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A Salesman’s Must Read

September 1, 2009

Esquire thinks they have you pinned.  Take a look at this article and think about the stereotype they are promoting here.  A menswear retailer should never fall into this cliche and none of our readers, who work in stores, should ever be so easily classified:

Esquire on menswear sales associates

Esquire on menswear sales associates

1. Owner

Distinguishing characteristic: Uses “I” rather than “we” when referring to the store.

Rules of engagement: Since he personally selected the store’s inventory, ask him why he thinks your prospective purchase is worth the money. If he can’t sell you on it, it probably ain’t worth buying.

2. Lifer

Distinguishing characteristic: Can tell your sizes just by looking at you.

Rules of engagement: Having sold clothes for years, he has the wisdom and, more often than not, condescending attitude to show for it. Ask informed questions (“Is this Super 180?”) to prove you’re a serious shopper.

3. After-schooler

Distinguishing characteristic:iPhone vibrating in his pocket. (We hope it’s an iPhone.)

Rules of engagement: He almost certainly doesn’t know what he’s talking about, so take advantage of his energy and use him to track down sizes and ferry things to and from your fitting room.

4. Retiree

Distinguishing characteristic: Within five minutes of meeting you, will mention his former occupation.

Rules of engagement: He probably works part-time and may or may not know what he’s talking about — take whatever he says with a grain of salt until he gives you reason not to.

We spend a lot of time working with and understanding the retail experience for our menswear shoppers because Antonio used to sell menswear with some of the finest stores in Canada.  He understands which qualities people look for in a sales representative and how to properly fulfill a customer’s needs and requirements. Remember to be engaged, energetic, attentive, listen to their needs, always offer them something slightly better or more interesting than what you would otherwise, and probably most importantly, always ask “which of these items are you leaving with” as opposed to “are you leaving with any of the items”.


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