensure you update your blog with fresh content regularly – an out-of-date and flat news feed will show that you haven’t put any effort into your blog, and will reduce your creditability.

To enable this feature, click the dropdown menu next to ‘’Admin Tools’’ for your page’s “Overview” tab.  You will then scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your blog’s RSS feed information.

2. PRODUCTS AND SERVICES TAB

This feature offered by LinkedIn allows you to highlight and promote the products and services your company offers.  You can also use this same feature to advertise webinars, add videos, upload marketing and training materials and introduce new products and services.  Another beneficial feature of the Products and Services Tab is that it allows you to create up to 30 different landing pages to drive and target a specific audience.  You can create parameters based on the company size, job function, geography and more, which is perfect for those businesses who have different business segments marketed to different audiences.

Since this feature in more in depth, you can get more information on how to set up by accessing your LinkedIn account and visiting the Help Section.

3. RECOMMENDATIONS

One of the best ways to generate business, especially for the local retailer, is by recommendations.  You enable this feature in conjunction with your Products and Services Tab so that your customers now have the opportunity to recommend the products and services you offer to other LinkedIn users.  This will not only build your credibility, but also increase your LinkedIn following, in turn, making you the expert in your area.

Again, this feature is more in depth, so you can get more information on setting this up on your LinkedIn account by visiting the Help Section on LinkedIn.

There are a handful of useful features offered on LinkedIn, so take some time to sift through all the information and set up your account so it best promotes your business.  And, stay tuned for updates to the DOW Electronics LinkedIn page!

What features do you use on LinkedIn?  What works for your business?  Comment below with your suggestions.

5 SOCIAL MEDIA TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW

Social media can be overwhelming and difficult to keep pace with – it is constantly changing and your audience has the potential to be huge, so not knowing what you’re doing, or what you are talking about, leaves you with the chance of looking confused to the entire world.  Don’t sweat – we’ve got a list of the most basic terms and how they pertain to your business.

PLATFORM – a platform is any system that manages content.  For example, the DOW Electronics’ blog platform is WordPress, which hosts an entire community of blogs.  This is important to know because each platform will have its own rules and regulations about what you can and can’t post, so make sure you read each prior to getting started.  Additionally, each platform has its own advantages to reaching your audience to give them the information they want.  For example, Facebook and Twitter are great for posting new sales information, promotions, and behind the scenes pictures, while a blog is best for showing off your expertise, so use each platform differently to ensure you gain the most.  This means you will need to post different types of content on each, and will take a little extra planning.

MICROBLOGGING – microblogging is the posting of short messages on a social media account.  These include Tweets on Twitter, Status Updates on Facebook, and comments on any given social media platform.  Microblogs are great because they promote the sharing of knowledge, networking, and intelligent conversation between individuals interested in the same topic.  While you may not think these are really important since they take little thought or preparation time, you need to put in the planning time to post something that your audience will get value from.  You also want to make sure you never post anything that is offensive or something that can be misinterpreted.  These comments can still be found by a search engine, and the last thing you want to do is generate a negative position about your brand.

HASHTAG – a hashtag is the symbol ‘#’ followed by a series of words or characters.  Messages that have the same hashtags are then grouped together to show you what is currently trending in social media.  For example, at DISH’s Team Summit this year, when posting to Twitter, the hashtag #TS2013 was used to group all like pictures and tweets in the same category.  Additionally, Facebook just recently added the functionality of the hashtag on its platform, so you will see these popping up in your news feed, with a link to click to see who else is posting about the same topic.  If a specific hashtag pertains to you or your business, go ahead and microblog about it – your brand will gain attention for staying on top of current ideas and events.

TRANSPARENCY – transparency is the act of engaging in considerate and courteous conversations with all users on any given platform.  Each and every platform that allows user content to be shared will have a transparency policy set in place, and repercussions can include blocked or deactivated profiles, so always think about the end result since you do not want to post anything that is offensive to any of the other users.  The main goal of social media is to share ideas and generate new beliefs via collective genius, and this is something you should aspire to do in every day social media use.

