When you complete the sale and installation of a new piece of equipment in a commercial kitchen, the last piece of the puzzle is training the staff. So, let's go over the proper way to train.
Completing thousands of training sessions could feel insignificant and something you can rush through. But operating the kitchen without any training could lead to potential disasters in communication and expectations.
One thing to review before we go any further is that just like a good cup of coffee's best friend is a delicious donut, an equipment sales rep's best friend is an installer. Knowing you're working with a great installer relieves a lot of pressure, knowing that everything will be done properly when you go into training.
But it would help if you didn't let your guard down. I've made it a habit for the piece of equipment to show up early, run the machine, and make sure there is no damage and it runs correctly. Nothing was left incomplete because something is being called out during the training and leaves you feeling a little embarrassed.
Another thing to consider before you do the training is to know how many people will be attending. If you have a huge kitchen and a lot of people you know are attending, most people will not be paying attention because they won't be able to see. A lot of people in a small kitchen will have a similar effect. Hence, we might need to break this training up into sessions.
Before showing up to the session, you'll need to ask management how many copies of manuals and specification sheets and other equipment information they'll need for their records. You should ideally email them a digital copy.
You should follow the training session in the order below:
Show them how to start up the equipment
Once you've done your part to see everything is working correctly, you should start the unit and explain all the pre-steps and proper loading procedures to ensure they get the best results. I would also highlight why they picked the unit, its features, and its benefits. Why? Because you don't know who is listening and, by witnessing professionalism, you are putting yourself in a position to get future sales calls. I would like to say you don't need to go into a whole sales pitch, but a quick 1-minute review will do numbers for you.
Show them how to use the equipment from the beginning of the cycle to end correctly.
Depending on the piece of equipment allowing sound, if the machine is loud, this is the best time to go into settings and programs if available.
Once the first two steps are completed, you'll need to review the machine's breakdown and how clean it. Also, put it all together. I like to have the staff do the whole process because it will show you where they have hangups and are not getting it.
Once the training is completed, I would review the warranty and the process on how to place service calls with the management. I will give them a copy of everything you printed, ask if there is a sign off sheet and let me know you will email them all the files.
Training Install Checklist
❏ Know the Equipment
❏ Have factory start-up checklist/manuals/spec sheets/warranty information
❏ Have customer contact/address/phone number/email/set time
❏ Show up at least 15 minutes early
❏ Know how many people you'll be training
❏ Review training with management
❏ Help them register the equipment if available
❏ Send follow up emails after 30/60/90 days
After you've done an excellent training, this is a great time to land more business. Also, as soon as I walk out, I would send an automatic email in 30/60/90 days checking in and at the end of the email asking if they need anything else. I've seen this work so many times in bringing in more business.
I like to send a simple email;
I'm following up on equipment XXXX. Making sure everything is meeting your expectations.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions.
Let me know if you need assistance with any new equipment.
I'm a true believer in asking for more business. I often see salespeople, especially go out for the hunt and do the most robust job, cold calling. When circling back around to the customer, you've already established relationships and ask for more business. If you do both cold calling and follow up, you'll have a great business.
My final thoughts: I always look at people's expressions and see if they understand. Also, always stop and take a moment to ask if they have questions. People are often embarrassed to ask. Most importantly, make it a habit to give you the pitch of your life and work on showing enthusiasm because sometimes people don't want to be there or don't care. This can make you jaded and make you think if they don't care, why should I and you'll get the feeling that you are not doing a good job, which is something I'm sure you don't want to hear.
If you are looking for the Industries best training on commercial kitchen equipment join us at the Chemical Xchange.