Proven Approaches for Improved Performance

Ian is one of the most sought-after trainers of retail management and staff. His comfortable approachable style and interactive formats create proven results. Training programs can take many forms:

Garden Center University

Ian is proud to have developed a two-year curriculum, essentially a “mini-MBA” for Garden Retailers. More than 200 of the leading business owners and managers of retail operations throughout the US and Canada have graduated from this innovative program. New classes enroll every two years. Get more information on the full GCU Curriculum.

Think Like Customers: A Sales Motivation and Retail Training Program

Based on the proven fact that “People buy from people they like,” TLC is a virtual participative sales motivation program which can be conducted onsite at your retail location. The program enables sales associates to relate directly to their customers. Designed to increase sales in home, garden, leisure and outdoor living industries by selling customer success. TLC makes your register ring by inspiring sales associates:

  • Trainees learn to convert the Features and Benefits of their products into “Ka-Chings”, or impulsive, emotional buying motives.
  • Increases the customer’s Average Spend through the sales associates understanding the consumer’s needs and aspirations.

TLC’s virtual format (on DVDs and downloadable workbooks) enables retailers to personalize and run the program annually or seasonally as new associates come on the team.

TLC Training Topics:

  • Moments of Truth
  • Approaching the Customer
  • What’s in it for the Customer?
  • Product Knowledge — De-Coding Hard Goods
  • De-Mystifying Plants
  • Product Knowledge Green Goods
  • Listening to the Customer
  • Selling Success
  • Tie-Ins Are a Service
  • Plant Magic
  • Planting Companions
  • Closing the Sale
What’s included with the TLC Sales Training Toolkit:

  • 2 DVDs (8 classes) with Ian leading employees through the Think Like Customers program
  • A CD with masters of all Trainee Handouts (so Trainees build their own TLC Manual)
  • A detailed Facilitator Guide for tips from Training Room Set Up — to Products to Feature
  • Ideas on how to customize TLC to your own business and climate zone
  • Further Discussion Topics and Next Steps to get the most out of TLC
  • Goals and Key Points pages for Trainees
  • Certification Test for Trainees

Watch a Sample

TLC is a one-time investment

To purchase your own TLC Training program for $895 + S&H, download and fill out the order form.



Order Form



Personalized Training

While there is much commonality in the core principles of retail training, many organizations want a more focused and highly-personalized program. Ian has worked closely with many larger or multi-store organizations (Stauffers of Kissel Hill, SummerWinds, Armstrongs’, Sheridan Nurseries, Roger’s Gardens) to develop specialized training programs for their teams. Get in touch with Ian to create your own company’s training curriculum in the following areas:

  • Silent Selling, Merchandising
  • Product Knowledge Training
  • Train-the-Trainers
  • Management – Financial Skills
  • Inventory Management