Dear Shopaholics, what makes a great sales assistant?

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  1. Hello ladies :graucho:

    I'm very excited I got a job in luxury retail (without previous experience, actually) and I would like to ask you guys what makes a great sales advisor in your opinion, and what are the absolute no nos.

    I personally don't believe in hard sales but at the same time, I need to sell stuff to people. So what's the best way to go about it? What's the best way to approach and help customers?

    Any ideas, advice and anecdotes welcome. Thanks in advance x
  2. Communication on what is available either on sale or not. Via text or email.
  3. It's important to acknowledge and be kind to all customers despite how they look. You never know the girl in sweats might surprise you! When I worked retail the clients valued honesty, if you can build a good rapport with them they will become repeat clients!
  4. Exactly!
    On the other hand if you work for a designer, make sure you wear the clothes of the latest collection......
    I remember this SA at Marc Jacobs who was wearing a wonderful blouse and when I told her I wanted it....she replied Marc Jacobs didn't sell it any more, I was frustrated.....
  5. A good SA knows to be available for questions but is never pushy. A good SA is honest- if I don't look good in something, tell me. I would rather have the truth up front than discover it later after I've wasted the money. I love an SA I feel I can trust. A good SA doesn't talk about their personal life too much. I don't want TMI moments in retail. A good SA is understanding about budgetary limits and doesn't make me feel embarrassed about it. A good SA will forgive me if I'm a little impatient or stressed. It happens to all of us, and I'm not trying to be mean. A good SA only gives the occasional genuine compliment. I love those. What I don't like are gushy SAs oozing sugar all over me to sell me something. I see right through that.

    This is all I can think of for now. Hope this helps. Congratulations on your new job. ;)
  6. Thanks for the replies! What I personally believe in, is retail therapy, which is to me just being there to assist the customer have a good time even if they're not buying something on that visit. As a SA you are told to always take other suggestions to the changing rooms and you never know, they might end up getting the bag and whatnot. I'm not sure about that, I wouldn't like someone shoving in my arms stuff I didn't ask for.

    But I guess it's all about reading your customer, some people have plenty of money to spare and they're quite happy to make impulse purchases if you play your cards right.

    Jenni, brilliant advice, thanks! x
  7. I agree with what jenni said. Friendly but not pushy is what I appreciate. Ask if I'm looking for something particular; tell me that you are available if I have any questions. If I don't buy something on this visit, offer your card (I keep a file of SA cards for those I like and buy from) for me to remember you on a future visit or phone call if I have a question about something.

    If I'm wearing something nice (clothing, jewelry, bag or shoes), a compliment goes a long way to making me feel good about being in your store/department.

    Good luck! The fact that you care tells me that you will be good at your job.
  8. A good SA is AVAILABLE. I hate it when I go into a dressing room and never see them again. Often I might need another size and I HATE getting all of my clothes back on, going out to get another size and then you come back and your dressing room is locked so you have to wait of them to come back. BAD, BAD.
  9. All great advice. I might add, don't make a client feel bad if she doesn't buy today, or if she returns something. When you develop a loyal client, she will make sure all her purchases are with you. You will win in the long run.
  10. I agree with being nice to everyone, regardless of what they might be wearing. I've gone into stores with the intention of buying a bag, etc, and walked right back out when none of the SAs have given me the time of day (and I wasn't even dressed sloppily, just not in super high end stuff).

    Also, I absolutely hate being pressured. I've had SAs follow me around a store, and there's nothing that makes me turn around and walk out faster.

    Personally, I really enjoy being greeted when I enter the store and asked if there's anything I need help with - if I need help, I'm happy to ask. If a customer says they don't need help, just let them know that you're available if they need help, and then actually be available - if they end up wanting to ask you questions, they shouldn't have to hunt you down, haha.

    I guess the most important part is just to be genuinely friendly! If you're nice to people, that's a huge component. Good luck!
  11. my Chanel and LV SA's are absolutely wonderful they have great communication they text all the time in a matter of seconds! Available! Just the sweetest people :smile:
  12. Is your employer going to train you at all? They will let you know whats expected of you.

    Personally I prefer friendly sales people who will:

    a) not be gossiping with other SAs
    b) not be on their cell phones
    c) not follow me around the store
    d) will just let me know they are available if I have any questions

    I don't like the "suggestive selling" practice at all. But your employer may require you to do that.

    Just be nice to people and be ready to help someone if they ask for help.

    Be the kind of SA you prefer to have helping you.
  13. Congrats on you new job! Personally, my favourite SAs take note of the brands and styles that I like and text pics of new stock. Sure, they're hoping to make a sale but at least they show me stuff that I like instead of pushing brands/ items that I will never wear. And I always appreciate being informed of upcoming promos and presales.
  14. Thank you so much that's all great advice I really never thought of!

    I really do care and I think I have a good customer service background, although developed in hospitality, I guess there are some transferrable skills such as item availability and knowledge about the products on offer.

    I will get training, so far what I've been adviced is not to do the cliched "can I help you" or ask closed questions because the most likely thing is that you'll get "no, I'm only looking" and they'll shun you out.

    What I noticed when I've been in this shop is that the SAs just approach you in a friendly manner commenting about what you're looking at, like "oh that's a lovely colour isn't it" and making small talk that customers can't really walk away from because, they're just being polite and friendly.

    I do still find it a bit cheeky to bring into the dressing room things that I wasn't asked for, so I'm going to have to work around that somehow without being so obvious about the fact that they're asking me to upsell stuff.

    Thank you ladies! x
  15. I don't know about others but this always bugs the crap out of me. Its like having a little parrot follow me around the store. Of course they're gonna like it even if I hate it. They want to make a sale. I'm capable of making up my own mind about what I like. When SA's do that to me I roll my eyes (inside my head, not visibly) because it just sounds phony and put on.

    And when a customer says "just looking" it means "leave me alone". I think SA's should respect that.

    I appreciate they have a job to do but all they really need to do is size up each customers needs and not treat everyone with the same cookie cutter service. The most successful SA's do this. And those are the ones I always return to. They help me out when I ask for it and and stay attentive as long as I need them to.

    (I know, you hope I never come to your store! LOL)