Even Geniuses Need Training – A Peek at Apple’s Training Manual

Gizmodo is famous for spying on Apple’s next moves and had a run-in with Apple over its iPhone 4 prototype reveal. I was pleasantly surprised when Gizmodo obliged blog writers like me by ferreting out the training manual meant for the Apple Store Geniuses. If you are too lazy to read Gizmodo’s article, here is a summary of key points:

1. Yes, even Geniuses need training. In fact you don’t qualify to become a Genius at an Apple Store unless you have attended a 14 day training session to begin with. According to Gizmodo, The point of this bootcamp is to fill you up with Genius Actions and Characteristics, listed conveniently on a “What” and “How” list on page seven of the manual. What does a Genius do? Educates. How? “Gracefully.” He also “Takes Ownership” “Empathetically,” “Recommends” “Persuasively,” and “Gets to ‘Yes'” “Respectfully.”

2. Training is a mix of customer psychology, body language facts,  and of course, you guessed it, sales training. Their sales methodology is called APPLE – Approach, Probe, Present, Listen, and End. This not unique to Apple, most retail chains have their acronyms.

3. Role play is a key part of the training manual.

4. Believe it or not, Apple’s legal department has a role to play in the training as well. Here are some samples: Did your computer crash? No, it “stops responding.” Never say crash. What if some Apple software has a bug? Wrong: there’s an “issue,” “condition,” or simply “situation.” You don’t “eliminate” a problem—you “reduce” it. No Apple products are hot—at most they’re “warm.”

5. According to Gizmodo, the Genius Training Workbook also has its share of robot speak (aka conversations that doesn’t happen in real life). If you would like to actually listen to one, watch Are You Being Served, a classic British comedy staged in a retail shop floor.

Now that we have an understanding of the training provided to Apple Store employees, we can all agree that Apple has overwhelmingly superior products for sure!

Srinivas Krishnaswamy

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I love to read and share thoughts on technology, enterprise learning, mobile and any thing cool that impacts enterprises.

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