A Great Shopping Experience · 25 July 2008

I had a great experience on a recent trip to Nordstrom. So much so that I had to write a letter to the store. After asking my salesman, Jose Hernandez, if I could do so, I am including the letter as this week’s column.

Dear Mr. Nordstrom:

I recently had one of the best shopping experiences in my life. It happened while shopping for a suit. Like the stereotypical male, I do not really like to shop for clothes, which is why I wanted to write a letter about a great experience with one of the outstanding salesmen at your Alderwood Mall store, Jose Hernandez.

When I walked into his area at the store, Jose greeted me like I was a guest in his home. His handshake and his smile were warm and sincere. When he spoke, it was not just to ask me what I needed but to welcome me and my family. And when he sold me my new suit, I felt satisfied rather than soaked. I got what I wanted and had a great experience doing it.

The thing about Jose, and I suppose all great salespeople for that matter, is that he genuinely cares about his customers, because they are really his friends. After all, who but a friend would give you what you need rather than what he has to sell? Who but a friend would care about the needs of those with you rather than just trying to make the sale? And who but a friend would listen to what you have to say? Jose did all of that and more. He made me feel comfortable and cared for.

I know that these things can be taught to help people be more successful in sales. I have read books on how to listen and take care of people’s needs. But even if there are books to help people be more genuine and caring, most people can not fake it. Jose really did care for me and my family with me. We talked about family and food and Puerto Rico and baseball. He asked my kids if they played sports. He told us about a restaurant near our home and when to go to get the best price for a wonderful meal. And of course, he helped me get a suit that fit well and would last. Both physically and stylistically.

The greatest thing about the whole experience of buying a suit from Jose was that it was like a visit to a friend’s home. I am sure that he talked about us like he would talk about other new friends he has made just like my mother-in-law used to do. My mother-in-law, who is retired from your company, used to talk about the customers she had. Like I am sure Jose does, she would talk about the wonderful people she met. She knew lots about their families and friends and what they did for fun. I know that she genuinely loves people and I can see lots of the same characteristics in Jose that I have seen for years in my mother-in-law, especially, the warm smile that greets me whenever we meet.

In my years as a consumer, I have had many good and bad experiences with salespeople. My experience with Jose was one of the best. I am convinced that even if I had not bought a suit from him, I would still be one of the new friends Jose made that day. And every time I go to the Lynnwood store, I will look for my new friend to at the very least say hello and receive his warm greeting.

While this is a letter commending Jose for giving me such a wonderful shopping experience, it is also a column for my website. I want the world to know that not all salespeople want to take the money and run. And that we can all make the world a little better by just caring for others. Whether we make the sale or not.

I am so glad that your company and the world are blessed with people like Jose Hernandez.

© 2008 Michael T. Miyoshi

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