21 Days to Form a Habit

21 is a magic number…even outside of Vegas!

Scientific thinking holds that it takes 21 days to form (or break) a habit. How does this relate to wireless retail sales training and the learning we expect to take place?

The wireless retail store hardly appears to be a setting for testing scientific theories, but it seems that at least one theory has relevance there. The notion that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit could be of significance to learning as it relates to wireless retail sales training.

Now, you may be thinking “The only significance 21 has ever had to me is when I reached that long-awaited birthday… no, wait, there was that one blackjack hand in Vegas…” Well, a certain Dr. Maxwell Maltz also found 21 to be a significant number. His studies back in the ‘60s led to the finding that it takes a full 21 days for humans to form a new habit or to break an old one. Chronicled in his book, Psycho-Cybernetics, Maltz’s work pioneered a line of thinking that many other scientists have since backed.

Get into the habit

In the area of sales training for new wireless retail sales associates, this theory comes into play quite significantly. Let’s take a look at how a wireless retail store owner or manager might need to keep this scientific finding in mind:

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    Expectations

    We all want to see results when we make an investment. This may be especially true when it comes to training. We expect our learners to return to the job doing things better, smarter, faster. But we may need to temper expectations of instantaneous results. Wireless retail sales associates who receive sales training will be exposed to volumes of new ideas and techniques that they’ll want to use on the job. Great training programs will grant employees an opportunity to try out these new skills in role-playing sessions. But when sales associates begin to use and refine their learning in real time, wireless retail sales owners and managers would do well to use the 21-day window as a lens to see these new skills turning into new sales habits.

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    Milestones

    Likewise, if it takes 21 days to fully form a new habit, wireless retail sales owners and managers may want to set some milestones along the way. What progress do you expect to see one week after training? Two weeks? By monitoring the changes in sales associates’ post-training behavior, you’ll be able to catch them doing something right and provide them with important recognition for their efforts. You’ll also stay watchful for missed opportunities to apply new skills and provide your sales associate with gentle reminders.

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    Reinforcements

    A comprehensive wireless retail sales training program will provide tips and strategies ranging from how to greet customers right on through to how to ask for the sale. As newly trained sales associates return to the sales floor to put these new techniques to the test, having direct access to their learning materials during the critical 21-day proving ground can be a real benefit for reinforcing many of these complex concepts.

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    Successes

    Imagine your pride when a new sales associate is demonstrating recently acquired sales skills right there on the sales floor, within 21 days of completing sales training! Their confidence has grown and your confidence in them has grown. A stronger, more confident sales associate can lead to better sales, higher customer retention, and a great store reputation. Plus, the positive energy from one sales associate can set off a positive chain reaction in your store, influencing others to exceed expectations and allowing the trained sales associate to be a solid role model for future employees.

So, it turns out that Dr. Maltz’s lab work might have had more bearing on the wireless retail sales floor than we first gave him credit for. By the way, Dr. Maltz was actually a plastic surgeon by trade, so perhaps the number 21 influenced his work in that field, too… helping patients to look and feel that young again? In any case, we can be grateful for his work and understanding its everyday implications for training and learning in the wireless retail sales industry.