Let’s give them something to talk about.

Let’s give them something to talk about.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at gitomer.me.



Let’s give them something to talk about.

Nordstrom’s is coming to Charlotte and merchants are shaking in their boots. Big mistake.

America’s best “known for service” retailer, Nordstrom started as a shoe store in Seattle and grew into a retail giant. They have become known for great service and their wide selection of shoes. But hey, lots of department stores have shoes. What’s the difference if you have 25,000 pairs or 30,000 pairs lots is lots the difference is the way the shoes are sold and especially in the way that the customer is served.

When you buy a pair of shoes, they take your payment right where you’re sitting. The clerk takes your credit card and pays so you don’t have to stand on line and so you can look around and buy more.

Here’s the Nordstrom’s difference: Who goes home from shopping and says, “I had to wait on line to pay for my shoes at the department store? No one unless the line was long. Who goes home and says “I was finished buying a pair of shoes at Nordstrom’s and a nice, polite young man asked for my credit card took my purchase up to the counter and brought me back a bag and a receipt that’s the FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE THAT’S EVER HAPPENED.” Everyone. Nordstrom’s gives you something to talk about after you leave the store.

Nordstrom’s has discovered the biggest secret of memorable service: People talk after a transaction. They will say one of three things something good, nothing, or something bad and you control it by your words, actions and deeds.

Nordstrom’s watchwords: NO PROBLEM. Alter it? No problem. Need it in an hour? No problem. Need something they don’t have? No problem. Need it shipped to Timbuktu? No problem. Want to return it? No problem.

Nordstrom’s creates positive aftertalk: Their (unstated) goal is to create something good to talk about at end of every transaction. All customers talk. And their talk creates YOUR REPUTATION.

How Nordstrom’s earned Gitomer’s loyalty: My daughter Erika was going to be married in two weeks. A big wedding. I wanted to look good. My friend Richard Brodie said, “You have no choice get a Jhane Barnes Tuxedo.” I was in Houston went to a Neiman Marcus figuring I’ll try on a few and select one and leave. They had none. And none anywhere in

Dallas. Panic. I was flying to Portland (OR) in two days and then 5 days until the wedding. Teresa, my mate for life, said, “Call Nordstrom’s, they’ll get one for you.” So I did.

Pamela Staats, an extra pleasant woman answered the phone. I told her about the wedding and that I wanted a size 42long Jhane Barnes tuxedo with a regular suittype collar. “No problem, let me see what I can do.” she said with a confidence that was contagious.

Two days later I get to Portland (actually Washington Square in Tigard, OR) and Nordstrom’s. I meet Pam, and she escorts Teresa and me to a private room. There was ONE tuxedo on a hanger. A Jhane Barnes 42long with a suittype collar. I tried it on. It fit like a glove. Price? Didn’t matter it’s Erika’s wedding, baby.

Then I noticed that in the room was also a bunch of other clothing. Turns out, Pam Staats had called Teresa and asked my sizes for everything (shirts, shoes, sweaters). In front of me was a mini clothing store of stuff all in my size, all looking GREAT. I didn’t like the tuxedo shoes but I bought EVERYTHING else. I had to. Mind you there was no pressure. We were in a private room, being waited on hand and foot, everything fit like a glove, food and drink was served by friendly people in a relaxed, festive atmosphere I was in a mood to BUY.

Nordstrom had the pants hemmed in a day and FedEx’ed the tux to my home in Charlotte where I would pick it up in three days. Everything went smooth as silk. Something to talk about.

I got a card of thanks and a call a week later asking how the wedding went and got another card last month asking when the next time I’d be back in town you get the idea something to talk about.

The story behind the story: On my way out of the store, I casually asked Pam if it was hard to find the tuxedo. “Kind of,” she said. “We called the manufacturer and found out there was only one tux in your style and size in the country. It was on a truck going to New York. We had them stop the truck, grab the tuxedo, and fly it here.” WOW! Now remember, I had to ask her for the story she could have started the entire meeting with the guilt laden, “You know we had to fly this tuxedo in from New York, I hope you take it, or there will be a freight restocking fee.” No, no she would have NEVER told the story if I didn’t ask. That’s professional. Ultra professional. Something to REALLY talk about.

Back to the point: Nordstrom’s is coming to Charlotte and mall merchants (especially department stores) are whining and panicked. Above you can see why. Below you can see what they (and you) should do.

And the winner is: You, if you want it bad enough. The opportunity to equal or beat Nordstrom’s is real every retailer in Charlotte has TWO YEARS to get ready. Two years to adjust, change, reinvent, train, and prepare for the arrival of a new rival. Most won’t. Most will “wait and see what happens.” Nordstrom’s is praying for that. It will give them an opportunity to put one of their best known competitive services into practice: Clock cleaning.

FREE GitBit… Want the BEAT NORDSTROM’S training blueprint? I have developed a 10.5 step formula that will neutralize the giant and put you on a level customer service playing field. A getreal game plan that will work if you take action. Want it? Just go to www.gitomer.com click Free Stuff the click GitBit register and enter the secret words, “SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT!”.

Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlottebased Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/3331112 or email to salesman@gitomer.com

1999 All rights reserved Don’t even think about reproducing this document or it’s contents without the written approval of Jeffrey H. Gitomer or Buy Gitomer 704/3331112 salesman@gitomer.com