Originally Posted by BeaconHillBoston
For a competent sales professional? Very. Whether you are selling private jets, millions dollar advertising campaigns or menswear, allowing a customer to "save face" and cushioning you criticism(s) is sales 101. I mean honestly, this is common sense.
Here is what you should have done:
11.) A big tall guy (about a size 48T) in his mid 20s came in one day with an old sport jacket in his hands and he asked me to help him team up some pants, shirts, and ties with it. I had a look at the label inside the jacket: it was our house brand but the jacket was about 25 years old.
He told me he bought this jacket at Value Village for $19.99 and wanted to know what he could wear with it.
I didn't bother showing him any pants and shirts and ties and whatnot; instead, I asked him to put on the jacket.
Nothing wrong with that.
I had no idea what size it was but, judging but how it looked on him, I would say it was a size 40R. I asked him to take it off and I measured his chest and overarm and he turned out to be a size 48T.
I told him he shouldn't wear that jacket because it was nowhere close to being his size.
Right: Thank you! Sir, do you think your jacket might be a little short and tight up top? -- Cushion/indirect critasism
He seemed surprised. "Oh. Really? I thought it fit quite well."
Right: Not a problem sir, typically you want your jacket to allow ample room through the chest and the shoulders. Also, in regards to the length of your jacket, experts on menswear such as Alan Flusser, believe you should be able to cup the bottom of your jacket in your palms when your arms are relaxed and to your sides. You want your jacket to cover your backside, and your current coat does not look like it is able to do that. What do you think?
The jacket length just barely came down to the level of his navel and it needed at least an extra, oh, I don't know, 14 inches around the girth and the sleeves came down to about five inches above his wrists
If my aunt had balls she'd be my uncle - it is what it is.
"It doesn't fit me? Are you sure?"
Yes sir, according to the so called "laws of menswear" your jacket might be a bit short. That’s not a problem, we have several jackets that might accommodate your large frame.
"I'm very sure. You shouldn't wear this even if it did fit you. The jacket is at least 25 years old. Why don't you buy a new one? I have lots in your size and we have a sale on right now."
Wrong. No need to call him out on an old jacket.
Right: Sir, you might want to consider a new jacket that fits you better. I say this because it will really accentuate your lines and will last you quite a long time. Think of it as an investment. We have some great jackets on sale and I am sure I can fit you with something that meets your needs and that falls within your budget. What is your budget?
"Oh. I don't know. I thought this fit me really quite well."
Right:I totally understand, feeling comfortable in a jacket is very important. Perhaps you would like to try something along the lines of what I've been talking about?
He took off his jacket, put it back inside the plastic grocery bag he was carrying and said, "Well, I'll have to think about it."
He did this because you are a dick and you made him feel like shit.
You are. You pissed off a customer, made him feel bad, and didn't sell a damn thing. Great work. You didn’t teach him anything. He left with a bad taste in his mouth.
As you have said multiple times, I am just doing this for your own good. Perhaps applying some of the techniques that I’ve outlined in this post will make you a better salesman, because you have a lot of work to do.
If you ever get into high level sales, pissing off an ignorant customer might cost you tens of thousands of dollars.
Forum members, which approach do you think is better?
I can understand this approach if his Value Value jacket was, say, only one size too small (or perhaps even one size too big) but, instead, you're treating him like a baby (or an idiot) with this approach.
You're making it seem as if his jacket was only a trifle too small. I'm saying the guy was WAY OFF. How else can you--or anyone else--tell a 48T guy his 40R jacket is nowhere close to his size except to say IT'S NOWHERE CLOSE TO HIS SIZE? I'm serious.
What if, say, buddy came in with a pair of size 30 pants and he, in fact, needed size 42 but he thought the size 30 pants fit well? Are you going to "baby" him and try not to hurt his feelings or are you going to do your best not to laught and just tell him straight up that he needs bigger pants?
Furthermore, there really was no other tactful way for me to tell him about the age or outdated look of his jacket. In extreme scenarios such as this, there really is no better way to say it except to be blunt and to the point.
For me, a direct and no-nonsense approach works best in scenarios such as this. It saves both parties a lot of time and we can get right to the heart of the matter. This is a men's clothing store (not a babies' clothing store) and real man can handle the truth.