Switch – “up sell” to “up serve” and see the results!

For business purposes I tend to stick to a plain black or navy suit for my work.

I’m not a pinstripe or pattern kind of a guy. Certainly not when I’m speaking on stage or presenting from the front of a room, which makes up the bulk of my work, a plain suit is easier on the eye than a busy check, (and black’s meant to make me look slimmer too!)

It was time for a partial wardrobe refresh. My favourite black Armani number had suffered at the hands of our dry cleaners a few too many times. They of course blamed the manufacturer for shoddy workmanship… and vice versa…

Too many people today want to blame someone else or something else for why things go wrong.

Successful people and successful businesses take responsibility. They stand behind their products and services. Do you?

Whilst in London on business recently, I tagged on a quick visit to three major retailers. In two out of three the service was shocking. Very unhelpful staff just running down the clock until their shift was over. The third were helpful, but had nothing that was suitable, (no pun intended).

As if by magic, the next morning in the mail was a postcard from “Aristocrat”. They’re a small independent clothes retailer close to my home town. I’ve purchased from them before… and here’s the thing – they always keep in touch! Are you in regular contact with your past clients?

The post card was inviting me to a pre-sale preview with glass of wine and a bite to eat. It reminded me of the great service they always deliver and how the majority of the good suits I’ve bought have come from them… I didn’t need to look any further.

Lawrence, the owner, has operated his shop in Bishops Stortford for over 25 years. He’s been successful for three reasons; He carries a great range of top quality products, delivers outstanding service and he cares.

I could have gone to any retailer – probably got a cheaper price too, but that’s not what I want. You might not believe it, but most of your clients don’t buy on price either.

I want to buy from people I know, like and trust. It’s what your clients want to.

Keep in mind I was looking for one black suit.

Lawrence was not on the floor when I arrived. A really friendly assistant checked the stock for a black suit in my size, but drew a blank. He came back with a very slick Paul Smith suit in Navy. As I was there… I slipped it on. It felt pretty good. The guy started pinning the suit for a few alterations…

Then – Lawrence appeared. He greeted me with a warm welcome you’d get from an old friend.

Steve Clarke“You look like you’ve lost weight” he said, (that old chestnut, but I had, over a stone in fact).

“Did I hear you say you wanted black?” he asked.

“The next size down on the Boss suit is a different cut – could be just what you’re looking for, here try this.”

“It won’t look great with that casual shirt, let me give you a crisp white one to try with the suit. What are you a 16’, no probably more like a 17, but slim fit?” he said

“Slim fit?!” Oooooh I liked that idea I thought to myself.

“What are you a size 8 shoe? Here put these on with it to so you’ll see how it will all look”.

He passed me some lovely Oliver Sweeny shoes, also in the sale… you can see where this is all going!

By the time we were done, my one black suit had turned into;

One black Boss suit

One Navy Paul Smith Suit

Two white Boss shirts

Two pairs of Aramarni Jeans

and… a pair of Oliver Sweeny shoes.

When I went back a few days later to collect everything he had tailored it to fit me perfectly, I walked out having purchased another casual Ralph Lauren jacket too… and with a huge smile on my face.

I hadn’t been “up sold”. I had been beautifully “Up Served”.

Serve your clients better – you’ll help them more… and they will buy more from you too.

Just as an aside… Lawrence is Based in Bishops Stortford Herts. During our conversation, knowing I’m a professional speaker, Lawrence mentioned another client of his is also a speaker.

He told me the other guy talks about influence – I immediately knew who he meant. Phil… and he lives in Harrogate!

“Yes, that’s him”, he said. “He come’s in for suits too. I then have them altered and send them up to Harrogate for him”

Up serve, up serve, up serve.