Step 7: Building A Relationship
Customer relations is an important topic and we will cover the main aspects linked to Luxury Selling.
Unlike when selling fast-moving products, the sales advisor dealing with Luxury and high value products, has a rare chance to be able to have a real conversation with his customer and to take the necessary time to offer advice.
It’s a genuine chance and a pleasure for the sales advisor who likes to interact. The opportunity to start to build a relationship is definitely the most rewarding aspect of a sales advisor’s function.
Start A Relationship
We discussed in previous sections how to prepare oneself to inspire trust. We also insisted on the necessity of understanding an affluent customer’s mindset in order to interact better. This relationship cannot be based on transactions only. It is also built on emotional resonance. An excellent sales advisor is able to inspire trust very quickly.
It is best to base the relationship on generosity—who refuses to be friends with someone who is generous, understanding and willing to help them? It’s a heartfelt relationship, not simply one of client and customer. If a customer feels that the same sales advisor is someone nice, “with a good heart,” the customer will feel safe, comfortable and offer their trust.
Faking sincerity is never good, and is a risky approach. Being candid, genuine and truthful are also rare qualities that you typically expect from a friend.
You can also try to find a “crossroad”—qualities that you both share. You may take notice of the different brands your customer wears—watches, bags, shoes— and if possible, and justifiable, start a conversation around your shared taste.
Observe your clients. There are certainly elements to notice and to compliment your customer on. By noticing these details you are showing interest and care. Complimenting your customer never hurts as long as the compliments are sincere and expressed appropriately.
Offering spontaneous assistance and services, by paying your customer attention in small doses from the beginning of the encounter, will reduce the brash commercial dimension.
Let’s get back to Luxury selling situations.
Lucy: “It’s a pleasure to have you today.”
Lisa: “Thank you! I know—I gave you a hard time.”
Lucy: “Not at all, I am really happy that I was able to assist you. I will contact you from time to time to give you good news, such as special event announcements or promotions.”
Lisa: “Yes, that would be nice.”
Lucy: “We also occasionally organize exclusive client events. Recently, we organized an Italian wine tasting with a female vintner and it was very enjoyable!”
Lisa: “This sounds fantastic—in the store?”
Lucy: “Yes! Lisa, what is the best way to contact you?”
To be able to start a relationship, you of course first need the agreement of your customer—which is translated by getting their contact information and approval for future contact. Obtaining these contact details is key and will very often determine the quality of the relationship.
- - It’s all about mobile communications. If possible, get three mobile communication contacts:
- • Cell phone—ask for their cell phone number and reassure them that you will not call unless absolutely needed. Send a text message first.
- • Social media platform—ask which is your customer’s preferred platform.
- • Email—ask for your customer’s personal email address.
- - It’s about offering services
Provide reasons for asking for a customer’s contact details. There are certainly many services to offer. Customers want to receive news of special promotions and events from you and pre-announce them.
- It’s about being natural and friendly
The best way to get a customer’s contact information is to remain natural and friendly when asking for it. There is no need for too many explanations or extra reassurance, when the relationship has already been established.