Aside from that, at least I can still pick out some notes and play some of the pieces that I played years ago.
What this little exercise served to do is to illustrate that if you don't practice a skill, whether it is playing violin or speaking to your customers, you will lose it.
When I put the violin up to my chin, I had an expectation that it would sound like it did back when I used to practice every day.
It wasn't even close. Although, when I was playing pieces I was familiar with, the old muscle memory was still there. But, it wasn't enough. The skill level just isn't where it used to be.
Part of being able to talk to your customers involves not only building up your skill level, but also creating muscle memory. Keep repeating your responses to common customer questions until your answers become automatic.
Having these automatic responses ready will help you to interact with your customers in a more meaningful way. Removing the pressure to come up with a response lets you focus on what you customer is really saying so you can guide the conversation toward the sale.