Fixing up merchants’ views on training

on 08 July, 2013

In an age where ‘time is money’ has never been more pertinent, investing in training on the latest products and legislation is often left at the bottom of the merchants’ to-do list.

Of course, most merchants accept the benefits of their teams knowing each feature and benefit of their product offer, as well as what the industry demands are, but it remains a necessary evil.

As the technical support manager for i-fix, I often work with people who are struggling for time and a justification for a day spent off site learning about a product when they might be back at base selling it.

The fact is, you can’t really understand a product until you see it in action and it’s this pearly wisdom that will increase sales - and decrease stress - for modern-day builders’ merchants.

To give merchants the best support in selling our i-fix repair and maintenance products, we are hosting free i-fix seminars at our Tamworth headquarters and even throwing in a few free sandwiches to boot!

But, as the old cliché goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch and merchants are encouraged to get their hands dirty at our i-fix seminars and take advantage of product handling guidance.

We know too well that there is nothing worse than feeling like you’re being told how to suck eggs so we always make sure our i-fix seminars cater for all those attending – and I don’t just mean the snacks!

After hosting our first i-fix seminar last month, our suspicions were well and truly confirmed: seeing is believing. It’s easy for manufacturers to tell a merchant how brilliant their latest range is; it’s much harder to prove, and it’s this proof that our scheme for merchants gives.

As important as it is for merchants to get to grips with the products themselves, sometimes it just isn’t feasible to attend an i-fix seminar, which is why I’ve had a starring role in our how to videos that merchants can view when it’s convenient.

While the economy may be relatively unchanging, our industry isn’t, so it’s vital merchants take guided awareness opportunities where they can and manufacturers help facilitate them.

Nick Holmes is technical support manager, i-fix.

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