Build relationships with customers

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to use advanced sales techniques in building relationships with customers and interacting with customers, applying expert product knowledge as it relates to customers, dealing with difficult customers, establishing and maintaining a customer database, and conducting sales presentations.


This unit applies to senior sales personnel. It requires the development and maintenance of expert knowledge to provide accurate product information to customers, including post-sales support; and communication, analysis and sales techniques to plan and implement sales presentations, build positive relationships with customers, and resolve customer complaints.



Elements and Performance Criteria




Establish rapport with customers.


Establish rapport and relationship with customer and express a genuine interest in customer needs and requirements to enhance customer commitment, trust and credibility of store and to build return customer base.


Maintain professional ethics with the customer to promote store image and credibility.


Accurately clarify customer needs and preferences to maximise sales opportunities.


Maximise sales opportunities by use of add-on and complementary sales techniques.


Give customer space and time to evaluate purchase decision, while using time to maximum advantage for customer and store.


Use effective methods to close sales.


Apply expert knowledge.


Provide customer with accurate information regarding product and service appraisals, correct statements and warranties according to legislative requirements.


Provide detailed knowledge of supplier or manufacturer information according to customer needs and commercial confidentiality guidelines.


Evaluate product range, accurately demonstrate features and benefits of products or services where appropriate and make recommendations to the customer to maximise sales potential.


Maximise customer interest in product or service through price negotiation where applicable and offer payment and credit options according to store policy.


Accurately calculate prices and discounts according to pricing determinants and store policy.


Provide post sales support.


Accurately provide evidence of ongoing support as sale is concluded.


Accurately explain back-up service and reassure customer according to legislative requirements and store policy.


Provide customer with store or salesperson's contact details to provide line of contact and customer followed up according to store policy.


Accurately enter customer and transaction details into customer database.


Plan sales presentations.


Plan presentation to complement product characteristics.


Select client group according to product characteristics and store merchandising policy.


Access promotional materials where required and distribute to client group.


Select and prepare a range of products or services for presentation to reflect store image, demographics and merchandising plan.


Implement sales presentation.


Ensure sufficient numbers of adequately briefed support staff, where required for a presentation.


Apply communication skills to effectively create interest, focus attention, and encourage customer interaction with individuals or groups.


Demonstrate products or services to create a buying environment.


Measure results of sales presentation according to predetermined criteria, review overall performance and results, and apply information to enhance future sales presentations according to store sales policy.


Maintain and utilise a customer database.


Maintain customer confidentiality as required by store policy and legislative requirements.


Develop and maintain accurate customer records and store securely according to store policy and procedures.


Accurately identify and follow up regular customers according to store marketing policy.


Accurately utilise customer records to advise customers on products and services of possible interest.


Implement customer loyalty schemes where required according to store promotional activities.


Deal with difficult customers.


Acknowledge customer complaints and problems and reassuringly support difficult customers to produce positive outcome.


Use questioning and active listening to encourage customer to verbalise issue and minimise customer frustration.


Develop customer's confidence in the candidate and product or service to promote long-term trust and commitment to store.


Establish mutually acceptable resolution of complaint.

Required Skills

This section describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level, required for this unit.

The following skills must be assessed as part of this unit:

selling techniques, including:

opening and closing techniques

identifying buying signals

strategies to focus customer on specific merchandise

add-ons and complementary sales

overcoming customer objections

presentation skills

conflict resolution

verbal and non-verbal interpersonal communication

accessing relevant product information

literacy and numeracy skills in regard to:

reading and understanding product information

reading and understanding store policies and procedures

recording client and sales information

calculating prices and discounts.

The following knowledge must be assessed as part of this unit:

store policies and procedures, in regard to:

establishing, maintaining and utilising customer records

updating and maintaining customer mailing lists

methods of maintaining customer confidentiality and secure storage of customer details

pricing, including GST requirements

price negotiation and payment and credit options

resolving customer complaints

store and area merchandise and service range

relevant legislation and statutory requirements

relevant industry codes of practice

OHS requirements such as:

manual handling

plant and equipment

hazardous substances and dangerous goods

workers compensation

customer types and needs, including:

customer buying motives, customer behaviour and cues

individual and cultural differences, demographics, lifestyle and income

types of customer needs, e.g. functional, psychological.