GOING VIRAL – going viral, or virality, is the rate in which content is passed along on any platform.  YouTube is a great example for thinking about virality.  This is the ultimate goal for any social media user – the faster your content goes viral, the more press and attention you are likely to receive.  However, there is a fine line, as you want to make sure your content goes viral for the right reasons, so make sure to have a sharp eye on all your posts.  When thinking about viral content, it is good to create a mix of useful information with lighthearted humor to engage your audience.

Now, it is important to remember these are the very basics, and since each platform changes each day, you need to make an effort to stay up-to-date with how each will affect your content and pages.

What confuses you about social media?  If there are any topics you need assistance with, just leave a comment below and the DOW Electronics team will be happy to help!

Best Warehouse and Inventory Practices

Paul Veloso, the DOW Electronics Warehouse Manager, is this week’s guest blogger, sharing his tips on how to better manage your warehouse so inventory can be easily maintained.

Inventory discrepancies and maintaining your warehouse can be a major headache, and keeping it all in order is easier said than done.  When inventories are inaccurate, it becomes difficult to pull and expedite orders, and can be very frustrating to locate items in a large, unorganized warehouse.  But, is it possible?  Yes!  It requires focus, attention to detail and organization, but you can save yourself the headache by following these tips to organizing your warehouse and inventory and minimizing issues within your stockroom.

Quality Begins at Receiving

From the moment the product arrives in your warehouse, your inventory can be disrupted if the product is received incorrectly and it is not caught by the receiving team. When receiving product, it is extremely important that it be thoroughly inspected and verified: Is it the correct product? Is it the correct quantity? Find the packing slip that came with the shipment and compare it to your paperwork to ensure what was ordered is exactly what you received. Additionally, the product should be inspected for damages. If damages are not caught and you accept the shipment, you now have damaged inventory sitting in your warehouse that may be difficult to sell. Once you have verified that your product was properly received, you are ready to add it to your inventory.

Proper Storage and Labeling

Now that your product is received and it is now part of your inventory, you are ready to store it. Properly storing your merchandise will aid in the daily tracking and maintenance of your inventory. Depending on the quantity of product to be put away, you may only purchased enough to fulfill your current orders, or you may have a large quantity that will require an overstock location. If the product is going directly into the pull location, make sure that the location is properly marked. If you stock several items that are similar in appearance and in part number, you may want to consider keeping them separate to avoid pulling errors. If using an overstock location, make sure the product is properly palletized and wrapped. The pallet should be labeled with the product identification and the quantity that is on the pallet. The quantity and part number on the label should be verified by two or three people to ensure all the information is correct. Incorrect label information can affect accurate inventory accountability. If there are several pallets of the same product, ensure they are all stored together rather than spread out throughout the warehouse. If some of the product is removed from an overstock pallet to replenish a pull location, a new pallet label with the new quantity should replace the current label. Properly stored and labeled product can make a world of difference when it comes to keeping track of your inventory. Embrace the label; it is your friend.

Pulling and Checking Orders

One of the greatest causes of inventory discrepancies is improper pulling and failing to catch the error. The order picker should be focused on the task to ensure the correct item is pulled. It only takes a few extra seconds to double-check a part number and a description. It is also imperative that any order pulled be verified by someone other than the order picker. If available, allow several persons to confirm that the order was pulled correctly. This will help avoid errors from going out the door and in turn will avoid discrepancies in your inventory.

Cycle Counting

A counting schedule or cycle is very important to keep you aware and informed of any issues with your inventory levels. Your warehouse team will also be more productive with cycle counting because the location of items in inventory will be more accurate. A lot of misplaced inventory is caught and resolved during cycle counts and therefore less time will be spent trying to locate these items during order picking.

Inventory control is a tedious but important part of any successful business. Many departments and personnel are involved, and the warehouse team is no exception. Take a few extra minutes to double-check and verify everything from receiving to pulling and shipping. These few minutes can save hours of labor spent on tracking your inventory, correcting warehouse discrepancies and will save you a few bucks on aspirin.

