Last week I had a truly mind-blowing experience at a chain store that all small business owners can take notes from.
A year ago, my husband bought a suit from Hugo Boss. Now I have to admit, it took a few months for me to get over the fact that I let him invest that much in a suit he wears on so few occassions I can name each if them!
The jacket needed alterations for an upcoming barrage of weddings we are attending so we took the suit in to Hugo Boss, only to find that it had a few small holes in it. Evidently a moth had gotten to it in case you had any doubt how infrequently he wears it!
The associate at Hugo Boss recommended a place to take the jacket in for repair rather than trying to sell us a new jacket which he easily could have done. I’m sure he works on commission and could see my husband was visibly upset that his jacket had been damaged. In addition, he knew we had a wedding in 2 weeks so we were on a timeline to get a new jacket ASAP. I was impressed that he tried to solve our problem, not sell us another expensive jacket, but Hugo Boss gets better from there.
We brought the jacket back in after it had been repaired and the same associate assured us the suit would be repaired in time for the wedding, as well as gave us a new suit bag to keep the pesky moths away!
Four days later, I returned for the jacket, and the assoicate I had worked with earlier in the week wasn’t there. The store manager, who we had bought the suit from 12 months earlier was working. As I was standing at the register waiting for the suit to be brought out, the store manager walked up and said greeted me. “Ms. Verbeck? How are you?”
I nearly fainted. It had been a year since I met him. He had not even been in the store when I told another associate my name. The store manager went on to ask me how the weddings were last year (he remembered or his computer system remembered for him) that we had purchased the suit for several upcoming weddings. He asked if we still lived in Grapevine and inquired about my husband, Chris.
Now I’m in marketing so I understand that Hugo Boss likely has a very advanced customer relationship management (CRM) system. And I know they were expecting me in the store at some point that day to retrieve my husband’s suit. But they took a chore…aka an errand of picking up my husband’s suit, into a pleasurable experience by treating me as a person, not a customer. They acted like they knew me. They genuinely expressed interest in my life. And you know what? I don’t mind near as much knowing we’ve invested over a thousand dollars on men’s clothing with them because they have serviced me well after the sale, they treat me as a person and they have built a relationship with me, not treated my purchase as a transaction.
You’ll see your clients out and about. Treat them like friends. Ask they how they are doing. Take time during your sessions to get to know them. Don’t always make it about selling them something. Make it about the relationship and the sales will follow. You can bet anytime my husband needs a new suit, tie, or shirt, Hugo Boss will be our one and only stop. I don’t care that it costs more. I want to be treated well.
If you want to learn more about how to built relationships with your clients and develop a sales process that your clients rave about, make sure you register for the 10.10.10 SalesSummit on 10.10.10. It’s free from 10 am to 10 pm CST and features 10 of the top-grossing photography business owners sharing their secrets on how you can make more money in your photography business. And if you aren’t available on 10.10.10 there is still time to purchase .mp3 recordings of the entire event for just $59. But that’s the pre-purchase price – it will go up $40 on 10.10.10 before we go live with the FREE event so get yours today!
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