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NRHA Enhances Building Materials Course

The North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) has recently released an updated version of one of its training tools: the Basic Training Course in Building Materials Retailing.

The retailing course covers lumber, engineered wood products, millwork, cabinets, windows and doors, siding and roofing, interior surfaces and insulation. The updated program has a greater emphasis on selling skills, and features a multimedia presentation with short modules to help employees easily learn and retain information.

Each module begins with a review of the basic uses, features and design of each segment of building material products. The course also provides a list of frequently asked customer questions, information on upselling skills and a list of products commonly sold with each category to suggest as add-on sales.

“NRHA’s basic training programs are designed to supplement the hands-on training employees receive in the store and makes it easy for both training managers and employees to manage the learning process,” Allison DeWitt, NRHA’s director of member services, says.

Students can complete each course module in about eight minutes and an entire department section in less than 90 minutes. Because the format offers flexibility, students can skip through information they already know or spend extra time on unfamiliar products. Store owners or managers can monitor each student’s progress and allow students to retake course tests, if necessary.

“First, students build a foundation of product knowledge. Second, the course immediately helps the student put that knowledge into practice by teaching add-on and upselling skills, both of which are proven ways to boost transaction size,” DeWitt says. “Retailers have told us this is one of the biggest areas of need when it comes to product knowledge training.”

With the new course, students and training managers can use the same passwords to take tests and view testing history as they did with NRHA’s prior program. The old version of the course will be available for a short time, but all tests will be updated with fresh material.

As soon as the new course is released, updates will appear on nrha.org as well as in Hardware Retailing’s electronic newsletter. Canadian retailers will be able to view a Canadian version of the course later this year.

For more information, visit nrha.org or contact Hilary Welter at 317-275-9435.

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NHPA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.

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