Evidence Required

The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the following is essential:

consistently applies store policies and procedures in regard to selling products and services, dealing with customers, planning and implementing sales presentations and providing after sales support

consistently applies industry codes of practice, relevant legislation and statutory requirements in regard to selling products and services

consistently develops customer commitment to store and builds return customer base by establishing rapport and relationship with customer, maintaining professional ethics, and accurately discerning customer buying motives and customer needs and requirements

consistently maximises sales opportunities by using effective selling techniques, applying detailed product knowledge and using an appropriate sales approach to sell the benefits of products, overcome objections and close sales

consistently and accurately applies detailed knowledge of manufacturer and supplier supply, back-up service and warranty information to enhance customer support

consistently uses effective questioning, listening and observation skills to accurately determine customer requirements

consistently and effectively plans, prepares and conducts sales presentations and briefs support staff where required, to create a buying environment and maximise sales performance

consistently evaluates personal and or team sales performance to maximise future sales

consistently and accurately establishes, records and maintains customer records and details, maintains customer confidentiality, ensures secure storage of data and uses customer records to maximise customer interest and create a buying atmosphere

consistently resolves customer complaints by acknowledging problems and supporting customer to produce positive outcomes and obtain mutually acceptable complaint resolution.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure access to:

a retail work environment

relevant sources of product information

relevant documentation, such as:

policy and procedures manuals

industry codes of practice and relevant legislation

OHS legislation and codes of practice

a range of customers with different requirements

an appropriate range of products and equipment

a customer database system.

Methods of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

observation of the candidate in the workplace

third-party reports from a supervisor

customer feedback

written or verbal questioning to assess knowledge and understanding

review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance.

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

Assessing employability skills

Employability skills are integral to effective performance in the workplace and are broadly consistent across industry sectors. How these skills are applied varies between occupations and qualifications due to the different work functions and contexts.

Employability skills embedded in this unit should be assessed holistically in the context of the job role and with other relevant units that make up the skill set or qualification.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording in the performance criteria is detailed below.

Customers may include:

new or repeat contacts

external and internal contacts

customers with routine or special requests

people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and with varying physical and mental abilities

a single customer, couples, families or groups.

Customer needs and requirements may be clarified through:


appropriate questioning

active listening


reassurance and confirmation.

Maintaining professional ethics with the customer may include:


positive statements

confirmed appraisals of products and services.

Customer needs and preferences may include:

product type



product characteristics

customer physical needs


Sales techniques will include:

add-on and complementary products and services

selling up or down

suggestive selling

variety of methods of closing sales.

Legislative requirements may include:

Trade Practices and Fair Trading Acts

environmental protection legislation


transport, storage and handling of goods

pricing procedures, including GST requirements

privacy laws

liquor laws

tobacco laws

sale of second-hand goods

health and welfare law specific to local government, state and federal legislation.

Store policy and procedures in regard to:

selling products and services

maintaining and utilising client records

promotional, marketing, discounting and reward programs

dealing with difficult customers

resolving customer complaints.

Back-up service may include:

delivery specifications

warranties and guarantees

returns policies

technical support


financial products and services.

Customer database may be:



Product characteristics may include:

features and benefits

price range

supplier or manufacturer information

target group.

Promotional materials may include:




promotional merchandise

business cards


Sales presentations may be:


at client site



Customer records may include:

name and contact details

transaction records

personal preferences

anniversaries and special dates

details of items bought or returned.

Customer loyalty schemes may include:

customer clubs

customer reward schemes

credit or discount facilities

special offers.

Difficult customers may include:












Competency Field


Employability Skills

The required outcomes described in this unit contain applicable facets of employability skills. The Employability Skills Summary of the qualification in which this unit is packaged will assist in identifying employability skills requirements.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.