Being of Service: A Three-Suit Sales Day, Brunch person, COVID doctor

While positive comments for shepherding people (painlessly) through suit process are appreciated, as part of my job, taking pride in the process is psychic income. Yes, I get comments for suit-wearing, and picking Glenn Bossnblue as pen name is tied to feeling good about that aspect of my retail micro-economy. It looks like three-suit sales days aren’t going to be unusual. LOTS of good-looking $700+ sports coats getting attention.

My POV remains positive, with suit selling as my bellweather on results, weddings are still #1 reason for suits. After a $3,800 Wednesday, with literally off the rack $500 suit at very end of night, $4,300 Friday ended with $1,200 sale (Jack Victor black-blue jacket, $785, Bucachi black long-sleeve, $179), multi-color mohair sweater ($239).

Like good defensive backs, I have a short memory of LOUSY – less than $400 sales in 8-hrs. Saturday is 99% forgotten about. A bourbon at The Palms, 25-minutes of shooting hoops in a parking lot with one light, then quality leftovers and brewskies watching the Florida-Florida St. tussle were very relax-able elements. Not New Normal, just unstressed finish watching a rivalry game (a lot like the ’80s versions).

Sunday Brunch was paid for by companion, the opportunity to tip well was earned-deserved every step along the way by Stephanie, whose attendance and intelligence as a professional waitress enhanced a brunch at https://www.opentable.com/green-valley-grill. She did great, smoothing out a less successful Saturday with a Sunday afternoon free lunch, with frequent refills on coffee to info about Spanish Eggs, apppropraite action on the delay of espresso shot on vanilla ice cream with choclate biscotti dessert. $$$ on the table for good-good-good service is the appropriate accolade.

Its not just ego, or a magic blue suit – SERVICE is a legitimate dividing line when deciding to shop at Nordstrom or elsewhere, with me or anyone else. Good sales service isn’t taking your four items of clothing ‘to open a room for you.’

Like Stephanie at brunch, finding that cool 3X Bugachi for bulky guy, or suggesting options beyond a white shirt, that’s the good service guy I tend to be, so I appreciate a similar cooperative communicator.

Being OF SERVICE

The front-line COVID doctor I’m looking forward to meeting this week, yeah, the collective WE can never do justice to what medical personnel, at all levels of service, went through during pandemic. The Novant supervisor who immediately said, “Let’s get you stuck,” while still a Category 5 NC resident – and taking a mere 26 minutes from parking to leaving experience – is a service I won’t forget.

The old axiom of semi-gratitude is that, whatever burdens you’re bearing in life, “someone else has it worse.” In this seasonal expressing of thankfulness, it would take more than my writers imagination to understand looking the beast COVID in the eye daily, and I admire those who put themselves on the line for US.

Yes, I get comments for suit-wearing, and and picking Glenn Bossnblue as new pen name is tied to feeling good about that micro-economy. A bunch of three-suit days, I’ve got a feeling thats not going to be unusual. LOTS of $700+ sports coats recently.

Myself, post-Thanksgiving, 2022. Life at this end of #gshorkonsharonroadseam feels quite stable.

Alterations are always a Service Biggie

Early Monday its a green with black Ted Baker ($845) for wedding suit for next week, and fiancee nurse is staying up after overnight shift to get this important aspect done with him. He’s a marathon runner (100 milers) guy, with bigger calves and wanting to show ankle changes – alterations guy handled tapering like expect from pros. People have no qualms about paying for results, especially expediting.

In my micro-economy, SUITS area being up 57% over last year is no surprise . While we still sell out of common sizes quickly, we have plenty of product overall.

Turned right around, 2nd guy in gray suit

Finishing a great start to finish/rung up client and turning to a highly motivated next prospect is a salesman’s sweet spot. Jonathan was willing to learn and importantly, try on, both shirts (better with 32-33 sleeve) and suits. I affirm try-er on-ers regularly. As a salesperson and journalist-writer, doing fairly quick overviews of designers (Baker, Boss, Millar, Canali, and more recently, Jack Victor) sets the stage for ‘sizing’ customers, getting a jacket on them soon, basing estimates on myself as a 42 regular.

