One of the most rewarding parts of managing the Grill Academy Experience (GAE) is witnessing the look on the faces of our retail associates when the trucks pull into the parking lots for the first time. They’ve never seen anything like it before.
There are so many brands out in the marketplace and many of them try to organize training sessions, many of them in the store at early hours before the stores open. I don’t envy today’s retail associates for the magnitude of product knowledge they all must learn in order to successfully understand all of the products they must know in their areas of expertise. Looking at manuals, booklets, competitive charts, and understanding everything there is to know is quite honestly, challenging – for anyone!
When we developed the GAE, we talked thru every little aspect of this program including length of time away from the sales floor, how much product knowledge training, associate engagement, as well as incorporating hands-on grilling on live hot grills.
Then came the design and development of the trucks and the logistics of training large groups of store associates outside in the parking lots. Then the magic question: What did we want them to take away from this incredible experience? We wanted to create the WOW factor!
What we have found is that many of these associates already love Weber. They already know that we build incredible grills and accessories that last for many years. But then they learn how to successfully light a charcoal grill or adjust the heat on a gas grill.
They use our accessories to prepare a steak or hamburger or pizza right out in the parking lot. They experience firsthand how easy it is on a Weber grill. Then the magic moment when they taste what they cooked. Instant success. And when they hear about our incredible customer service and warranties, it’s just the icing on the Weber cake.
I have heard actual quotes like “WOW, this was amazing!” “This was a lifetime memory!” “I absolutely love Weber!” ‘This was by far the best training I have ever had”. “I’ve been selling Weber for many years, and I learned new things today”.
So in the end, there are no competitive charts. No manuals to memorize. No booklets to review. What we bring to our sales associates is the validation and confidence that Weber is the very best, and we’ll be there long after the grill is sold to help our customers. They know that when you buy a Weber, you just joined our family. And you can bet, they will never forget when we rolled into the parking lot and asked them – “What’s on your Weber?”