The art of selling luxury | Life | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • Brevity isn’t always best
    July 13, 2013
    Bud, they've shortened everything, except for how long you work.
  • Surf war
    July 13, 2013
    Pakistanis resent the YouTube ban imposed by their govt, but are afraid of the blasphemy laws to protest. A human rights group argues the ban…
  • Boycotts are a last resort
    July 13, 2013
    Remove tourists from the Andaman Trunk Road and open an alternative sea route, says the director of Survival International Stephen Corry.
More in this Section
Profiles
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy
Luxury STAFF

The art of selling luxury

|


IT'S ALL IN THE DETAILS: According to Roustant, customers are never "difficult", they are challenging

A smart sales consultant may have to subtly direct customers who are new to luxury, says LV's retail training director.

Global luxury brands pride themselves on the superior and personalised shopping experience they offer. But in India, customer service isn't always as luxe as the goods on sale. Staff can make the error of judging people by appearances. A sari-clad woman who doesn't speak fluent English often gets ignored while the stiletto-sporting person is fawned over. But as the market for luxury goods in India - currently pegged at Rs 28, 500 crore - grows, the demand for highly skilled, pleasant-mannered sales personnel who can create exclusive shopping experiences is increasing. Recently, Luxury Connect, a marketing agency, launched the 'Luxury Customer Experience Management Program' in India in collaboration with Jean Claude Roustant, retail training director with Louis Vuitton. Roustant who has been with LV for 13 years, tells TOI-Crest how shopping for luxury can also be a 'luxury'.

What do you think Indian luxury store staff lack?


I visited a luxury mall in Delhi and I quickly understood that the stores are very nice and carry the right products. But the staff was not up to the mark as far as luxury standards are concerned. The brand/ franchisee has no doubt invested in the store but they need to start investing in the sales personnel as well. What was missing most of the times is a proper welcome, introduction to the brand, subtle questioning in order to understand the customer's requirements, understanding and conveying the brand's DNA and heritage to clients.

People who buy luxury seem to like store staff giving them advice on what to buy and what doesn't look good. How important is saying "no" ?


A luxury brand is the vision of its creator (like Giorgio Armani, Karl Lagerfeld or Ralph Lauren), a vision that they impose on others. It is not taste;it is their perception of taste, what they believe is luxury. A sales person has to pass the creator's perception on to the clients in every small detail. A sales consultant will have to lead the customer to a product that will best suit them, that will match their complexion for instance. A smart sales consultant will sometimes have to direct the customer subtly because the new customer may not be familiar with luxury. It is common to see the newly rich wearing the wrong belt, the wrong shoes or a very blingy product.

You have been with LV for more than a decade. What's their secret?


In LV, it is not about selling but explaining the brand, linking the creation to history and being capable of discussing the features and quality of product.

Luxury clients can get very demanding. How should the store staff deal with such difficult customers?


Clients are demanding and they have every right to be demanding. In fact if you label them "difficult", you will see them as "difficult". I prefer to use the term "challenging" instead, so that you know that with your attention, you can turn them into loyal customers. The job of the sales consultant is to welcome the customers the way they would like - it could be in a private salon with their preferred brand of champagne or their favourite chocolate. Some customers can be very rude, but the job of a sales consultant is to establish a good relationship with them.

MUST-DOS FOR LUXURY STAFF


Perfect grooming Treat all customers equally. Personalisation is a must. Serve them their favourite champagne or chocolate when they come to your store Eye contact, smile, subtle questions to find out what they need Love the brand and share it with customers Build customer experience by creating unforgettable moments for your customers

Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik | MensXP.com

Networking

itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Hotklix
Services
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service