Showroom Success: The Green Edition

If you read and implemented the ideas from our Successful Showroom blog post a couple of weeks ago, then you have a clean, well branded showroom. In honor of Earth Day this past Monday, April 22 let’s take it one step further and help your business reduce the waste it generates from daily operations.  Did you know the average American worker produces two pounds of paper and cardboard waste each day and approximately 10,000 sheets of paper waste each year? (www.cleanair.org)  Consider all the copies, disposable coffee cups, shipping boxes and other miscellaneous trash that your company contributes to the massive amount of waste created each day.  To help your business lessen the waste it produces, here are some ideas that are low cost, low hassle and can be as easy as changing a light bulb.

More than Paper and Plastic

At the very least, most businesses now recycle their paper, but what about all the additional items that you and your employees throw away that could easily be recycled?   Cardboard boxes, ink cartridges and glass products are a prime example.   Cardboard boxes in good condition can be reused to ship out other products, and printer ink cartridges only need to be taken to the local office supply store to be returned.

Only about 20% of glass is recycled each year and there is no reason why you shouldn’t be doing this as well – just collect and take to your local recycling collection plant for sorting.  Some recycling plants will even schedule a monthly pick up, so just call and check with the recycling plants in your area.  The best part is this is easy to set up and utilize in your business.  All you’ll need to do is set up a small area with collection containers and let employees know which products go in each container.  Another added benefit is that you may receive money back for the recycled products, or, in the case of the ink cartridges, discounts towards your future purchases.

Other ways you can supplement your ‘green’ activity in your office: give your employees reusable coffee mugs, and get rid of the Styrofoam cups, which are not biodegradable, or use cups for water instead of bottles of water and make double sided copies when possible.

Around the Showroom

One of the biggest areas of waste will be your showroom, but not in terms of what you are throwing away.  Before you leave each night, take a look at all the electrically powered items left on or plugged in.  You aren’t necessarily throwing anything physical into a trashcan, but you are wasting electricity by leaving on any lights, computers and plugged-in chargers that aren’t being used.  At the end of each day, make sure you and your employees turn off all computers and lights, and unplug all unneeded and unused equipment chargers.  According to www.energy.gov, which reviews and reports on the United States energy usage, you can save around $10,000 in energy usage each year if 10 employees all take the time to turn off lights and computers each night and on the weekend.  With savings like that, you can’t afford not to start turning your showroom green!

Other ways you can supplement reducing waste at your business: turn off water when it’s not in use (and check for faucet leaks), turn off the heating and cooling systems on weekends and switch your light bulbs to energy efficient bulbs.

Now you have a handful of ways to start going green within your showroom and office, but there are a lot of other things you can do to go green each day.  It’s never too late to get started.  For those of you that already implement green techniques, comment below with how your business reduces its waste!

QR Codes and Your Business

The QR, or quick response, code is popping up more each day, and has quickly become a huge trend in today’s marketing.  But, if you don’t know the best way to get started and use them in your marketing, you’ll be lost, so we’ve done the research to help you utilize them to grow your business.

The Basics

The QR Code is essentially a more complex bar code.  A bar code only stores price and product info, is one-dimensional and can only be scanned by a laser scanner.  A QR code is two-dimensional, can be scanned with any scanner with an imaging device, such as a smart phone camera, and can link to any type of information, like videos, maps, contact info and more.

There are a number of free sites that will allow you to create and track your QR code. The ones with the best ratings are www.QRStuff.com, www.GoQR.me and www.QRMobilize.com (plus, many more).  They all offer different options as to what the codes can link to, and some even offer free website mobilization which is crucial.  I would suggest checking out a few options to determine which one best fits your needs.  Also, don’t shy away from using a paid site, which will offer advanced options.  The extra money spent and advanced options in tracking and mobile assistance may be your best option in helping you facilitate and determine the success of your campaign.

Best Practices

Now that you know how to set up your QR codes, it’s time to review the dos and don’ts of utilizing the codes in your advertising.

