Luxury is a feeling
People buy luxury for many reasons. Quality, craftmanship and the best materials are certainly important elements, but primarily people buy luxury because of how it makes them feel.
That feeling can be a sense of accomplishment or it could be the feeling of belonging to an exclusive group, it could be social status or it could be the feeling of acceptance and self-esteem.
There is always a driving feeling behind every luxury purchase.
Luxury is an emotion
These emotions, these feelings that drive those who buy luxury are what the Luxury Expert must learn to read and interpret in order to guide and predict the behaviours that create buying patterns.
The real luxury expert is not just an expert on luxury products, brands and lifestyles, they are experts in human behaviour and understand how to create desire in their clients.
Luxury is a behaviour
Whatever the reason, these underlying emotions drive behaviour. When the Luxury Sales Expert has the ability to read behaviour, they obtain the ability to predict behaviour.
When they can predict behaviour, they can guide behaviour and the ability to guide behaviour results in more successful sales relationships.
Reading non-verbal markers is not about body language 101. Most things taught in standard body language training done by training companies are at best basic, at worst completely incorrect.
Folded arms rarely mean closed off and most other things taught rarely mean what are taught either.
Non-verbal markers are subtle, almost invisible and always involuntary signals. If the luxury expert wants to know the clients budget they will use and read non-verbal markers to determine it without asking a single question related to budget.
Trust is the single most important factor when selling luxury. It is the foundation on which every single relationship is buil.
To establish trust the first thing the luxury expert has to do is to be liked.
The fastest way to likeability and to break down a trust barrier is to use the eyebrow flash.
A rapid up and down movement of the eyebrow when seeing the client for the first time. This triggers the “I know you” response.
Conversational observation goes hand in hand with non-verbal markers. The luxury expert will broach topics of conversation to get a better understanding of the clients needs and spending power.
Conversational observations when managed with intent can reveal elements about the client that they would otherwise be unwilling to divulge.
NLP or Nero Linguistic Programming is a popular subject amongst sales trainers. It suggests that the words we use impact behaviour. NLP is widely discredited as pop psychology amonst psychologists.
Psycholinguistics on the otherhand is a genuine branch of psychological science which looks at language and the impact it has whilst being processed by the brain.
Every client speaks a language unique to them, even though many speak the same basic language, for example English, how each individual speaks English is different and based on things like upbringing, past experiences, and family.
So the language the luxury expert uses is an important part of influence and persuation.
Reciprocity is a social construct within social psychology. It is a social norm ingrained in everyone since early childhood . When someone does something nice for you, you do something nice for them.
You get invited to a friends party, you are obliged to invite them to your party and the cycle repeats.
In luxury sales, reciprocity is not about free gifts or free samples, but it is about behavioural expectation. Inviting clients to dinner or to an exclusive VIP client evening creates a buying behaviour pattern.
Exploring the delicate balance and building the skill of tact while embracing the philosophy of being diplomatic.
Tact is a self-awareness skill. And diplomacy is a mindset that involves the people around you.
Tact is used with those we will build a long term relationship with, clients whom we know will return and be clients for life.
Diplomacy on the otherhand is used in situations where the likelihood is that we will never see the client again.
Contrary popular belief, suggestion is not about giving a client a number of options and suggesting the best one for them. This is called comparative selling and it’s a technique used in the mid-market.
Suggestion and influence are cognitive behaviours which come from expected responses. If a shy person expects that a glass of wine will make them behave in a more outgoing and less inhibited manner, they attribute their confidence to the glass of wine, even if the wine is aldchol free.
Building rapport is the basis for all effective communication. Rapport lowers trust barriers and heightens access to the friend zone with clients. We buy from experts but we trust friends.
There are many methods to rapport building, the most common being mirroring and matching. That doesn’t mean copying everything the client does, that’s creepy rather than effective.
Many training courses that try to teach this tell participants to copy the client, if they put an elbow on the table, you do the same and so forth. Also creepy.
More effective ways to mirror and match is using breathing rythm and tonality. Building rapport also involves matching non-verbal responses and displaying trust markers.