Service, Self Esteem and Profit
By Ali Cudby
Is Your Lingerie Store Selling the Wrong Thing?
Imagine a woman walking into your lingerie store – what is she shopping for? If your answer is “lingerie” you are, on some level, wrong. While a customer may end up purchasing a bra or shapewear, the truth is that she is shopping for something much more profound.
As lingerie professionals, we KNOW that a woman is seeking emotional support in the fitting room. She brings her insecurities about her body and her desire to be understood along with her into the shopping experience. After all, how a woman feels about her breasts is intimately connected to how she feels about herself as a woman. Shopping for lingerie becomes an extension of those feelings.
Now picture yourself seeing that same woman walk into your store. What do you see? A lot of the time, if you’re the person helping a customer, you may see dollar signs, SKU – perhaps a monthly sales target or commission. It’s human nature to seek the thing that rewards us.
It may seem like these are two competing perspectives about a customer. Actually, there is a way to satisfy both sets of needs – the store’s need to sell and the buyer’s need to be understood.
The solution starts with seeing each shopping exchange as being part of a larger relationship. When we see customers as one-off transactions, we tend to focus on maximizing the immediate sale. Focusing on a relationship that lasts over a longer period of time changes the perspective. That shift in mindset allows you to focus on a woman’s needs beyond what she’s ringing up at the register that day.
Ultimately, this relationship-based selling is a win-win. Customers win because they feel better understood, which builds loyalty and repeat sales – and that enables stores to win, as well.
Relationship based selling may take more time, and can be difficult to remember when a sales target is looming. Providing your sales team with incentives and tools to help them keep the stores goal’s in mind can help. If you’re not already, try keeping a mailing list and offering customers a special discount on their birthdays. If this is something you’ve already incorporated into your customer experience, find your store’s own innovation to constantly enhance the personalized shopping experience.
Does your store have a great tool to keep the customer’s needs in mind on the sales floor? Please share! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll compile the responses for a future post.