The ever-elusive Chanel relationship is like finding last year’s impossible to track down Caramel Chanel 19. At first, it appears easy to find, but it’s nearly impossible. With a brand as shrouded in mystery as Chanel, it’s no wonder it can feel hard to connect with sales associates (SA for short). I do, however, have some tips to ensure a successful relationship with a Chanel SA.
How to Build a Successful Relationship With Your Chanel SA
BE ON TIME
I truly cannot stress this enough. When your SA sets up a designated time for you, they’re running on a schedule and must prepare for your visit and visits from other clients too. Just like you wouldn’t be late for a date with your significant other, don’t be late for an appointment with your SA.
Give them space
Be mindful that your SA has a million things going on and can’t always drop everything to assist you. Whether it’s a physical client in the boutique holding their attention or they’re simply off, they will get back to you in a timely manner. You don’t want to be that client that calls 10 times in 5 minutes.
Loyalty is key
Have you ever wondered how that one person you follow ALWAYS gets the bag of the season, those sold-out Dad sandals, or, best of all…a gift? Hint, they’re shopping with one SA consistently. The best allocations and gifts are given to loyal clients who shop with one SA and one boutique. You know how your favorite coffee shop just knows your preferred order and always knows to have it ready for you? Similarly, at Chanel, the more loyalty you show by shopping with the same SA, the greater the perks.
As you continue to build your profile, your status changes based on your spending. Starting with an annual $20,000 spend, a client is deemed “elite+,” and certain perks will apply as you progress. It starts with being invited to in-store events, birthday gifting, and eventually, as you grow as a client, it leads to holiday gifting and show invites.
Attitude is NEVER acceptable
It’s understandable that no one wants to wait in a line or that they’re annoyed that their dream item is sold out. Please take a moment to place yourself in your SA’s shoes and remember that they’ve been dealing with less than friendly clients all day. As the old adage goes, “you’ll attract more flies with honey than vinegar,” and that truly means something.
It’s actually quite shocking these days if you listen closely to client interactions because rarely are the words ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ uttered anymore. However, SA’s and their managers who decide on gifts and allocations notice these things.
Research, Research, Research!
Chanel is the only luxury brand where clients need to research well in advance of what they want to be able to secure these items. You know when that collection is presented? Well, that’s a good time to take a photo to alert your SA. If you’re already an established client, they’ll be able to order that piece specifically for you, and if you’re a new client, they’ll be able to reserve it for you as the collection approaches.
Don’t forget that Chanel has 6 client-ready collections per year, and by the time you see someone post it in an unboxing, it’s more than likely sold out in boutiques. After all, Chanel is the only brand that deems 8 collections necessary every year.
As a reminder, they are as follows in terms of release in a calendar year, Spring/Summer Pre-Collection, Spring/Summer Runway, Pre-Fall, Fall/Winter Pre-Collection, Fall/Winter Runway, and Cruise. Each collection is launched every 2 months, and once these seasonal items sell out, they’ll never return in the same fashion.
Visit but don’t stalk
The pandemic has drastically changed the shopping habits of the world. If you’re a new client, you’ll have to put in some time to get to know your SA and for them to know you. After all, it will take some time to click with your dream SA. Like dating, you may not meet your perfect match right away, so meet different SA’s and see whose style you prefer.
Once you’ve established that magic chemistry with your SA, now you need to get them to remember you. Start out with requesting an appointment with your SA, mentioning items you’d like. Then follow up by visiting once or twice a month. SA’s are constantly juggling hundreds of clients every week, so you must be remembered, but for the right reasons. The top clients of all brands rarely step foot in stores these days because they’ve established that rapport with their SA’s so that they are always considered for items before the public.
My final piece of advice. Your SA is human and just wants to be appreciated as such. A little gesture such as a note or a cup of coffee means the world to your SA and helps them remember you when that special piece comes into the boutique.