‘Product Knowledge’ Cited as a Luxury Salesperson’s Most Important Attribute

About 87 percent of wealthy consumers in a poll compiled by the Luxury Institute say product knowledge is the most important attribute a “good” salesperson. A total of 73 percent say it is the most important attribute of an “outstanding” salesperson. A big part of the reason why product knowledge is so important in luxury goods and services is the role of the salesperson after the purchase.

Aside from providing reliable answers to questions and otherwise guiding customers to make informed decisions before the sale, salespersons are frequently viewed by wealthy consumers as their primary point of contact with the company to help them solve any problems they may have after their purchase, according to the survey of more than 1,000 individuals with a net worth of $1.5 million and a median income of $250,000.

Respondents, according to the survey, say this attribute is important whether it applies to jewelry, luxury automobiles, department stores, hotels, and resorts.

Forty-two percent of wealthy consumers say that they want their salesperson to be their first contact for any issues that may arise. On specific matters, 27 percent turn to their salesperson for questions on correct use of the product or service that they bought, and nearly 20 percent want their salesperson to intervene if the service department is of no help. Only 10 percent say that a salesperson’s job is done when the sale is completed.

About 83 percent of respondents identify honesty as a top three attribute for a good salesperson, and 56 percent rank it among their top three attributes for an outstanding salesperson. Trustworthiness, a close cousin of honesty, is something that 74 percent of wealthy consumers say that you will find in a good salesperson; 42 percent place it in the top three attributes of an outstanding salesperson. Income appears to be a factor in the relative importance of trustworthiness: 77 percent of individuals earning less than $200,000 annually say that it’s a key attribute in a salesperson, versus 70 percent of those earning $200,000 and up.

Other attributes cited by a majority of wealthy consumers as top requirements for a good salesperson include:

* Politeness and courtesy (72 percent);
* Reliability (69 percent);
* Keeping promises (62 percent); and
* Being a good listener (59 percent).

Higher income earners pay particular attention to politeness and courtesy. Accvording to the survey, 74 percent of those with incomes higher than $300,000 include these qualities among their top three requirements, ranking them just ahead of trustworthiness and reliability.

Being polite and courteous is also especially important when dealing with wealthy women, 76 percent of whom place this quality in their top three attributes (slightly ahead of trustworthiness), compared to 68 percent of men who rank politeness and courtesy in their top three. In addition, reliability is also slightly more important to women than it is to men (72 percent versus 66 percent).