  1. Mobile Sites: it’s always important to remember to connect your code to a mobile optimized site.  Your potential customers will be scanning these with their smart phones and mobile devices, so connecting them to a full web page will be a logistical nightmare.  When prepping your mobile site, plan something small, like a landing page with opt-in information, instructions, promotions or a video instead of your full informational site.
  2. Size and Space Matters: when planning the usage of your QR code, think about how your users will scan it.  Putting it on your billboard, or on the side of the bus are probably not your best options – how will your potential customers scan them when the bus moves, or when in a moving car?  Magazines, newspapers, flyers and posters are much better options, as your customer will have more opportunity to pull out their device and scan your promotion.  And remember to keep the QR code in proportion to your ad, but large enough for a scanner to read.
  3. Call to Action: one of the biggest mistakes made is that when using a QR code, there is no call to action.  Always place a small line or sentence identifying what the user stands to gain from scanning – it can be as easy as ‘Scan Here for Troubleshooting Information” – so the customer knows what to expect beforehand.

Practical Uses for Your Business

The best part of QR codes is that their uses are virtually endless, and we’ve already thought of a few great options for you to get started using them to grow your business today:

  • Include with new equipment purchases and have the code link to installation instructions or troubleshooting questions.
  • On marketing materials with directions to your location, or special promotional and sales information.
  • Print a QR code on adhesive Avery labels and cover the bar codes for any products, this way customers can’t scan the bar code and find a lower price elsewhere.  You can include anything from sales and contact information to product reviews.
  • Print on the back of your business cards and it will automatically include your contact information in their phone.
  • Include on signage for any special event you will be participating in or hosting, with information on your location within the event, giveaways or add the event to their personal calendar.
  • Include on your advertising in magazines and newspapers with a link to testimonials

Now you are ready to get started.  If you have any questions on using QR codes for your business, feel free to call the DOW Electronics’ Marketing Department and we’ll be more than happy to assist you.  Or, if you are already using QR codes in your advertising, comment with your suggestions and examples below!

New Classes Available on DISH U

Many of you already know I’m a big believer in DISH U. Since the launch of the new DISH U, shortly after Team Summit last year, it’s grown and gotten better.  Readers of the DOW Electronics blog know I’ve written about it and continue to see great value in it.

Most retailers think of DISH U for their DISH-related training and that’s it.  I find that so many are unaware that DISH U also has Professional Development (PD) courses available as well.  These courses cover a wide variety of topics, outside of the DISH world, that retailers and their sales staff can benefit from.

Different course modules are grouped together and called learning tracks.  To access the different learning tracks, from the homepage click on the ‘Training Catalog’ link and then on the ‘Catalog’ tab.

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From here, you will see the overall learning tracks.  Click on the triangle to the left side of the title to expand and see the individual courses within the track.

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Each track consists of courses that can be taken ‘on-demand,’ meaning you can start, stop, and return to the spot where you left off whenever you’re ready to being again.  Most courses take less than an hour to complete.

This past week, DISH U added some new and exciting PD tracks (see the RetailerNews DISH U® Offers New Professional Development Tracks – for FREE! document on  DISHPortal for additional details).  These include new tracks that touch on topics such as Coaching and Communication Skills, Customer Retention Strategies, and Time Management, just to name a few.

Here are three tracks that I recommend taking as soon as possible.  These, along with others on DISH U, can make an immediate impact on your business.

  • Sales Skills Track – This track includes modules on understanding the benefits of consultative selling, conducting a needs analysis, and understanding customer expectations.
  • Customer Service Track – Within this track you’ll learn about ways to earn customer loyalty, manage customer service challenges, and effectively communicate with customers.
  • Social Media Track – Are you a little confused by social media and its place in business today?  This track will help you understand how the two go hand-in-hand.

The professional-quality content you find on DISH U would cost thousands of dollars if paid for out-of-pocket.  Remember, these training courses are designed specifically for the DISH retailer regarding new offers, equipment and day-to-day operations, so I urge you to take advantage of the valuable training resources that DISH provides its retailers.  Plus, there is a DISH U Mobile App, that allows for training on the go!  Announcements will go out as content is refreshed and new modules are added and there is even a news feed that provides current DISH headlines.

