Patios Plus, an outdoor furnishings retailer in Rancho Mirage, Calif., is the first retail member of the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) to have its entire sales team complete the ICFA Sales Training Certificate Program.
ICFA's Sales Training Certificate Program was developed in cooperation with Greg Welsh, Welsh Sales Group. The California-based training company has developed retail sales and management training programs for retail chains, manufacturers and buying groups. Welsh has personally trained over 15,000 sales professionals over the past 19 years in 48 states and in more than 12 countries.
"With the current state of our economy and our wide range of clients, it has become much more important for us to adapt our selling styles to meet their needs," explains Jim Schultz. "With the completion of the ICFA training videos, we learned much more about reading our clients' needs – and not being afraid to ask for the sale when we have met them. Overall, it was a great way to refresh our sales team with new ideas and positive ways to look at every sale situation. In turn, we have seen a positive shift in our closing ratio, keeping us on the upswing for our new season."
The three-tier ICFA sales training program is DVD-based and includes companion workbooks, tests at each level and a certificate upon completion. Each sales associate who successfully completes the program also receives a lapel pin.
"As a three-time Apollo Award winner, it is no mistake that Jim and Kristine recognize the value of training their entire team to a very high level," says ICFA Chairman Eric Parsons, Gloster Furniture.