For most people, shopping can be a cathartic exercise especially when they are feeling low. The idea of saving and splurging on an item they desire instantly lightens their mood. However, pleasurable as it may be, there is always the question of cost. Unless, of course, you are wealthy and money is no object.
Wealthy people have an abundance of money but unfortunately time is never on sale. It is for this reason that the services of a personal shopper become indispensable to them. While they work and attend lavish events, they need someone to shop for what they need.
Are you new in the business and looking to improve your skills? Would you like to become a top tier personal shopper? Here are some tips to pave your path.
Build Your Brand
It is one thing to be entrusted with buying a couple of drapes or carpets; they are low risk items and can probably be returned. It is a whole other ball game for your client to trust you with securing more expensive and sensitive items. Jewellery, art, or fine wine are not exactly grab and go purchases. You need to be trustworthy and deeply knowledgeable on such matters.
Building your brand goes hand in hand with honing your experience. Keen observation and avid research will make a big difference. It is also important to know your limitations. You may be an expert of Rembrandts but not Ferraris and that is perfectly fine.
When you know your stuff, clients will notice you and seek your services. If you would like to build a niche it would be a good idea to wait until your brand is established. Learn as broadly as you can in the initial years.
Your resourcefulness as a personal shopper will define how successful you are. However, that is also pegged on who you know and how much reach your network has. When clients know that they can count on you to fulfil certain wishes, you will certainly be highly recommended.
A good network can enable you:
- Secure requested items on short notice
- Get access to exclusive venues
- Find items for your clients that other personal shoppers have been unable to deliver
As you build your network, cast a wide net. You simply never know what a client might ask of you. They may need emerald earrings today and watch parts supplies tomorrow if their designer watches need a tune-up. It makes for light work when you have a working relationship with dependable sources.
Cultivate Negotiation Skills
It is easy to assume that just because your clients are wealthy that they do not care about costs. To a certain degree that is true, except, getting value for money and wise spending are equally important. Your client would not be wealthy if they spent their money with never-ending frivolity.
While it may not be asked of you, endeavor to always negotiate the best rate for your clients. Consider whether what is being offered is really the best in terms of value and quality. Any poor purchasing decisions will reflect poorly on you more than the seller of the product.
Everything you need to find may not always be within reach. Moreover, some purchases are too sensitive to execute over phone calls or emails. Authentication and negotiations with dealers tend to work better in face to face interactions.
You may need to be well-prepared for eventualities such as travel to different destinations when the need arises. To this end, it would be prudent to keep your travel documents in check at all times.
People that have distinct tastes may have a hard time sending anyone on a grocery run. Now, imagine how much more trust it would take to entrust you with more important assets. Therein lies the importance of customer relations. Make an effort to:
An open communication line is critical in ensuring that you get the job done right. Always consult your client and firm up details regarding purchases. Keeping them abreast of the progress will ensure that you are all in agreement with the final decision made.
Understand the Customer
When you do not properly understand what the customer wants, you will definitely not live up to their expectations. It is advisable to ask them to be as detailed as they can in their descriptions and pay attention.
Eccentric as their tastes may be, it would be a terrible idea to inject your own preferences into the matter. If need be, you could present them with alternative options to consider but their choice is king.
Trying to serve too many customers may diminish your quality of service. Do not underestimate how demanding clients can be as you may fall short and ruin your reputation. Additionally, most well-to-do clients prefer exclusivity and discretion.
Taking on limited clients at premium fees would work better than over-stretching your capacity.
Have a Clear Contract
You will be faced with big responsibilities involving major transactions. An employment contract is essential in making sure that you are not liable for eventualities out of your control. It should also clearly spell out the expectations of both parties and payment terms.
Becoming a personal shopper can be a very enjoyable job if you like the finer things in life. It pays well too when you have the right client list. Now that you know what it takes, you can certainly become the personal shopper everyone hopes to have.