With Citibank as a new business partner and exploring a new building that is the Mapletree Business City, I’m off to Norvatis to share with approximately 60 employees who signed up for this teatime talk titled ‘Citi at Work – Corporate Grooming Talk’. 

To me, the numbers are immaterial – whether it is 1 participant or 100 participants, the show will still go on. The only difference is that with more people, you can feel the energy and buzz in the room when the participants discuss and share ideas. It is really infectious in a positive sense.

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After the brief introduction by the recreation club chairman, it was all systems go! In the seminar room where there was a good mix of both males and females, I spoke on how to create a corporate look effortlessly.

More and more companies are realizing the need to organize such talks for their staff on a regular basis. Whether it is for the sales staff who need to run around sharing their latest products with potential clients, or staff doing the backend and frontend, putting up a positive first impression is one of paramount importance as you represent the company. That was precisely also why I was requested to include a special segment on how I could help improve the image of the receptionist.

It is perhaps the worst kept secret that the receptionist is the first person one sees when one walks into any company. Similarly, the sales personnel from the company is the first contact point for many of us. We do not encounter the director nor CEO. But it is often the point of contact that makes or breaks the deal.

Can you imagine a receptionist or sales rep who looks disheveled, tired and uncoordinated? I certainly can. Does this augur well for the transaction that is about to happen next? Very often or not, it does not.

In an increasingly complex world when a premium is paid on what one wears and what one says, the art of presentation, needless to say, is an art in itself. When you dress well and present well, your self-confidence automatically moves up a notch higher.

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I believe my client is just as excited as I am, if not more. Well, there’s every reason for him to be excited. We are going shopping today!

When I first met my client (let’s call him A) a week ago, it was primarily to find out a little more about him as he indicated that he would like a new wardrobe accompanied with a new look.

Planning a new wardrobe is not just about discarding what you already have and buying everything new. It’s about knowing your current lifestyle and in his case also, his new job requirements. Think of it like a doctor who checks and diagnoses first; then clarifies before prescribing the solution.

As a personal shopper, one of my chief aims is to help clients select clothes that not only flatter their body shape and style but are also versatile. In grooming terms, it’s to help the client build a capsule wardrobe so that some staple pieces can always be used in each and every occasion.

After helping him determine his body shape, personality style and best colours to wear, we agreed to meet again today at Vivocity for personal shopping. To some who ask why Vivocity, my reply is simple. It has everything under one roof and unlike Orchard Road, one is not subjected to the sun and rain when one hops from one shop to another. Besides, we are not buying any branded stuff so Vivocity is the ideal place to shop.

If you think being a personal shopper is just acting on whims and fancies, or the spur of the moment to walk into any shop; think again. To be a great personal shopper who adds maximum value to clients, one has to fulfil three criteria. First, being a personal shopper is about doing my homework first, looking at the list of items that the client wants to buy and recce-ing the shops and pre-selecting the suitable pieces a few days before the appointment and then bringing the client there on the actual day. Second, being a personal shopper is about working within the client’s budget and not exceeding it. The best would be to pick the best deals and help him or her stretch the dollar. Third, being a personal shopper is also about maximizing the client’s time and not wasting it.

After doing a thorough check of A’s wardrobe and discussing with him about the dressing requirements about his new job and wanting to get some casual items as well for weekends, he drew up a list of to buy items for me. The list read:

- 2 Pants (not black) @ $100 each - 2 V-Neck T shirts (short sleeves) @ about $50 each
- 1 Long Sleeved Shirt, Non Pocket (Autumn Colour) @ about $100

It was an extremely fruitful personal shopping trip as I had drawn up the itinerary for him. The modus operandi was simple - walk into Shop X to try on these few pieces. If client likes, he would buy. It's not just about the price, but also about the cut and comfort. If client doesn't like them, go to backup Shop Y which sells similar items to try.

At the first shop, we had already settled one pants and the two V-neck T shirts as A liked what he saw and after trying, bought them. At the second shop, we found the second pair of pants and long sleeved shirt. As the overall spending was lower than the original budget A had set aside (thanks both to me for doing the legwork on the grounds relentlessly and for the ongoing Great Singapore Sales), we walked into a backup shop and he bought another long sleeved shirt and working socks too!


Seeing him carrying all his new purchases in the carrier bags, it was another mission accomplished :)

If you too want to experience first-hand the enjoys of personal shopping with me, feel free to contact me!
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