197. Sales & Customer Service Strategies From The Luxury Industry

imagePublished in 2009, Robin Lent and Geneviève Tour’s book Selling Luxury offers brands 88 imperatives to connecting with affluent customers, creating unique experiences through impeccable service, and closing the sale. Continue reading “197. Sales & Customer Service Strategies From The Luxury Industry”

Sometimes consumers want to save the planet; other times they want to selfishly show their discerning taste through ‘status’ symbols or buying an outrageous luxury brand.

Brand Jam by Marc Gobé

(Concerning hotels) If consumers have a bad check-in experience, they spend their stay confirming that the hotel is bad.

If consumers have a good check-in experience, they spend their stay confirming that the hotel is good.

While it is true that ‘to be recognized, you must be seen,’ a crucial part of a strong brand-presence program must also be to build the relevant emotional experience the brand provides at different points of contact with consumers. A brand has many opportunities to reach consumers on a much more profound, personal level.

Emotional Branding by Marc Gobé

There are plenty of good offers available from competitors and most (consumers) will shop around. Your first contact should be a moment to find out more about the future couple’s story. Everyone comes with a story that needs to be discovered.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour

Every complaint is an opportunity. Changing what was irritating or making one customer happy may prove to be an improvement for all of your customers.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour

The customer is saying more than ‘I am not happy.’ She is giving the Sales Ambassador the chance to do something about it. Often, the customer who has complained and goes away satisfied is more loyal than before.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour

Packaging can raise our expectations of a product and make us reevaluate an entire category. We expect superior presentation from any wine packaging regardless of price, and an element of surprise and sensuality from a fragrance package.

Emotional Branding by Marc Gobé

Customers can feel it when individuals are only looking out for their own interests in making the sale. This ‘everyone for himself’ attitude is more than disagreeable. When personal conflicts are in play, they sometimes become more important than customers, whose numbers dwindle.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour

Customers want to make a statement about who they are and show their tastes. At times, they make purchases to be seen as belonging to a certain group. Other times, the reason can be distinctly opposite, they want their purchase to set them apart from everyone else.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour

The additional sale. The proposal for an additional sale should always make sense. It should avoid being a closed question (‘Anything else?’ loses every time). Make the additional sale purchase part of the pleasure.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour

Objections are perfectly normal opportunities to convince and persuade your customer that she is making good decisions.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour

In telling the story, the Sales Ambassador also gives customers something to share with others. Later, when they are showing the piece to someone else, they are able to pass on to others what they have learned.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour

Consider how your copy lines can be brought to life with imagery and graphics, and be prepared to adjust your copy to facilitate the design treatment. One element must dominate the page, and if this is going to be a visual image your copy may have to be more passive.

Establish a person-to-person contact first, and then move into selling. Make every contact a pleasurable experience, whether it is someone who is purchasing or not.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour

Loyalty begins with the first contact. Loyalty comes from trusting someone. There can be no loyalty without trust. Trust is something that is built with each contact.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour

The brand has spent time and money with marketing, designers, craftsmen, and a variety of experts to choose the materials and make the creation, not to mention logistics, packaging, quality approval, testing, and the list goes on. If the Sales Ambassador fails, everything that has been done before has no meaning or purpose.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour

People grow impatient when the instant gratification they are used to is not there. Because of this, when they have to wait, their expectations of the service become even higher than they would normally be.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour

Aesthetics (in design) refers to the visual appearance of a work rather than its content or message – although any deep reading into the subject of aesthetics reveals that the two are inseparable.

We want to differentiate our service and personalized attention so much that customers will feel uncomfortable, or in the best case scenario, will be unable to defect to another hotel. Even if they do stay somewhere else, their experience will then begin to be consciously compared to the Four Seasons’ experience.

Selling Luxury by Robin Lent and Genevieve Tour