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Unique knowledge drives sales

A couple of years ago, I was shopping for a garment bag for my wife. Her job required travel and her current bag was showing serious signs of wear and tear.

I stopped into one of those mall luggage stores and the salesperson showed me a black Tumi garment bag.

As I was inspecting the bag I noticed the price was $400. I said to the salesperson, “Wow.  I really like the bag but four hundred dollars is more than I was planning to spend. Do these bags ever go on sale?”

She answered, “The only time I’ve seen these bags discounted is when a color or style has been discontinued.”

I didn’t see anything else I was interested in buying at the store and so thanked the woman and left.

A few minutes later I stopped by a second luggage store at the mall and looked around. Again, the only bag that caught my eye was the same black Tumi garment bag. I checked the price tag: $400. A salesperson approached me about this time and asked if she could answer any questions. I posed the same question I’d asked in the previous store, “I really like this bag but four hundred dollars is more than I was planning to spend. Do these bags ever go on sale?”

Again, the salesperson answered, “These bags are only discounted when a color or style has been discontinued.”

I thought to myself, “Well, at least they’re consistent.” But then the woman said something I hadn’t heard before.

She said, “You’re right. This luggage is not cheap. Four hundred dollars is quite an investment in a garment bag. Did you know, however, that this will be the last garment bag that you may ever have to purchase?”

My quizzical expression prompted her to continue…

“Tumi guarantees its bags for life. It’s made out of ballistic nylon and can withstand the wear associated with frequent travel. If you do experience a tear, a lost wheel, anything at all, Tumi will repair or replace the bag at no cost to you—for life. Also, Tumi installs a special metal plate in each of its bags containing a bar code that customers register at the Tumi website after purchasing the bag. That way, if your bag is ever mishandled, there will be a way to reunite you with your bag even if your luggage tag comes off during handling.”

I bought the garment bag.

It was ironic to me that I was leaving the second luggage store with the identical bag I hadn’t even considered purchasing for $400 fifteen minutes earlier at the first luggage store. And all because the salesperson took the time to share her unique knowledge and convince me that, as a frequent traveler, I really could not afford not to buy this bag!

While customers appreciate nice employees, they value knowledgeable employees. And the more unique knowledge employees possess, the more value they bring to the customer experience.

Order Delight Your Customers: 7 Simple Ways to Raise Your Customer Service from Ordinary to Extraordinary by Steve Curtin or purchase from select retailers, including Barnes & Noble.
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