Recently, I received an email from a woman who had been unhappy with her breasts for years. She had been considering a breast reduction when she stumbled onto the fit methodology outlined in my book, Busted! After learning more about bras that fit and getting a fitting, she was amazed to find bras in her size that were attractive, flattering and comfortable. She wasn’t sure she would ever truly love her G-cup figure but decided – at least for the moment – to wait on surgery.
What struck me most about this woman’s email was the emotion that came through every sentence; and while the particulars of this story may be specific, the theme is universal. How a woman feels about her bust directly affects her shopping mentality. I hear over and over again about women walking into lingerie boutiques, carrying personal stories that make them feel insecure in the fitting room. As Sarah Wiener, owner of Trousseau in Vienna, Virginia, observes, “You’re not really fitting just the bra, you’re fitting a woman’s self-image, her body image”¦and that comes with a lot of baggage.”
Every woman may not bring emotional baggage with her, but there are enough customers who could use a little support (of all kinds) that it becomes an important aspect to consider when thinking about how to approach customers. When you are able to boost a woman – literally and emotionally – you end up helping much more than sales. You give a woman empathy that goes directly to her self-image. The emotional support aspect of that conversation in the fitting room is a critical factor for retailers to understand, embody and embrace.
Understanding this reality and addressing it in the store environment can be two different things. When we talk to our customers about issues that go beyond the items we want them to buy, it’s called consultative selling. We become more than fitters and more than sellers, we become trusted allies – and that’s where the magic can happen for a store’s relationship with their customers.
Yes, consultative selling takes longer. And it’s more complicated. But when women feel heard, valued and respected they become more willing to purchase and more loyal – in other words, you invest in your customers, and gain benefit in numerous ways. Customers buy more, they return to buy again, and they tell their friends to come to you.
Paying attention to each individual woman’s needs may take more time and effort, but when women feel heard and valued, the result is even more beneficial to everyone than finding a great fitting bra.