I’ve had lot of success with Boss, always point out how lowering the arm holes-shoulders are perfect for certain builds, with a great profile as a slim cut. Jonathan came in looking for exactly the slim fit, nice charcoal gray (Baker, $845) he’d expected, plus two much better than just white, trim fit Donahue shirts ($155). Bringing two sizes and options is a great closing situation.

Of course, the Boss felt a little better in the shoulders, but I realllly like how the gray looks on me.”

.”Shoulders on BOSS terrific, but I really like how the gray looks.” Bang zoom, thats decision I like to hear at end. Put a hem on it, pick it up in an hour. That a THIRD guy blew through and took a Millar check sports coat ($745) and a pair of white shirts, *that* is how triples should roll.

Although there’s a consistent fear of inflation or recession, my current POV-expectation is, with plenty of product vs. last year, setting goals for better paychecks is Reality. In 2021, I was often selling from an empty cart, burning time online having suits and shirts being shipped from other stores vs. just ringing up Peter Millar shirts/sweaters I *should* have had.

Reminding people how last year was, we still don’t do Black Friday pricing, which could have contributed to my poor showing last Saturday – our regulars know they won’t miss sales, but deal hunters were often disappointed. Now, end of the pay period, you’d better believe I’m wearing my Boss Blue – aka The $$$ Suit – instead of black management felt ‘would help identify us with customers.’ Pssshhh!

Reward those who have or will serve you well. Since first sales job out of college, and Boomer with Attittude, if you wanted more money, the word has been “Its right out there, do more.” Zig Ziglar stated it undeniably: If you get other people what they want, (as a saleperson) you automatically get what you want.

Department is up 57% vs. 2021, butNordstrom’s doesn’t really do Black Friday pricing,. I’m within two of our nice Jack Victor sports jackets of my goal.

Weddings, return to office, Peter Millar ‘Make you a suit’ Guy pumping my micro-economy

Third house on Brandon Circle, across street from my apartment. #gshorkonsharonroadseam is a good-looking ‘hood to walk around.

Seven out of last nine days I’ve had a suit or tuxedo sale at Nordstrom’s, and coming out 40% over goal last pay period means there’s no need to change positive projections into March-May.

“Don’t make me put on the black hat…” (great accessory though it is)

Kicking effort to the max – no break, only two people in department, no suit sale competitors that Sunday pre-Valentines Day – and working a terrific split while helping a newbie salesperson with a tuxedo ordering-Hugo Boss suit-sport coat triple play, made a gooood difference in my micro-economy.

SERVICE continues to be my point of excellence, but having some luck always works. Manager pulled off a tuxedo transfer that Monday, which arrived for alterations on Tuesday! and customer picked up WEDNESDAY (a day earlier than promised). He and wife were thrilled, but until I watched Marquelle for 25 minutes on phone Monday, I only knew he’d accomplished it for me before.

Telling my client of his effort, and introducing him as part of the package-difference maker, is good team stuff. Derrick (the new guy) got congrats on first suit ($2600 total) from the customer’s wife, she said he could handle any situation now, her hubby being juuuust a little tough-demanding.

Luck isThe wife-to-be, who handed her guy an off the rack amazing fit of a 44L sport coat, is smile-worthy. Super-affirming to cut the tags off so he could wear it out of the store. (With shirt, $800)

Kyle, an exactly my size 42 Regular, who came in two minutes later, as they announced 15 minutes to store closing. He’d left his clothes for an event at home, wanted a black Ted Baker, which became a first shot ($895) perfect fit – he only needed the pants hemmed. Ready the next day, $0 to expedite it.

