Selling luxury goods to international clients
A France-based luxury goods company enables its Europe-based sales staff to be more confident in providing customer service to clients from other countries.
The sales personnel of a renowned French luxury brand was unable to read the body language and felt uncomfortable with the communication style of clients from Russia, Asia, and the Middle East. This created great frustration for the sales staff, given that their primary role was to accommodate and build strong relationships with their clients.
Following some time spent shadowing the sales staff and understanding the brand’s sales process, customized workshops were created to build on the client’s corporate values. Exercises and roleplays were designed around practicing new behavior and decoding the communication styles of foreign visitors. Best practices were shared on how to serve traditional as well as modern clients, including both men and women. The sales staff learned about differing value systems among cultures in the East, West, and the Middle East, as well as how these differences affect the service expectations of clients.
After having participated in roleplays and situational coaching sessions, the sales personnel’s self-confidence increased tremendously. They no longer took everything personally and had developed enough objective distance to understand cultural relativism. They also realized that customer service expectations can differ from one geographic region to another and that their role as sales staff is to meet their luxury clients’ expectations, however that might be best accomplished.