Course Outline

Want to know more? Please continue reading below to see in detail what each RP course offers, and how our different modules comprehensively cover a range of areas. Our products are not just the best on the market - our products are the only ones like this on the market, and we are confident that you'll agree.

The RP certification is made up of seven learning modules and the eighth test module. The average time to complete the seven learning modules is 15 hours. To complete all eight modules, including the multiple choice exam, assessment questions & activities included as part of the eighth module, takes approximately 45 hours . Most of the modules are between one and three hours each, although this can vary. Below you can review all the different modules, as well as the content of each one, to ensure that it will meet your needs.

SALES

Greet the customer - First impressions are everything – so make them count. We know that the first few seconds a customer enters your establishment are make-or-break time. We look at everything that you can do to make your customers feel welcomed, why you greet your customers, and what your role as a sales professional is.

Build rapport - The single best way to build rapport with someone is through a carefully articulated exchange of questions and answers.  Here we will consider how and what you ask retail stakeholders. We cover specific techniques used to build rapport including different ways to gather information and build a specific idea of their wants and needs.

Encourage the purchase - There are many ways retailers can encourage a customer to buy from them. Today we recognise that there are more effective ways in which we can encourage sales that also align with customers wants and needs. We examine some different factors such as customer psychology, and different ways to present an upsell.

Features & benefits - Highlighting the key features and benefits of a product or service is a powerful selling technique that should be adopted to enhance customer retention and sales revenue. We cover how product knowledge is invaluable for demonstrating this, how product sampling and even the language we use can increase the value of the product to the customer in their eyes.

Invite repeat purchase activities - Closing a sale in the retail world can be challenging, and the start of the process of closing a sale actually starts from before you start talking to the potential customer. We examine how your overall approach, the rapport you have built, and the way you have closed the sale will affect the customers impression of the business, the product, the staff, and therefore their likelihood to return in the future. We also look at customer objections and ways to overcome the overall perception to customers that it is your business that can serve them best.

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EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

Relationships - Professional working relationships in retail, just like our own personal relationships, take commitment and hard work to ensure they are effective, supportive and nurturing that promote a sense of success. In this section we will look at how relationships should be created and maintained in a retail environment.

Behavior & Body Language - The strongest messages can be delivered without saying anything at all. In this part of the module we will explore non-verbal communication techniques, followed by tone of voice then lastly the verbal communication.  We will show you how you can use non-verbal communication in the retail environment in a positive way.

Your verbal approach - Have you ever heard the expression, “it’s not what you’re saying, it’s how you’re saying it?” In this section of the module, we will explore how your verbal approach influences the communication process. We will investigate how the tone of voice (the way in which you say things) has significant influence over the way messages are interpreted between the sender and receiver.

Communication Methods - In this part of the module, we look at to who, where and how we apply different communication methods to suit different situations. Selecting the correct method is vital to ensure that your message is not only received by the recipient, but received in the way you intended. Poor selection of methods can result in confusion, misunderstanding or even complete message failure, which is counter to our intentions. 

Cultural Diversity - In this section we will explore how your message could be misinterpreted if you do not have a basic understanding of how different cultures interpret communication. In a multicultural society, we need to be able to put ourselves in the shoes of others, on a cultural level, and treat each and every customer equally and fairly. Not only is this the socially acceptable and moral thing to do, it is often the law.

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PRODUCTS AND MERCHANDISE

Store presentation for visual merchandising - The world of retail is highly competitive. Having unique products is not enough to stand above the rest your competitors. Strategic approaches of attracting potential customers into a business are necessary to get an advantage. In this module we look at some of the ways it is possible to achieve this through presentation techniques.

Merchandising - Merchandising is so much more than making products look appealing. Having an understanding of how your customers buy and knowing what they want, along with some basic understanding of customer psychology is essential to execute effective visual merchandising. In this part of the module, we examine the various aspects of merchandise such as sourcing, suppliers, pricing, what kind of stock and other parts that all come together to define the best approach to merchandising.

Create a display - There are some do’s and don’ts that we should acknowledge when displaying stock for retailing purposes. Here we examine what sort of design and creativity work when creating a display. We break the display model down into parts like design, focal point, balance, simplicity and lighting, finally seeing how all these elements come together to create the best possible display.

