Step 2: Welcoming
Lisa enters the Italian fashion store and browses through the various bags. Rather than following Lisa too closely, Lucy simply greeted her warmly when she walked into the store, thereby spontaneously inviting the customer to follow her.
Lucy: “Good afternoon Madame.”
After Lisa had stepped inside the boutique, Lucy approached her again:
Lucy: “Welcome to Maison M, Madame. Thank you for coming to visit us.” Lucy: “It’s such a hot day, may I offer you some refreshment first?”
Lucy: “Oh, no thank you. I am just looking...”
Lucy: “Please take your time and I will be around to assist you.”
Lisa: “It seems that you have a new bag that is very in fashion these days.” Lucy: “My compliments, Madame. Yes, we do have a new bag everyone talks about!”
Lisa: “Let me walk you to our iconic Bag B. This way please.”
Lucy leads the way and walks Lisa to the display of handbags.
A Luxury boutique, a high-end car showroom and a private banking office are not places that one goes every day, even for affluent customers, simply because they do not need to. These places can also be new to them, like the sales team. It is rather like going to someone’s home when you do not know the person and they don’t know you. You are not expected and you are afraid to disturb them. The unknown is never comfortable. Many sales advisors forget this first mental stress for customers, as they are used to their own boutiques and feel at ease, as though they were at home.
The thick carpet, the marble, the merchandise and the large smile of the sales associate suggest that you had better be able to afford the products and make a purchase! It is not necessarily intimidating to all customers, but certainly it can be for many.
Customers need some desire to motivate them to enter the store: to look, to understand, to possibly find a product they are thinking about and so forth.
They never, or very rarely come in with the firm intention to buy. This is why a good welcome is key. You need to offer a genuine welcome in order to establish trust, gain the customer’s time and allow the advising and selling process to begin.