I work in luxury sales.
It sounds gorgeous doesn’t it? “luxury sales”. In truth, I’m a salesperson in a boutique for a luxury brand, and even though there is often a sort of pejorative regard for such an employment, I love my job and the company I work for.
Many people who find out what I do and where, often ask me the same first question : “the clients must be horribly demanding right?”
Perhaps some are, and some are not and others are average people with an average degree of politeness, like most of us. I suppose when you spend the big bucks you can be “horribly demanding”. But really my job isn’t about bowing and cowing to wealthy people’s tantrums. No, my job is about creating relationships. I cultivate an experience for my clients (and I say “my clients “ with the utmost of pride) so that they feel happy. I create an experience and a memory during their time with me, so they will return again seeking more of what I sell. Because I don’t necessarily sell luxury goods, I sell joy, pleasure, delight, appreciation, comfort, good feelings and quality… oh and I sell me. Clients do come back, and they come back for me (as well as a beautiful much-desired product).
So the answer is no, my clients are not horribly demanding. And one client especially stood out in my memorable list of clients last week. Jerdine is her name. I crossed her path in the middle of the boutique and as she seemed to be lost (it’s a large store) I offered my hallmark cheery assistance. She looked grateful to hear my American accent in English and I saw her face relax a little from her initial frayed expression. She admitted to being a bit overwhelmed in the boutique and I could tell she wasn’t the typical return customer who knows the products better then I. She immediately began conversing with me and I felt a responsibility to accompany her so she would feel comfortable and welcome in our establishment. She told me her son urged her to go out and buy herself something nice. My heart swelled at the thought of her immediate choice of brand. It was her first time ever entering one of our stores. To me that is a fantastic opportunity to offer someone a magical experience.
I wanted to dazzle her, Eiffel Tower style. I took her around the store to show her all the different products we offer and shared with her some history of the brand. She shared with me that me she is a writer of children’s books and novels. Which is why she doesn’t get out much. So of course I was determined to make her outing memorable and satisfying. But after a ten minute tour she told me she thought she would be happy just choosing a silk scarf. A simple lady, not demanding at all. But also, I think it was indeed intimidating with all the expensive items on display even in the charming company of yours truly.
I brought her to the silk counter and asked her what colors she liked. Blue and orange. I expertly selected a beautiful scarf in blue and orange with feathers printed on it. I told her that I thought the feathers would be a lovely touch since she is a writer and writers used to craft stories with feather pens. Now they use computers but the feather can still be significant.
But the classic American she was, she wanted to see more choice. I pulled out more silky selections with orange or blue, and some other hues to compliment her dark olive skin tone. But eventually she returned to the first choice and decided to take it, the plumes print. Her first ever silk scarf from this iconic French luxury brand.
She was gracious and poised, thanking me for my patience and time. (If that isn’t the opposite of demanding I don’t know what is!). I brought her to the front of the store after the transaction was completed, handed her her parcel and said hoped that she had experienced as much satisfaction in buying her scarf as I had being the one to sell it to her. Or did I think it. In fact I was the one who was dazzled. Starry eyed from an ordinary lady who reminded me how easy it is to make a connection when we are open.
It can be fun to have big spending clients, it is helpful in order to obtain our monthly bonus. But, I prefer the kind of client like Jerdine. Someone who appreciates the beauty of what they are buying, who will cherish it and who will feel more elegant every time they use it. I feel like I have participated in a simple yet intimately profound moment in her life. And that is what I love about what I do. Perhaps when she feels ready for another self indulgence she’ll think of me and return.
I’m not a salesperson, I am a creator of memories.