December 10, 2006

What kind of (hat buying) customer are you?… Check this 1949 article and take the survey!

Filed under: Millinery trivia and events — Cristina de Prada @ 6:44 pm

tips for salesgirls

I love this article titled Know These Five Customer-Types, that comes from the magazine British Millinery (April 1949 issue). The idea is to help salesgirls and their “smooth selling technique”. Apparently (in 1949) women spent fifteen to thirty minutes over the process of buying a hat.

Customer in a hurry

 First there is the customer who is always in a hurry.
“These women are often adopting a pose of self-importance. Most women have time enough when choosing a hat. They know it cannot be done too hurriedly. However, with the hurried customer make a special effort to realise her importance-apparently. You will find frequently that she displays a surprising amount of patience when handled tactfully.”

The undecided customerThen there is the customer who is undecided. (this would be me, by the way).
 “Her indecision may be caused by many reasons, but your task here is to instil her with confidence in your taste” (huh? shouldn’t that be HER taste?) “so that she will accept your guidance when you say a hat is ‘right’ for her. Reasons for her indecision may be many -she may merely be ‘looking’, she may not see the hat she has visualised for herself; she may have insufficient mone to spend” (oh yeah… that happened to me at Harvey Nicks a few years ago when I saw a beautiful Philip Treacy hat, bwaaahh).
“If she’s just looking, you may win her ofer with such a display of hats that she realises that she need not look anywhere else. If she still is undecided -invite her to come back. You may still get the sale eventually- and being corteous costs nothing.”

The talkative typeYou will find another types of customers are specially talkative.
“They like to talk; and they do not want to listen. You may find difficulty in keeping the talk to the subject of hats. All you need to do is to let the hats talk for themselves, adding an occasional word. When you have found out what type of hat she is looking for, bring forward a few and let her talk herself into one of them.” (LOL)

The neurotic type

One of the most difficult customer is the neurotic one. (again, aren’t we all!)
“She can can be most easily influenced by you if you display kindness and patience. She needs a strong lead, so in this sale you can speak authoritatively. Try to convince her that one particular hat -one she seems to line and which does suit her- is really the best for her. Often neurotics are seeking excessive attention. You should give it to them.” (well… no sure about that…)

The quier customer

Next is the quiet customer.
“You will find it difficult to know what she is thinking. Do not be mislead into thinking that the quiet ones may have no opinions of their own. They often have very decided views. But try asking this customer a direct question -‘Do you like this hat better than the last one?’
She will usually give a direct reply and a process of elimination will indicate her choice within reason”.

 Having transcribed this for you, I will put your mind at ease by saying that this probably was written by an old guy with a very serious face (which amazingly -or not- abound on the British Millinery issues). This guy was more than happy to stick a label to our forheads thus simplifying his life (in an attempt to simply that of the salesgirl).Full article - click to enlarge

 So… what kind of customer are you?… the survey awaits you!

Click here to take the survey about what kind of a hat buyer you are

And click on the image on the right if you want to see the complete article…

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