How to Sell A Suit, or Anything Really

Good salesmen educate their customers about what appear to be little differences. When it comes to a suit, it's not the practicality or aesthetic value of two buttons, three buttons, or brass buttons that matters -- it's the history behind the particular style, the story of the brand that made it, and the pop culture surrounding it. These seemingly little differences are, in fact, extremely important. Without them, the suit business would be in trouble.

When people purchase products they ask this question: "What makes this product different?" Notice, the question isn't "What makes this product better?". For the most part, people like to decide for themselves what is better. They reason that if they know what is different, then they can decide what is better.

So, what's different about your product? At first glance, probably not much. The features that most products provide are so strikingly similar that there often isn't a tangible difference. But, upon closer investigation, most products really do have a distinct set of differences. A good suit salesman will tell you which suit is the classic London look, and which is the more contemporary Italian look. He'll tell you about famous people who wear that style, and he'll tell you, directly or indirectly, what attitudes are associated with a suit. Ultimately, the difference between suits, and this applies to most products, isn't in the features -- it's in the little nuggets of intangibles that the salesman tells you about.

Written by Chris Allison on August 26, 2009


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Ian says:

Houses that you live in, Suits you wear and cars you drive will define who you are and how you will get to where you are going.

So true. Whether you want to look like you just walked out of a tailor shop on saville row, or into a coffee shop in milan. People use their possessions to define their identity.

Some people are macs, some are PC's. Some are 2 button suits, some are double breasted 3 button suits. People buy items that display their personal values to the world at large.

Written by
Chris Allison