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Training Material

Level 2

Selling skills Create Displays Present Goods For Sale Understand Why People Shop Selling Skills

Introduction Welcome to the Selling Skills module. This module covers four core areas:




Create displays using supplied materials


Present goods for sale


Demonstrate knowledge of customers’ shopping and buying motives


Sell goods and/or services.

Successfully completing these units will earn your trainees credits towards the National Certificate in Retail (Level 2). The assessment for these unit standards are in the assessment section of the trainee Workbook. You can talk with your Retail Institute Training Adviser if you need help with this material.

How to use this resource This training material will help you work with your trainees so they can achieve the unit standards listed above.

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RIRL 2.20 1 APR ' 10

This is your master copy. You should provide information from this training material to help your trainees complete the activities in their trainee Workbook. The Workbook Answer Guide in your pack will also help you guide your trainees. The activities are designed to reinforce the trainee’s learning and do not form part of the assessment.

Icons These icons show you what sort of activity the trainee is being asked to do: The Workbook Answer Guide in your pack will also help you guide your trainees. This icon in the training material indicates that there is a related activity in the trainee workbook. The activities are designed to reinforce the trainee’s learning and do not form part of the assessment.

This icon explains how something applies in a real workplace situation.

This icon lets you know that there is more information on this subject in another module or section.


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Section 1

Creating displays Two things make a big impression on your customers: The way you greet them when they come into your store and The way your products are displayed. If either of these are not inviting, customers are likely to turn around and walk right back out the door. Product displays help create an atmosphere – a feeling – about a store. They can make your store look exciting and can help customers decide what they want to buy. If displays are done badly they can make your store look cluttered and ugly.

Often a manufacturer or supplier will provide you with the materials to set up a display. They put a lot of time and money into displays (also called visual merchandising) because it is part of their overall marketing strategy. They expect you to support them by displaying their products well. Some manufacturers ask stores to set up their displays in the same way, so customers all around the country get the same contact with their products. They will send you a plan to follow in setting the display up. Your job is to follow these requirements and set up the display according to the plan, while still following your own store’s procedures (such as safety rules). Your own store manager or your supervisor may ask you to set up a display, using products they have selected or an area they have targeted. The plan may just be a verbal description or a quick sketch to give you some ideas. There are two steps to developing a display: 1. Creating it and 2. Looking after it.

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Creating the display This involves: Using the materials and the plan supplied Choosing a position in the store that gives the product the best exposure Adding accessories to go with the products Having the stand ‘ready for action’ within an agreed timeframe Making sure the display is safe for customers and staff and meets any other relevant workplace requirements.

Keri is part of a team setting up a display of new sunscreen products that her store is selling for the first time. The manufacturer has supplied all the products, in different sizes, packaging and UV protection levels. They have also supplied a kitset stand that the products will be displayed on. There are also free product brochures, test samples and health information sheets. The display has to be set up and fully stocked by the following Monday, when the manufacturer will be starting to run a series of TV ads about these sunscreens. The team decides on an area for this display near the store entrance that will really catch customers’ eyes and allow them to try the test samples. They have to clear space around the area so customers will be able to reach the samples and brochures easily and safely and so the display isn’t cluttered in among other products. Keri’s job is to find accessories to make the display even more attractive, and to give customers some ideas of where the products could be used. She collects up some shells, adults’ and children’s sunhats and beach towels, and borrows some swimsuits and a couple of boogie boards from neighbouring shops, so her customers will get the idea that the sunscreens are for children and adults, males and females. As a team they all work together after the store has closed, and have everything up and looking great by late Sunday afternoon.


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The plan The plans supplied for product displays are really instructions to help you put everything together the way the supplier wants. If the plan comes from a manufacturer or distributor, it may show you, step by step, how to put the stand together and how to display the products on it for the best effect. There may be a photograph of how the end result should look. Other stores may be asked to do the exact same display. Plans are usually one of a: Photograph – useful for simple displays that don’t need a lot of construction. It shows what the final display should look like. Diagram – a drawing of how the display should look. It might show numbers with an explanation or have notes to explain what goes where. Description – a written explanation of how to set up the display.

Example of a written description To set up the display: 1.

Unpack all the parts from the carry bag. Check that you have seven parts, labelled 1–7.


Lay the long parts labelled 1 and 3 side by side on the floor, 1 metre apart.


Insert parts labelled 2, 4 and 6 into the matching slots.


Raise the stand and place in the desired position.


Insert part 7 across the top, fitting each end into the empty slots at the top of the stand.


Arrange products 1, 2 and 3 on the top shelf, 4, 5 and 6 on the middle shelf and 7 and 8 on the bottom shelf.

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The position However attractive a display is, it is only useful if customers can see it and examine the products closely. The aim is to boost your sales. Here are some things to consider when deciding where to place a display:

Sales value

‘Hot zones’ are areas in the store where best-selling or very profitable products are placed.


If customers always come in for this type of product they will be prepared to walk around and find it.


If the display is the type of product people often buy on impulse when they come in for something else, put it in an area customers have to go past (such as near the cash desk or checkouts).

Related products

Place your display near similar products if customers usually browse through the range of what you have available.


Some stores have an area set aside for seasonal or short-term displays; people are used to seeing new products placed there.


Smaller displays may need to be in better, highly visible positions or they may not get noticed at all.

New products

If you’re testing a new type of product, give it the best possible chance of success by placing it in a prime area.


Make sure the display is in a well-lit area and any spotlights focus on it rather than on other surrounding products.

The accessories You can have fun and be creative with accessories that give customers some ideas for how the products on display could be used.


