One of the big takeaways students got from the 6-week Shopping for Success training that ended recently was understanding how much value they bring to the client through their personal shopping services. One student at the end of the training said she realized her value for the first time and was excited to tell people about her services instead of feeling shy about it. I know with this new realization she’ll become a magnet for new business.
In one exercise we compared and contrasted our abilities to that of a sales associate in a department store or a boutique. Here are a few of the answers the class came up with:
1. As our client’s personal shopper we have an unbiased opinion that’s not influenced by the sale. We’re concerned about the welfare of the client, not the commission.
2. A wardrobe coach can maximize a client’s investment because she knows what’s in the client’s closet back home. There won’t be worries of duplicating things by mistake or the client coming home with things she doesn’t know how to wear. Her wardrobe coach, YOU, will show her how!
3. We can give our clients are our full attention the full time we’re working them. The sales associate is juggling several shoppers at once. We will never do that. That’s the beauty of one-on-one service.
4. We can relate the clothes directly to the client’s style and wardrobe rather than focusing on what’s “in” and in the stores. We’re only interested in trends if they serve our client specifically. And if there’s nothing for the client in the store, we can walk away and go somewhere else.
5. We’re not limited to one type of shopping experience. We can shop boutiques, the big stores, private designers or we can even sit on a park bench and go through catalogues to help our clients order the right things. Or if we’re on a closet visit with the client, we can review store items while sitting in front of our iPad or her computer and order things on the spot. We can make a plan to visit when the purchased have all arrived and help her make final selections while in her closet.
6. We have a “next step” after the client makes store purchases. That’s not the final step. We’ll get back into her closet a week or two later to style the new clothes and work them into her current wardrobe. We’re excited about her getting the best out of her investment. The sales associate can’t give that close, personal attention to detail.
I think many of us undervalue our services. A client recently told me, “I realize I don’t shop anymore, ever. I don’t go shopping unless it’s with you. What a relief! I was hopeless out there alone.” Now she has a fabulous wardrobe that we carefully edit and build with each new fashion season. She’s calm and happy and knows I can help her get ready for any occasion.
The more you share client stories in your newsletters or in talks you give, you’re demonstrating the value that’s possible to receive from your services. And they are very different from the services a “stylist” in a department store can provide. More people will want what your clients have–ease and peace of mind and knowing they look great 24/7–all with your help.
Letting others know how you differ from in-store shoppers makes good marketing sense!