A customer, who walked into a shopping Mall in Bangalore with an intention of buying a watch, ultimately bought one, but with a price that exceeded his budget. He explains that the inspiration behind his purchase is the savvy customer service he experienced in the shop. He says that it is not the appearance of the sales woman that impressed him, but the feeling she induced in his mind that she was well aware of what she was talking and looked like someone, who uses premium brand products herself.
Salesmanship is showmanship. Apart from assisting customers by showing the products they require, shop assistants in premium brand outlets now a days are expected to exhibit sophisticated and polished presentation skills. They play the role of brand ambassadors who help in building brand loyalty in the minds of customers. They should possess good product knowledge wrapped in exceptional presentation skills.
Ashish Dixit, president of Madura Garments comments that, customers of premium branded products require a constructive environment supplemented by buying tips when required. In addition to standard salesmanship qualities like soft skills and hardworking ability, knowledge about fashion, self-assurance and overall exposure would ensure an out of the box performance. Shailesh Chaturvedi, CEO of Tommy Hilfiger India, believes that the sales staff should look like friends rather than servants. He further adds that, store managers in most of his stores are assumed to be the shop owner.
Outlets of branded products hand pick their staff from fashion and hospitality institutes, and even from B schools. They offer attractive salaries to their store manager and sales staff, combined with lucrative perks like clothes, shoes, and monthly grooming sessions. They are also trained to exhibit an unfailing dazzle of zeal and persuasiveness, which would arrest people, and convert a potential into an ultimate and satisfied customer. A recent practice is that in most of the shops customers are addressed by their first names and not as Sir and Mam. Thus, the sales staff becomes trusted and loyal business advisors of their customers.
Despite the fact that there is a positive responsiveness among the owners of branded stores for focusing on their sales staff, the notion has not reached the entire mass of sales segment. In many places, sales staffs are taught what they should tell, but their attitude and personality do not reflect self assurance. They do not wear the accessories they sell. They tell and sell the customer rather than providing expert guidance.
The lynchpin of all sales activity is perceptibly the customer. If the sales staff focuses on satisfying the customers need, the sales process would end therein. But if his focus is to satisfy the customer himself, he would possibly build a prosperous relationship that might turn the one time shopper into a life time customer in the long run.
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