I just saw a preview on BBC for The Paradise. It is a costume drama about an upmarket department store. What impressed me was how Denise Lovett (played by Joanna Vanderham) made a sale of a tea dress (see a video of what’s behind the character of Denise). She had great tenacity and drive in what she did.
It goes something like this: Denise is the new salesgirl at The Paradise. A snooty rich woman comes in and the sales lady tries to tell her to buy an off-the-shelf dress. Miss snooty is taken aback that a woman of her stature would buy something off-the-shelf. The sales lady commands the girl (Denise) to show how the dress will look on an actual live model. Denise takes too long and realises that she can’t fit into it as its two sizes smaller. Then she speaks up and makes her forthcoming pitch. About how the dress will look well on Miss snooty. How that is all that matters. How its been curated/hand-picked by the store owner. How its the talk of the town in Paris today. How it will be the talk of the town in London next month. How it can be sent to her home to try herself. And she tops it off with a guarantee – if you don’t like it, the sales lady will relieve her of her position. Miss snooty agreed.
It reminded me of what’s wrong with retail experiences today. It showed me how it would be nice to fix it. Most retail experiences today are no different to buying online.
In the old days (at least on this set), to sell a dress there were 3 people. Two sales assistants, one “girl”, who would live model clothes for you. Contrast this to today where sales assistants usually do not even bother to talk to you. When was the last time a sales assistant knew a lot about the product and sold you on it based on her knowledge?
I can’t find The Paradise on BBC’s iPlayer, so I’ll try to go old school and look for some DVDs. Season 1 is 8 episodes, and I reckon you can mine a lot of interesting sales advice from it. Its renewed for Season 2 as well from what I gather.