If you don’t have a DISH U training account, check with your account administrator.  There are documents on the DISH Portal that explain how to create accounts for either you or your staff.  As always, if I can be of assistance is this regard, please don’t hesitate to respond to this blog or email me directly at training@dowelectronics.com.

What do you think of the new professional development content on DISH U?  Is there anything you’d like to see added to the current roster of training tracks?  Drop us a line in the comments section below!

PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR THE LOCAL RETAILER

According to the Public Relations Society of America, by definition, public relations is ‘the strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”  Essentially, public relations is the ability to influence the way the public perceives your business and products.

Now, public relations can often be confused with marketing and advertising, but the three should work in conjunction with your sales team to improve and promote your business in the best possible way.  Whether you have previous experience with using public relations as a business tool, or you are thinking about using this for the first time, we’re going to cover the basics of public relations and press releases to help you design an easy and effective campaign.

Why Public Relations and Press Releases?

Public relations and press releases are great business tools for several reasons, with the main being that you are the one in control of the information released.  Since you are in the driver’s seat, you can regulate your image, the tone of the message and medium where the message is sent, thus creating the ultimate booster for you and your business.

Other benefits include increased brand awareness and public influence, image building and increased credibility.  Plus, aside from the cost to actually create the message, it is essentially free and it works directly with your current advertising and marketing plan.

What information to release?

There are several things to keep in mind when determining what information to put in press releases:  does it have an impact on my public or local community?  Is it current news?  Will it boost my credibility as the local expert?  Will it set me apart from other businesses?  Consider some of the following topics to use for press releases:

  • Sponsorship of local charities
  • New products or channels available to your community
  • Grand Openings or Open Houses
  • Expansion
  • Contests and Giveaways
  • Industry awards or customer service awards
  • Unique or new services not offered by other businesses

Although you may be partial to your business, not everything is newsworthy.  Only release items you are truly proud of, or know will set you apart from other businesses.  Another thing to keep in mind is to stay positive – remember, you are in control, so make sure to generate excitement and upbeat responses from your public.

Where to Send your Releases

Now that you have determined your press-worthy story and typed it up for publication, where do you send it?  That all depends on the topic you are releasing.  For the most basic answer, your local TV stations, newspapers and radio stations are a good place to start.  For newspaper (or print in general), contact the beat writer directly.  For TV and radio stations, get the information for the assignment desk editor and send the story to them.

Another thing to keep in mind is industry news.  If the item you are releasing is directly correlated to a specific industry (partnerships, new product lines, etc.), don’t hesitate to send the release to the publications for that industry, which can include magazines, newsletters and online sites.  For example, when DOW Electronics recently announce its new partnership with Mobile Solutions, we sent our press release to the top 12 Volt publications, such as 12voltinsider.com, 12voltnews.com and Mobile Electronics Magazine to name a few.  These types of publications often rely on their readers to provide them with current news, and appreciate those who are proactive about submitting information.

Public relations and press releases are truly an art, so don’t get discouraged if your release doesn’t get picked up the first time you send one out.  Often times it takes several releases before you get even one mention, but once you perfect the ‘magic formula’ and create your contact lists at individual publications, it will be no time before you get mentioned on a regular basis.  Just keep at it and continue to build the business image and credibility of your business.

Preparing for Team Summit – Part II

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Now that you have begun prepping for Team Summit, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of all the things you will need to be prepared for.  You will need to think of all the expected, and unexpected, scenarios that could possibly happen so you are not stuck with your hands in your pockets.

What to Bring?

There are always the usual items you need to bring with you: comfortable, yet professional, clothing, a good pair of walking shoes and personal items; but what about your business items?  Get an extra set of business card printed before heading to San Antonio – you will be meeting numerous connections, and you want to make sure they have your contact information once everyone heads home.  And, when you are taking the business cards of others, make conversation notes on the back so you can reference them at a later date.  Also, for training classes, a recorder (or app on your cell phone) to log the information can be much better than actually trying to write notes – the recording will be much more detailed, and if you have any questions when you get back, you won’t have to wonder what was noted in your class.

