Practice does make perfect

There is no short cut around practice. Simple as that. 

Does U2 just jump up on stage one day and pull off a perfect show? No way.

Does an olympic swimmer casually decide to just swim really fast for that week? Of course not.

Does a great restaurant built on customer experience just assume the new server they hired knows how to take care of a guest? Nope.

Does a top wine sales rep just wing in when walking into an account? Honestly, too many of them do and they succeed in spite of their lack of practice. (They often don’t realize just how much more business they could do with a little coaching.)

Should a retailer just have anybody pour wine for their customers on a weekend night just because they are going to do it for free? The answer is no, they should only choose the best. (Cool idea coming soon regarding this.)

Practice leads to building confidence, seeing opportunity, engaging the customer, and steering them toward the goal. That goal can be greater customer service, increased distribution, or greater sales. But unless you know 1) what the goal is; and 2) the roadblocks to get there, then you have no idea what to practice.

In other words, this is where the coach/manager/leader comes in. They should draw the map and lead the practice, and practice can take many forms. Mock service, sales scenarios, role play, a small quiz. Anything to challenge the student and anything to bring new ideas on the table, with a specific goal in mind.

Practice, practice, practice. Aim for perfection.