Luxury Selling

Active Selling

I started talking about Luxury selling by inviting sales advisors to adopt a real Luxury attitude. In the second chapter, we mainly walked through the customer’s psychology. Now you are ready to understand what Luxury selling is, meaning a successful encounter between a sales advisor and a customer. Let us start to ask ourselves what the reasons are for buying, and what might be the causes of unsuccessful sales.

Thinking Corner

For products/services you are selling—why do customers somtimes not buy?

What are the most frequent situations encountered?

Reasons For Buying: Desire

The classic economic model is copied and pasted into a selling pattern, but in an incorrect way. For many, a sales person ought to know the need (request) of the client in order to be able to propose the right product (offer). The demand and supply theory might be true in economic sciences but it is not fully applicable when selling to valued clients.

First difference: the offer sometimes generates the demand. For Luxury items, there is no real demand. Why would you need another handbag © The Author(s) 2017

F. Srun, Luxury Selling, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-45525-9_4

when you don’t even know how many handbags you already own? Buying Luxury can be done on impulse. It is not only because there is demand that a sales advisor can sell. Of course, the Marketing Department is usually responsible for creating demand. However, in a boutique environment, a good sales advisor can sometimes successfully generate the desire for a new handbag in a customer who came into the shop for something else.

The idea of desire is also very complex when talking about end consumers. In the case of B-to-B buyers, one would establish a book of specifications, define the budget, the timing and the purchase strategy. Usually, end consumers do not take the time to clarify their need. From the point of view of the sales advisor it is an impulse buy. This is not only because it is very often, not clearly expressed. Customers might want to have something as a self-reward. It could be a handbag, but which one? Which brand? What about the design? And even budget is more about a price range, an idea of the sort of money you need for a great handbag. Finally, the timing is not defined and customers hope to find the right product with an opportunistic approach.

Instead of focusing on requests, let us speak about desire. Desire is what drives a customer to enter the boutique, to spend time looking for new products. Desire is complex but at the same time opens many potential selling opportunities. It might be desire for a certain brand: a customer could buy different creations from the same brand. If the desire is primarily to fulfill the need for a self-reward, it could then be something significant for pleasure.

Lisa has no real request other than a vague desire to have a new handbag. Even to her, the desire probably remains unclear. She just has a feeling that she wants to treat herself to a new bag. Or, is this desire due to the adverts for a specific handbag that she keeps seeing in magazines?

When Lisa saw that handbag, she just loved it! “It is so hip, and very trendy,” she said to herself. She liked the color, the shape, the interior lining. It is desirable and she feels she would very much like to have it. The brand—from the Creation Department, to Production and of course Marketing—has done a great job. The sales advisor made a brilliant final step by providing a great presentation. That original vague desire is becoming much more real and an experienced sales advisor knows, above all, how to establish a bridge between customer and product. An effective sales advisor is also a creator of emotions, and acts as part of the entire emotional charge of the Luxury product that he/she is selling.

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