Many convenience store managers focus their alcohol sales training on how to make legal sales by asking for and checking ID. This is critical, of course, but employees also need to know what to do when they can’t make a legal sale. When it comes to refusing alcohol sales, employees must know when to do it and how to do it right.
Common Reasons to Refuse Alcohol Sales
These are the most common reasons for refusing alcohol sales:
- The customer does not have a valid ID
- The customer has an ID that appears to be fake
- The customer appears to be intoxicated
- The customer appears to be buying alcohol for someone under 21
How to Refuse a Sale
Refusing alcohol sales for any reason can be difficult, but it’s important to maintain your best customer service skills, even if it’s challenging. Make sure your employees thank the customer for their understanding and cooperation. It’s also important not to back down once you or an employee has made the decision to refuse the sale. Stay firm, but polite – don’t get into an argument with the customer.
It’s essential that your employees have received training on how to refuse sales and are prepared for what they should say to a customer should the need arise. Encourage your team to practice refusing alcohol sales so they become comfortable with what to say and know which response is easiest for them. Here are a few examples to get you started:
Compliance Checks and Refusing Alcohol Sales
Law enforcement officers may perform compliance checks at all places where alcohol is sold, so you want to be sure your employees are prepared in the event of a sting. Scheduling your own compliance checks or secret shops will help you to know if your employees are following the law or if they need refresher training.
Train Your Staff on Responsible Alcohol Sales
Online Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service training from Ready Training Online covers properly checking ID, spotting fake IDs, and refusing alcohol sales while delivering exceptional service. State-specific training for certain states is also available, including the recently released California Responsible Beverage Service, and the Florida Security, Tobacco Sales, & Alcohol Responsible Vendor program.