Luxury Survey: Nordstrom, Tiffany, Neiman Marcus Have Best Salespersons

Nordstrom, Tiffany and Neiman Marcus are among the luxury brands that have the best salespersons, according to survey of affluent consumers.

The survey of more than 1,000 individuals with a median net worth of $1.5 million and median income of $250,000 was conducted by the Luxury Institute, a New York City-based ratings and research institute that specializes in the high-net worth consumer.

In the order of recognition for possessing the best salespeople, the top ten brands are:  
* Lexus (12 percent),
* Nordstrom (10 percent),
* BMW (9 percent),
* Mercedes (7 percent),
* Tiffany (6 percent),
* Neiman Marcus (4 percent),
* Cadillac, Acura, Four Seasons, and Infiniti (each with 3 percent).

Consumers who cite Nordstrom as having a superior sales force are likely to have an income less than $200,000 and a net worth less than $2 million, according to the survey. The perceived trustworthiness of the sales staff could use improvement, as this attribute showed the widest gap between what wealthy consumers want and what they believe Nordstrom’s salespeople are delivering. Reliability, however, is another bright spot for Nordstrom: half of the wealthy consumers who believe its salespeople to be exceptional cite reliability as a factor influencing their favorable opinion.

Politeness and courtesy finish slightly ahead of product knowledge (84 percent versus 82 percent) as the factor that makes Nordstrom’s sales staff one of the best, according to the survey. Better than 60 percent cite listening as a key attribute for Nordstrom staffers, while 55 percent say that the salespeople at the Seattle-based retailer take an interest in them. High marks on these attributes may help to explain why the store enjoys especially high esteem from its female customers: 61 percent of those who say that Nordstrom has great salespeople are women. 

Sixty-two percent of the fans of Tiffany’s salespeople have a net worth of less than $1 million, and 53 percent earn less than $200,000 a year, according to the survey. In terms of age, 41 percent of those who offer high praise to Tiffany’s salesmanship skills are less than 40 years old, and one-third are between 40 and 54 years of age. Like several of the other top brands, if there is an area for improvement at Tiffany, it is in bolstering customer perceptions of the trustworthiness of its sales staff.