Other items to think of: gum or breath mints, extra sets of personal items, a credit card or cash, extra writing materials, brochures on your company, a camera, aspirin or other medications, batteries or chargers, sewing kit, city maps, sunscreen, lanyards, band aids, hand sanitizer.  If you are staying the extra day in San Antonio, don’t forget your golf clubs. J

Pre-Training Study

I know you have assigned your team members specific training classes (as mentioned in Part One) – so why not get yourself ready for class?  Trainers love when attendees are active and vocal within the seminar, so go ahead and make a list of questions you have for your trainer.  Consider mentioning situations that have occurred within your business or relevant industry trends to make the training applicable to your everyday business issues.  This will make you stand out and memorable to those attending the conference with you, you will get the information you desire from the training, and those who are teaching will appreciate you did your homework.

Other things to keep in mind: arrive on time, keep your sense of humor and listen!  While it is work, you don’t want to waste anyone’s time and you want to engage those around you.

After Team Summit

Now, time will go quickly, and soon you will be headed back to every-day business.  But, one important step many forget is to follow up with those connections you made while at the conference.  It can be as easy as writing an email, a short thank you note or sending pictures you took with your new friends.  Don’t be shy about reminding them on why you connected in the first place – and, after all, it is business, and you‘ve already completed the toughest first step, which is getting your foot in the door.

Additionally, if you have any social media accounts, be sure to share what you learned and pictures with those who follow you, and connect with your new friends on your feeds.   Invite your new connections to follow you or like your page, as this will be an easier way for you to keep in touch.  Plus, people love looking at pictures, and learning new things, so go ahead and share away!  It will only net you more traffic to your sites, thus branding your company.

All-in-all, Team Summit should be a good way for you to connect with others in business just like you, so make sure you stay open-minded so that you can share, and others can share their tips with you.  Keep your good attitude and enjoy all the new things you will learn and people you will meet.  There’s also some amazing entertainment at this year’s event, so don’t miss out on all the fun!  And when it’s all said and done, let us know how your Team Summit experience was for 2013.

And, make sure you come by to visit the DOW Electronics booth in the distributor area – we’d love to meet all our friends and followers!

Employee Training – Get the Most from your New Hire

New employees, and the training process, are bound to happen when you run a business.  According to Forbes Magazine, the average person changes jobs every 4.4 years, especially Millennials, so it is inevitable that you will have to hire and re-train a new employee.

So, what is the best way you get the most out of your training process, and the best performance from your new hire?  Many feel that education solely on role responsibilities is the best; however, the manner in which you approach training, combined with supplemental materials can provide the best method for your new worker.

POSITIVITY IS KEY

Creating a positive training environment is crucial in getting your new employee off on the right foot.  It will not only foster development in their new role, but will also help with confidence levels.  Being patient is also a part of the process for you or your trainers – beginner mistakes will happen, so gently remind him or her why this step in your process is important, and reward achievements.  Feedback should be relayed as helpful, whether it is positive or negative, so that your new employee does not become hindered in the course of learning responsibilities.

PROVIDE RESOURCES

Creating an outside list of reference points other than your company training manual can also be important in ensuring the new hire gets all the information they need.  These resources can be anything from a list of industry circulars, annual company reports, company newsletters or articles featuring your company.  This can provide insight for them to not only understand your company culture and environment, but will acclimate them to your set of expectations.  Allow them to review these materials in their training down-time to make them feel part of the team and so they are not overwhelmed with their current training.

CONTINUOUS EDUCATION

Encouraging continuous education is important for all employees in any industry, especially those that handle anything concerning new and ever-changing technology.  Urge your employees to read industry publications and subscribe to email blasts that relate to their job responsibilities so they can stay updated on trends and changes affecting your industry.  Other options for continuous education are conferences that offer training classes and feature important keynote speakers, or you can compensate those employees who take the initiative to complete training courses outside of work hours.   While we are never too old to learn, these actions will nurture an environment suitable for learning and allow your employees to be fulfilled within their professional lives.

There are a thousand different ways for you to train and guide your new employee to get the most from their time with your company, but what and how do you like to teach your employees to ensure you get the most from them??  Comment and let us know so we can share your tips with our DOW Electronics family.