over 5 years ago
- What is luxury retail?
Getting your dream job in luxury retail can be a lengthy process which requires your resolution to get through all the interview stages, normally from three to four steps depending upon the size and the structure of the business you are going to apply for.
Luxury global brands are looking for passionate individuals, with a genuine interest in developing their career within retail and working their way up with dedication and ambition. A sales assistant role can be just the first step into a very challenging sector that could give you the opportunity to discover and develop skills that you will be able to transfer in any sector of your life.
When we talk about luxury retail we refer to a specific experience where dreams come true and clients have the opportunity to be followed throughout their journey by knowledgeable and professional sales assistants.
The word ‘Luxury’ refers not only to an object and its value, but also to the clients’ perception of their experience in store. It therefore defines a process where clients get in touch to the object of their desire through the help of an expert who is there to talk about the features and benefits of the goods and highlight how they will match their lifestyle and satisfy their needs.
For this specific reason being a sales assistant in luxury retail requires a mix of skills which have more to do with the personality of the candidate and his/her ability to develop a genuine professional interaction with a demanding clientele who is buying an experience from them.
This translates nowadays in very high expectations from luxury retailers looking for the best talent for the shop floor.
Be a Brand Ambassador: A luxury sales assistant is someone who lives and breathes the brand and with their demeanor, communication and appearance embodies the DNA of the brand
Know the brand’s history and the heritage: luxury brands are organization which represent the history of an idea and a creation which has evolved throughout the decades in different directions.
Relationship builder: luxury is a matter of establishing a bond with your clients. Only confident individuals with the ability to adapt their communication and behavior to a very diverse audience will be able to network and build their own ‘black book’ of regular clients
Go the extra-mile: luxury means delivering something extraordinary to your clients, offering that unexpected service that would make them feel special and unique.
- The job interview
Bearing in mind what we just discussed, it appears now clear why luxury retailers take their time to identify the right people for their stores. Building their reputations with customers starts from the shop floor by selecting the best sales assistant who will be their first point of contact with a wide international audience.
What do you need to prepare for the interview?
- Study the brand inside out: who is the Creative Director and the Designer? Have they gone through major changes over the last few years? Which are their ionic pieces? These questions are quite common during the first stage and might be the reason why you will not get through to the following stage if answered incorrectly. There’s not much worse than proclaiming your passion for the brand without even knowing their best seller!
- Have a look at the brands Instagram campaigns: often customers choose their product on Social Media and might come to you with a picture on their phone
- Visit the store: be a mystery shopper for an hour of your life, observe the staff, their personal grooming, the way they approach you and address you. Have they asked open questions? Did they put you at ease and start a conversation? Visiting the store might be a great way to think of example of your own style and think why it would be in line with the clients’ expectations
- Think of practical examples of your previous experience of:
- Delivering outstanding customer service: think of a time when you went the extra-mile for a customer; a lot of candidates use as an example their score at mystery shop observations
(scores above 98% are considered excellence) however it is better to expand this answer with a description of the action or service you have delivered in order to reach that score;
- Clientelling: explain how in your previous role you managed to develop long-term relationships with customers and which tools you used to get in touch with them to follow-up sales; a lot of luxury brands encourage their staff to use Wechat or Whatsapp with their customers alongside the main client list saved in their system (CRM)
- Sales performance: this is a result of your ability to gain the customers’ trust and keep the interaction going throughout the walk on the shop floor. The more the customer enjoys your service the more he/she will be open to suggestions. This means you will be able to offer a wide range of products. In an interview the interviewer might ask you to go through your sales KPI’s so it is important you remember them and have on hand a few highlights of your sales records in order to give tangible proof of your previous ability to sell.