–Me, 3/1/22

The Peter Millar Guy

Emphasizing which designers have trimmer side cuts, “and Hugo Boss moves the arm holes down, allowing guys with size in shoulders and arms to be comfortable vs. squeezed” has become part of my introductory patter. #gshorkonsharonroadseam

The pastries and warm coffee for the 8:00 ‘Make you a suit’ session with long-time (45 years) suit guru Rich Biegel were okay, and he’s going to get some immediate business, because recently I’ve been seeing strange shaped guys who need such help.

Biegel gave Nordstrom’s suit people across the organization props for selling a high percentage of suits at full price, which he linked to the perception of service provided, both affirming. Although I wasn’t aware of how popular the line was early on, after months of exposure to sizing guys, differentiating the Millar line as what those who definitely don’t fit in ‘younger cuts’ suits like Baker and Boss feel comfortable in, is obvious now.

Emphasizing which designers have trimmer side cuts, “and Hugo Boss moves the arm holes down, allowing guys with size in shoulders and arms to be comfortable vs. squeezed” has become part of my introductory patter with those buying a suit. It demystifies the more or less question up front. Millar has that touch more size, beyond leanness taken out of Baker, and its a comfortable price point ($650 sport coats, now $895 suits). Canali’s are a clear price point difference ($2,095).

The obvious questions about the cost of such a garment and production delivery time seem reasonably good for special fits. If 25-30% over regular price and delivered in four weeks is to be believed, there’s someone whose shoulders fit in a 48 and the rest of him – that extra tire at belt level, and shorter than average arms – becomes a challenge I’m better prepared to discuss in future. If that someone wanted *several* suits made for him (not custom though), that could be a new layer of business for me.

Tailoring is what Mr. Biegel was essentially promoting, and appreciation for the six people at Nordstrom’s who are aces in the hole for a suit seller, is very real. Working with (or ignoring) certain physical elements makes a difference – while everyone has a small difference in shoulders, Rich recognized my right side was a whole inch lower (bike accident two years ago, I was ‘tore up’), and that would be incorporated in making a suit.

Answers to the obvious question about cost and delivery time for such a garment seemed reasonable. If 25% over regular price and delivered in four weeks is to be believed, I’m better prepared to discuss ‘making a suit’ with someone whose shoulders fit in a 48, but the rest is a challenge.

When your suit seller knows their business

Holding-helping clients put it on allows ‘seating’ a jacket to best advantage, instead of letting guys swing it overhead, shrugging into it, and doing The Hulk move. Smoothing shoulders can reveal forward lean of shoulder or arm positioning considerations for sleeve most never consider.

Checking the sleeve length (hint of shirt or onto hand), lapels (comfortable or tight in chest), at the button (absolutely), and ‘it covers your butt’ fills essential boxes – the rest is what mirrors, girlfriends, wives, Moms, and fiancees are for.

Lifestyle and safety

Saturday was a day without a suit sale, and losing several hours of possible production – after a gunshot in the mall caused a surge of fast-moving people through our store and closed the mall for an hour – was legitimate. We’ve been trained on getting people in department out the back way, and we cleared customers as expected.

The guard at Gucci not having a holster for his gun was the alleged problem, but not enough employees came back into store to run the registers, so we closed down.

I’m somewhat more concerned about a very real rise in the number of customers and co-workers who immediately stopped wearing masks when the North Carolina mandate expired. Its been a small comfort that it was store policy, given how numbers have risen every time that hasn’t been enforced for last two years. I won’t be wearing anything while cycling the greenway today either – never did.

Tonight will be a meeting of my Men’s Club, and next week’s annual Fish Fry (March 11, St. Gabriel School cafeteria) will be the focus. Our Lenten Fish Fry and our Christmas tree sale have been a legendary thing over 30 years, and this will be our third community event since Thanksgiving. Protocols and numbers sure, but this seems just a little more like what life used to be like.

With fingers crossed for some similar degree of ‘Normal,’ I’m also thankful for the opportunity to bring flowers to Mom for her 88th birthday on 3/1/22. This was first time we (brother Steve and wife, Mere) have been allowed to visit since Christmas.

Now #gshorkonsharonroadseam instead of City View, still smarter than one trick bear