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Sales Training, Customer Help Still Concerns

During CEA’s CEO Summit keynote, Best Buy’s Brad Anderson also addressed the age-old question of sales training and how important it is in keeping customers satisfied.

He mentioned a meeting he had with Japanese retailers recently to illustrate the problem. “The average Japanese floor salesman has seven or eight years experience. Best Buy’s average is one year.” Solving the training and sales turnover problem is “a mammoth job,” but he feels U.S. retailers can bridge the gap “with great sales tools and training, especially through the use of the Web” on the sales floor and to help with training.

Part of the new paradigm that Anderson discussed is the fact that “today’s consumers are demanding.” Due to the Web and a variety of other new ways that consumers can learn about new products, “They want effective, knowledgeable sales assistance,” since “they know as much or more about the products they want to buy than some of the salespeople on the floor.”

He added that consumers also “demand the newest technology and the products to be in stock.” Other consumer demands for retailers are what he called “informational/experimental shopping” through the Web and “efficient purchasing and checkout.”