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SAFETY AND LEGISLATION

Occupational Health & Safety - No matter what kind of retail you work in, occupational health and safety (OH&S) is a daily part of your employment. It is not solely the responsibility of one person to uphold these regulations; it is the responsibility of everyone who works in that environment. In this section we will walk through some easy steps to ensure that a business complies with basic OH&S regulations that maintains workplace safety.

Organise and maintain work areas - No matter what type of retailer one is, having a clean, well-kept and organized work area is essential – not only for presentation purposes, but more importantly, the safety of oneself, staff and customers. Retailers are mandated by law to follow Occupational Health and Safety regulations. These exist to ensure a safe environment to work in, for staff and customers. In this section, we will explore some basic requirements that will help ensure a well-presented and safe working/retail environment.

Legislation - Legislation relating to the way in which retailers provide products and services to its customers will inevitably vary. It is essential that retailers thoroughly check that the way in which they operate, policies they implement, demands they impose on staff and how they handle customers accurately reflects the legal regulations and legislations set by the local authority and national government. This part of the module should be used as a guide only. For the purpose of accreditation of this retail stream certification, the guidance here is based on retail current legislation at time of publication.

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CUSTOMER SERVICE

Advise on Products and Services - Irrespective of your audience, when giving advice, you are perceived to have some knowledge of the subject matter and have the emotional intelligence to respond instinctively and accordingly. The key to giving sound retail advice is listening to what your customer is saying, but also picking up on the non-verbal cues.

Complaints Handling - In this module, we explore methods that can help one to know how to take negative moments and transform them into more positive retail experiences. This requires thinking quickly on ones feet, possessing excellent communication skills and listening to customers’ complaints. Looking for the positives in feedback (as negative as it might be) gives an opportunity to not only improve the relationships with customers, but it gives a retailer a unique opportunity to grow and develop the relationship.

Customer Resistance and Welcoming Behaviors - Customers buy products and services for a variety of reasons. One of the most important reasons is for the psychological gains they get from their purchase. They want to be confident with their purchase decision therefore, a lot of thought processing will go into before they proceed to the checkout. In this section we examine how understanding the human psychology and physical behaviours that encourage a customer to (or not to) buy is crucial for overcoming resisting behaviours such as post-purchase dissonance.

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MANAGE YOURSELF

Managing Yourself - Managing emotions and personality and thus obtaining a high degree of emotional intelligence is critical in order to gain and maintain great working relationships. Great working relationships must be built and maintained for any retailer to be effective and efficient at what they do. When one is in control of and managing emotions effectively, it's possible to establish strong working relationships with colleagues and also bring about a more positive environment for customers.

Personal Presentation & Hygiene - The world of retail is all about first impressions. Customers are going to judge staff, the store, personal presentation and the way in which one behaves before it's possible to even say “hello, how can I help you today?” Personal hygiene and self presentation are imperative in ensuring that the first impression is a positive one.

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SECURITY AND LOSS PREVENTION

Security - Retailers will encounter a particular set of challenges; security of your stock, customer information and other assets will be one of the most crucial challenges. Today security breaches can present themselves in various ways; the Internet, card-scanning and copying technology; organized crime gangs; petty theft or even theft from colleagues and employees. This section teaches you to raise awareness and be educated and prepared – helping to prevent security breaches from occurring.

Identity Theft and Fraud - Identity theft and fraud is an increasing concern for both the consumer and the enterprise as we become more dependent on technology.  In this part of the module, we discuss the prevalence and cost of this type of theft, as well as ways to help prevent it.  It is important to always be aware of new risks and new technology in this area to keep up with the criminals.

Loss prevention - In this section we look at ways to use loss prevention measures to reduce the risk of theft.  We discuss the different motivations behind theft. We also look more in depth at shoplifting and how we can try to reduce its impact by the way we arrange the merchandise, the way we secure the merchandise and the way we interact with customers.  Finally, we look a closer look at balancing the till, and how this works as another loss prevention tactic from an internal theft viewpoint.  The combination of all these methods together, forms the basics of loss prevention in a retail environment.

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Retail Professional Certification

Our modules combined make up our Retail Professional Certification which has been benched marked against the European Qualifications Framework at EQF Level 3, comprising of 15 hours of seat time. We recommend allowing 45 hours in total for study and seat time combined. The certification consists of: Effective communication, products and merchandise, Sales, Safety and legislation, security and loss prevention, customer service, manage yourself and personal presentation. Once you have completed all 7 modules you are then required to complete your assessment questions and Online Exam.

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