Nursery Sales Assistant

Course CodeVHT103
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Learn to work as a nursery sales person and be a real asset to your nursery

  • Work in a plant nursery as sales assistant
  • Improve your ability to sell plants and associated products
  • Be an asset!

This course was developed in response to a request from a retail nurseryman who was finding it difficult to find staff with appropriate skills. As he put it, job applicants were either over qualified or lacked the basic skills needed: to be able to identify plants, advise customers on their use and to understand some basic sales techniques and procedures.

Lesson Structure

There are 5 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction to Plant Identification
    • Understanding plant classification and pronunciation of plant names.
  2. Basic Sales Skills
    • Different customer types
    • communication skills to sell
    • how to open and close a sale.
  3. Caring for Plants
    • Planting techniques
    • understanding soils
    • plant nutrition
    • pest management.
  4. Selecting the Right Plant for the Right Place
    • How to create different affects and moods using plants.
  5. Advising Customers in a Nursery
    • Developing good communication skills
    • knowing your product
    • plant placement.


  • Identify a range of different plants, based on their flower and leaf structures.
  • Describe the importance of effective communication and sales techniques in the retail nursery industry.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of how to care for plants, both in the garden and in the nursery.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of appropriate plant selection for a range of different sites.
  • Identify a range of plant health problems and describe appropriate chemical and non-chemical control methods to control those problems.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and use of nursery products.
  • Describe the importance of plant placement in the retail nursery

Why are Some Customers Difficult?

Different customers will react in different ways.

Here are some common problem situations that you should watch out for.



Things Moving Too FastThe customer may become too enthusiastic, too fast; and not take time to think out their responses clearly (ie. Their mouth moves faster than their brain). Some people absorb things faster than others: moving fast may then leave some floundering; moving slower may risk the fast movers becoming bored.


Things Moving Too Slow
Boredom can set in if things are moving slowly.  Don't try to explain things in so much detail that yout bore the customer. By involving the customer (asking questions and listening to their responses), you may be able to keep people involved longer.

  • Being too brief Does Not work though
  • Increase involvement, rather than speed.


Some Customers are Too Talkative
Some people have a natural tendancy to talk a lot. Unfortunately, these people often do not listen as well as they talk. It may take extra skills to get a message through to these people. Yo need to interject and try to manipulate a more interactive style of discussion here.


Some Customers do Not Talkative Enough
This may be due to shyness, or lack of understanding of the topic. Asking direct questions can help raise involvement.


Some Customers Think they know it All Already
You can respect the customer but still divert their attention back to the the sale. Some customers are bound to be more knowledeable than others. If what a customer is saying is actually untrue or incorrect then you need to have the techniques to right them without embarrasing them or losing the sale. These techiques are learned skills.

Sales persons must avoid personality clashes with client/customer    A skilled communicator will ignore such problems and under no circumstances show the customer(s) that they are affected in any way.



Given all of the above a sales person is most important to a business. Sales people are the 'face' of any business they are what a customer may judge a business on. Your skills can make or lose a business money. If you have the right sales skills and good product knowledge you will become a real asset to your employer or to your own busness.



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