Information Resources

Resources – Maximizing what you’ve got

  • Working at Burt’s is not a closed-book exam. Think of your job as an open-book exam, with many resources available to help you.
  • You are not expected to know everything about flowers, soil and plants, but you are expected to learn everything that you can!
  • Considering the position you have been hired for, it is your responsibility to keep learning all through the season.
  • Using the resources available will make the learning process faster, more accurate and easier than learning on your own.

Customers will ask you questions that you do not have answers for

Why don’t you have answers?

  • You’ve never worked with flowers before (This is ok!)
  • You are not familiar with a particular product (This is ok!)
  • You used to know the answer, but have forgotten (This is ok too!)

When asked a question – Never invent an answer!

Instead of just saying “I don’t know”, you can try the resources below:

  • Your own knowledge (if you are sure of a fact)
  • Your co-workers’ knowledge
  • Signs and Plant tags
  • The Binders
  • Plant Books (you will be supplied with these)
  • Customers that have some experience in gardening
  • Brian, Ruth, your Supervisor, Colin, or another Burt’s employee
  • The Internet

Example: “I don’t know the answer, but I have some books that might help. I’ll be right back to help you”

When a customer asks a real toughie, follow these steps:

  • 1. Ask yourself if you know the answer. If you are confident in the response, go ahead. If you are unsure of your response, it’s best to double check.
  • 2. Let the customer know that you don’t know the answer, but that you can find out. Consult one of the above resources before answering. It’s ok if this takes a minute, but let the customer know what you are doing.
  • 3. If you cannot find an answer with the resources on site, let the customer know that you can call and ask another Burt’s employee to get the information.
  • 4. Allow the customer to speak, and show an effort to help them. If you have used all resources and still don’t know, offer to take their name and phone number to call them with an answer later.
  • 5. Customers generally enjoy learning new things and will let you know if they are satisfied with your response.
  • 6. If the customer is rushed, that doesn’t mean your response has to be rushed. It should be short, but still answer the question without inventing any answers.
  • 7. Customers can tell when you are giving them useless information and any bad advice could lead to the death of their plants. This is a guarantee that the customer will not return for more advice or plants!
  • 8. It is very important to be confident of what you are saying. Try not to simply agree with a customer’s statement for expediency.


Customer: I always have good luck planting my Non-stop Begonias in the full sun. Your Non-stops are ok in the full sun right?

Knowledgeable Burt’s employee: My understanding is that Non-stop Begonias need to be protected from the mid-day sun. I can suggest Wave Petunias for full sun if they appeal to you.

* Remember to always be polite and helpful!

Most plants have information tags, but sometimes you will receive “mystery plants” that do not have tags. It is your job to call the greenhouse to identify the plant. Describe its container size and colour, the leaf and bloom characteristics and the size of the plant.