Strategic Shopping: Creating Relationships

Strategic shopping is accomplished more easily by creating a relationship with a salesperson!

Here are some of my favorite tips on the subject from How to Win at Shopping:

-Using a department store personal shopper is a free service that never has a minimum purchase requirement! Most department stores have personal shoppers who are available to navigate the store with you, free of charge. They know the merchandise and can easily guide you through the departments. Be sure to call in advance for an appointment.

-Always create a nice relationship with an eager salesperson by replacing “I’m just browsing” with “I do not need help right now, but will find you when I do.” is a polite way to acknowledge a sales professional while making it clear that you would like to navigate the selling floor solo. Many sales associates are on commission or on a salary with incentives and rewards for reaching their sales goals. By responding in this manner, you are signaling that you understand this and will give them a sale, should there be one.

-Other sizes may be as close as the stockroom, so always ask about the possibility! Don’t walk away from a potentially perfect item because you do not see it in your size. The selling floor is typically only restocked before and after store hours, and size options can be severely depleted on busy days. If there is no one to ask about size availability in your immediate vicinity, take the garment in an incorrect size with you on your hunt for a sales associate. Once you find one, tell him your desired size and let him scan the item to see if it is in stock and which stockroom it may be located in.

-Always expect a salesperson to check a nearby store if the requested full-priced item
is not available at the current location in your size and color. Before asking for a stock check, determine your correct size by trying on a similar item, perhaps in another color. If the piece is available, you may have the option of requesting a store transfer or having your item held for pickup at the other location. If it is not, find out if the item may be available online.

-Many sales professionals work on a commission basis, so always stay loyal to the ones you bond with! If you enter a store without spotting your prior salesperson and begin working with another one, you are unknowingly creating a potential conflict between associates. The person in front of you may not know that you have an established relationship with her colleague unless you tell her, so let the salesperson know up front. Continue with her only if the salesperson who has proved to be so helpful in the past is not in. When you’re done shopping, make sure to ask the associate to send the absentee your best wishes. This makes it clear that you will stay loyal to your original salesperson and work with him the next time you are in.


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