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The timeframe You may have to set up displays outside normal working hours. This means customers see the display only when it is completed, so their first impression is something that will wow them. It also prevents interruptions at work and ensures that customers and other staff are not put in danger from the work going on to set up the display. The timeframe may be set by the manufacturer or distributor who supplied the display materials. For example, they may set a time or date when the display has to be ready by because of some promotion they are doing. Make sure you know when the display has to be completed by and also when it has to end, so you know when you will have to take it down.

Safety Your own safety and the safety of your customers and workmates are always important. You may have workplace procedures for setting up displays, handling stock and health and safety. Make sure you know what they are. When setting up a display, take particular care when you are: Climbing ladders Lifting heavy items Connecting electrical equipment Handling wet or slippery materials. The display should be: Easily visible, so customers don’t bump into or fall over it Free of sharp edges and corners Stable, so it can’t fall over or collapse Clear of traffic flow so customers can stop and look at it without preventing others passing by. You also need to leave passageways clear in case of emergencies.

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Looking after the display The purpose of a display is to encourage customers to buy the products on show, so of course they will be picked up and inspected, tested, put back in the wrong place or taken away to the checkout. Your job is to keep the whole display looking as good as the day it was set up. This is called maintenance. You can maintain the display by:

Keeping it attractive, clean and up to your workplace standards

Replacing any damaged or used products

Preventing products being stolen or damaged.

Keep the display attractive and clean You will need to keep an eye on the display throughout the day, and tidy and restock it regularly. You should also make sure it looks fresh and attractive at the beginning of each work day. An untidy, dirty display will tell customers that you don’t care whether they buy the products or not – and that won’t please the manufacturer whose goods you are showing or your boss who’s trying to make sales. Make a checklist like this to help you. You can use these headings or add your own. Check whether there are store procedures for looking after displays. Sample display checklist


Put products back in correct places

Replace sold/damaged/missing products

Make sure each product is complete (lids, parts etc)

Put accessories back in correct position

Change accessories to freshen display (if desired)

Dust and polish products and shelving

Check and clean lights

Remove rubbish, packaging, clutter

Vacuum around display

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Replace damaged or used products Most customers like to ‘try before they buy’. This means your carefully displayed products will probably be damaged or used during the time they are on show. You should keep the display ‘topped up’ regularly. You may have to ask the supplier for more products or have some put aside in the stockroom for just this purpose. Some displays, such as cosmetics, sunscreens and food items, often include ‘trial’ products that customers can try to see whether they like them before they decide to buy. You should check regularly to see how many of these trial products are left and what condition they are in. Find out whether you can get more, or whether ‘when they are gone they are gone’. The supplier will have their own rules about how much stock can be opened for customers to try, and you must stick with this.

Prevent theft and damage Products on display can be lost through: Theft Damage Expiry

Theft It’s not only customers who you have to prevent from stealing – employees are sometimes guilty as well, often in ways that they may not even think of as being theft. Customer theft can include methods such as hiding products in their clothing, or inside other products, changing packaging or price tags or ‘hit and run’ – grabbing a product and escaping from the store. Employee theft includes not accounting for stock properly when it comes in, or unauthorised use (for example, taking home test products or drinking soft drinks from a display without paying). Your store will have its own methods of preventing theft – these may include security cameras, product tags, staff trained to watch customer behaviour, careful stock control measures and so on. Make sure you know what your store has in place to prevent theft, and what to do if you do see someone stealing.

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And remember – you are an employee. Unless you own the business the stock isn’t yours!

Aaron has just finished setting up a display of calendars for the new year, targeted at customers who want to send something about New Zealand to friends and family overseas for Christmas. They range from large wall calendars to little pocket-sized ones. He has added a range of Christmas cards and wrapping paper, plus folding Christmas tree decorations as accessories. There is also a supply of free branded pens supplied by the calendar producers. Aaron thinks his finished display looks great, and so do his workmates. In fact, they are all helping themselves to the pens and gift tags before the store has even opened! Aaron asks his supervisor to remind all staff that products on display are for customers, not employees. Aaron also works out how many pens and gift tags he has in total and how many he should put out each day so they last through the promotion. He keeps them in the stockroom and puts out a fresh supply each morning. Because some of the calendars are small and would be easy to hide inside a magazine or newspaper, or in a pocket, Aaron spends as much time as he can near the display, tidying and rearranging the stock and watching customers. He is also careful to check the display stock each day against sales recorded.

Damage The most common way products can be damaged is by careless handling and storage, and poor stacking on shelves or displays. Look at product packaging to see if there are any handling or storage instructions (such as ‘This way up’ or ‘Handle with care’). Don’t stack products in a way that is a danger to customers or staff. Remember that customers like to be able to examine products, and to read the packaging for information about sizes, use and so on. You need to display products so they can be moved around and handled without damage. If packaging looks dented and battered the customer may not buy the product even if what’s inside is fine.


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Customers often handle products on display then put them back and buy one that hasn’t been touched. Make sure you routinely clean any soiled or damaged products or packaging. If products or packaging are badly damaged or soiled you may have to remove them altogether, or sell them at a lower price, giving the reason why.

Expiry dates Some products, especially foods, have a ‘use by’ date printed on them. Products should not be sold after this date unless the customer knows they have expired and you are certain that the products are safe to use. Check when products arrive that the ‘use by’ date will not be reached while the products are on display. You should return any products you’re uncomfortable about displaying, and ask for replacements.

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Copyright Š 2010 Retail Institute

National Certificate in Retail Level 2 Sample  

National Certificate in Retail Level 2 Sample

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