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Sales Skills for Garden Centre Staff- Short Course

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Sneak Peek




Improve your sales skills or those of your staff! This 20-hour online course was written in conjunction with professionals working in this field. Students will learn the art of selling - understanding that a more professional approach to selling is the key to improved sales in today’s competitive environment.

A business cannot survive without great salespeople and garden centres are not excluded from this. Too often garden centres have concentrated only the plants – not how to sell those plants. If a garden centre is to survive today, then it needs great staff with the abilities, techniques, attitudes and approaches of professional salespeople. Just knowing about horticulture, although important, is not enough. A sales team or even a single salesperson can make a huge difference to the success of a business. Knowing how to open and close a sale and how to encourage add-on sales are fundamental to sales skills. This course covers that and a lot more.


This Course is for:

  • Garden centre sales assistants
  • Garden centre owners
  • Small operators
  • Larger operators with accessible and flexible staff training needs
  • People (with some horticultural background) looking to break into garden sales
  • Students of horticulture wanting to expand into sales




Lesson 1: Presentation, Personality and Communication in Selling

  • Personality, Self-Awareness and Attitude
  • Types of Shoppers
  • Communication, Active Listening and Conversation Selling
  • Communicating Confidence
  • Trends in Garden Centre Customers


Lesson 2: Helping the Product Sell Itself

  • Merchandising and Displays
  • Signs
  • How Customers Pay
  • Garden Centre Products and Services


Lesson 3: Product Knowledge

  • What is Product Knowledge?
  • Knowing your competition
  • Marketing For Garden Centres and Nurseries
  • Lesson 3 Additional Reading
  • Mark Ups in Garden Centres – What to Charge
  • What is a ‘Reasonable’ Mark Up?


Lesson 4: Selling Made Simple

  • Introduction - The selling process
  • Steps in Sales
  • Using Language to Promote Sales
  • Creating Logical Sentences
  • Reduce Confusion in Your Sales Approach


Lesson 5: ‘The Opening’ (Gaining the Customer ’s Attention)

  • Introduction
  • Timing and Opening a Sale


Lesson 6: ‘Closing a Sale ’ (COS)

  • Add-On Sales/Upselling


Lesson 7: The Law and Selling

  • Ethics and Selling
  • Ethics in Sales
  • Guidelines for Ethical Marketing and Selling


Lesson 8: Gaining and Keeping Customers

  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Promotions
  • Measuring Success


Working in a Garden Centre

Not everyone knows instinctively ‘how to sell’ but most people, given drive and a passion for the product, can learn how to be a better sales person. This course focuses on customer service and turning nursery staff into great sales assistants. 

When working in a garden centre it is always important to remember the following points:

You should have a working knowledge of the policies and procedures set by the business you are working for. If it isn’t volunteered to you, as should be the case - in for example a training session then you should ask.  Don’t just presume it will be the same wherever you work; private businesses have different approaches,  attitudes and needs depending on the size of the business, the amount of employees that they have and even their profile within the industry. You should know exactly what you employer expects of you and of the business that they run. 


The second important thing that you should know about the garden centre you work in is where it positions itself in the market place, because this also influences your employer’s expectations of you and shapes the service (and even the products and plants) that they offer customers.
For example:

  • Do they view themselves as an exclusive high end personal service type business?
  • Do they view themselves at the lower ‘self-serve’ end of the spectrum?
  • Do they fall somewhere in between?

A business owner at the higher end will expect a great deal more professionalism from their employees then those running a nursery at the self-service end.  They may expect you to partake in training sessions and even undertake courses. Make it your business to understand your employer’s expectations so that you can provide the sort of service that they expect. 

Other considerations:

  • Nurseries at the lower end often sell very commonly available plants that most customers recognise. Some customers like to buy plants they know and rarely deviate from that. In the nursery trade these types of plants were often termed as ‘bread and butter’ plants because they reliably sold and paid the wages (hence the term ‘bread and butter’).
  • Some nurseries deal mainly with rare plants aimed at attracting customers that are plant enthusiasts – this type of nursery will expect their employees to have knowledge of the plants that they sell. Some are online nurseries that also open to the public on a regular basis or trade both online and open to the public.
  • Some nurseries deal only with native plants – again these types of nurseries would employ staff knowledgeable in native plants.
  • Many nurseries combine a ‘bit of each’ of the above. 

Know exactly where the garden centre you work in positions themselves in the trade and your employer’s expectations as this helps you to become a better salesperson and a great employee with a good future in the industry.  


Why Choose this Course?

  • 20-hour course concentrated on sales skills that is easily achievable at home or at work
  • It has industry input so is aimed at what is expected in the industry today
  • It is informative without being academically frightening!
  • It encourages self-paced study and the opportunity to assess a student’s progress through self-assessment tests at the end of each lesson and a larger test at the end.
  • It encourages pride in a learner’s sales position.

How Will This Course Help Me?

This course not only boosts sales skills -  it also encourages confidence, improves self-esteem, and engenders pride in a job.

  • Learn how to open and close sales
  • Learn the importance of product knowledge to sales
  • Learn marketing techniques and how they can be used to boost sales
  • Learn about the importance of how we speak to customers, listen to customers and present ourselves
  • Understand the role of law and ethics in sales
  • Know how to gain new customers but also to keep old ones.
  • Become a true sales professional in the field of garden plants and products.


How does this course work? 

You can enrol at any time
Once you have paid for the course, you will be able to start straight away.
Study when and where you like. Work through at your own pace.

You can download your study-guide to your smart phone, tablet or laptop to read offline.

There are automated self-assessment tests you can complete at the end of each lesson. You can attempt these as many times as you wish and each time, upon completion, you can see your results. You will need internet access to complete the self assessment tests.

At the end of the course, you are presented with a large assessment which can be attempted online, anywhere, anytime. If you achieve a 60% pass in the exam; you immediately receive a downloadable certificate of completion with your name on it. If you do not achieve a 60% pass rate, you can contact us to re-sit your exam. ( email- )

Contact us at anytime if you have any issues with the course.

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Sales Skills for Garden Centre Staff- Short Course Sales Skills for Garden Centre Staff- Short Course
$220.00 In stock