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Observe Discreetly

When a customer enters a store, he is naturally greeted by a sales advisor. No matter what, the customer feels like he’s being observed. The sales advisor’s first challenge is to put the customer at ease and not allow the customer to have the very unpleasant feeling of being watched.

To avoid staring at the customer, the easiest method is to move around the boutique. After a warm greeting, the sales advisor could move slowly, keeping himself available for the customer but not placing himself immediately next to the customer. After making friendly eye contact, the sales advisor can avert his gaze and thereby release the customer from the feeling of being observed.

Everything is in the eye contact of the sales advisor. If you look seriously at the customer, he will immediately feel not only like he is being observed but, even worse, like he is being judged. When you look at a customer, especially at the beginning of his visit, always smile.

Expert sales advisors are trained and always manage to quickly elicit some initial messages from the customer through their early observations (Table 5.4.B).

Table 5.4.B Customer observation

What To Observe

Client's Possible Expression

Dress code

The way a customer dresses always tells you something—not everything, but still something to be aware of.

"This is ME."


The accessories are never there by chance: they express a clear intention. They are codes to decode.

"This who I want to be."

Eye contact

What are customers looking at? How does a customer make eye contact with the boutique's sales advisors?

"This how I want to interact."



How the customer moves: Note the changes that occur during the visit

Tensions, pleasures, desires and fears.

Observations are natural and useful, but can also be dangerous if interpreted and used incorrectly. When a customer comes to a shoe store wearing sneakers/trainers, what could this mean? It will mean something only if placed into context with the other information and messages you will receive.

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