Knowledge categories Archives: Knowledge

The North Sails Story

North Sails was founded in 1957 by Lowell North an American sailor and Olympic Gold Medalist. North was an engineer methodically focused on building sails that were faster than the competition. Year after year, Lowell North and his team pioneered new innovative technologies that conquered wind and water, and won races.

Over the years, Lowell North’s legacy has lived on as the brand’s culture of innovation and winning has continued to produce generations of patented product breakthroughs and race champions. Since 1980, North Sails have been on every America’s Cup defender and challenger and are used by the majority of competitors in the offshore Volvo Ocean Race. Over the years, for everyone from celebrities and world figures like JFK to professional sailors and many more sailing enthusiasts in-between, North Sails has been the clear leader in sail making.

 

North Sails hold the patent for 3Di, a unique composite construction process that produces high performance sails that approach the shape holing of a rigid foil. The division operates over 147 sales and care sites in 63 countries, with manufacturing facilities in the U.S and Sri Lanka and an extensive license network to represent the brand worldwide.

 

 

 

The power of personal advice

To get the full experience of the North Sails concept and the role of you as an Ambassador you need information, practice and feedback. The morning session in the shop is very important for this. Every day for 15 to 30 minutes attention is focused on training these skills.

A brand experience is influenced by different facets and one of them is you!

The brand experience in the stores is influenced by the location, light, scent, furniture, Vm and you as an Ambassador. The staff of North Sails is expected to be able to successfully translate the brand and experience to our customers. Together with the team you play a main part in the shopping experience of the existing and new customers.

That’s why we find it important to have good knowledge and understanding of the brand and our vision. Therefore we hand you this tool in the form of a online Academy and offline training to improve your skills and these of your ambassadors. This way we can make a difference in the shopping experience of your customer. As an Ambassador you have to use your knowledge in every conversation, in the description of each item, in the creation of each set, in the conversation with each customer and in all your recommendations. As an Ambassador you are assessed in terms of knowledge and application of the brand DNA.

We want the knowledge in our stores to be of high standard. To help a new Ambassador we suggest, working together make a plan and keeping an eye on the process. (look for training steps and process in the documents TRAINING STEPS). In this document you find information what the standards are and most important what the vision is.

This consists of a few parts:
Greeting: simply stated, you must great every customer that enters the store. Remember your facial expression and maintain an open and inviting posture.
Welcome the customer and make sure you leave an opening to continue the conversation with an icebreaker and questions. Take the initiative to make contact with the customer within the first 30 seconds they have arrived in the store and make the customer feel at ease.

Use open-ended questions to start a conversation. The consultant must get an idea of what the customer want by summarizing the wishes.

Advice is the logical step where it comes together. The consultant makes combinations, suggestions, gives tips and examples, and searches for alternatives based on the wishes and body type of the customer.

 To fully practice these components and skills you must use the morning sessions and training moments to build knowledge. This is all the information an expertise that our staff is the store is required to learn and know. This consists of the collections, terminology, characteristics, materials, combinations, keywords, suggestions and alternatives. This is all provided on the academy.

Taking initiative
As a North Sails ambassador you are distinguishing yourself by the enthusiastic and knowledgeable conversations with the customers from start to finish. The service we provide and the expertise we have give a pleasant experience for our customer.
As a consultant you must be aware of the effect of different forms of communication and the outcome it may have. This component consists out of;

  1. Greeting /eye contact
  2. Icebreaker / conversations starters
  3. (Open ended) questions

Most important for this component is that the customer feels at ease and welcome and you create trust.

Advice
This component is essential of being an ambassador. As an ambassador it is important to show the possibilities of an item. As you know the items in our collections are very versatile and innovative. It is your job as an ambassador to mention al those possibilities, characteristics, and to show what is done with the product. From how it’s made, to what material is used, to how to keep it clean and combine it with other items in the collection and maybe offer alternatives and always to be able to explain the effect of your proposal. Advice contains;

  1. Terminology
  2. Characteristics
  3. Materials
  4. Combinations
  5. Keywords
  6. Suggestions
  7. Alternatives
  1. terminology
    Using professional jargon for the garments. For the silhouettes, product groups, fabric, fit and color,techniques, wash, print, zippers etc.
  2. materials
    Quantities and properties, comfort, function, natural/ blend/ synthetic, how to wash
  3. combinations
    How can it be combined so it can represent the brand look and feel. Think colors, fits and style
  4. keywords
    The look and feel can be described in keywords such as. Nautical, travelwear, beachwear, tailored, outdoors.
  5. suggestions
    Mention the options of wearing, size suggestions, accessories, detailing such as, rolling up the pipes of the pants etc.
  6. alternatives
    Handing /showing the right alternatives to the customer when needed. This is a vital skill in giving advice.

How to build a morning session

Explanation of the morning sessions, how to preform and implement them in your store and structure them during the week.
Morning sessions are done to create more awareness. It is a quick 15 to 30 min. warm up to increase knowledge and capability within the team. To start a morning session you always start the same you look at what the team needs and in what in field improvement can be made.

For 15 minutes of every day that you work attention is focused alternately on information, targets, latest news, repeating, sharing, specifying, questions, VM, cooperation’s, skills, feedback, collections, trainings, exercises, mentioning tops and giving tips.

How it works.

STEP 1. Observe
What are the subjects you see can be improved or refreshed?

STEP 2. Choose the essence
What is the main subject that the morning session will be about? Keep in mind the goal and the essence. What are the featuring issues and what are the accessory matters? (And it must fit within the 15/20 minute time frame)

STEP 3. Do
The form in witch you mold the session. In which way will the session and the subject best be communicated to your team and what questions should you ask to get the best performance and interaction with the team. Prepare this by forehand.

STEP 4. Follow up
This is one of the most important steps. What will be done with the morning session during the day? How will the consultants implement this topic in their sales advice and conversations with the costumer? Gives examples and explain the use and outcome. Observe your team during the day and see if it’s implemented. If not ask why and give tips and look back at the morning session. If they are, give a compliment!

STEP 5. Adjust
How did it go, did it come across? What happened during the day, what aspect went well and what didn’t? Adjust and redo.


Weeksessions
There are week sessions provided by the academy. These sessions are built up day by day to increase the learning curve of your team. This is done by giving information the first part of the week and have it giving back to you the next part of the week. Which means the sessions will be from informative to productive during the week. Prepare the week sessions in advance. Check if you have all the items and read the information by forehand so you can answer all the questions asked by the team members. We will be providing sessions in the levels; basic and advanced.

Day-to-day sessions
Besides the week sessions, day-to-day sessions will be provided. These morning sessions are for refreshing subjects and skills. They can also be used for additional training per stylist or when there are slow moments in the store you can use these sessions to give an extra punch to the knowledge and skills of your team to get them to a higher level. We will be providing sessions in the levels; basic, advanced, dept

Asking the right question

This sheet can be used for the morning session about questions. Also this is good information to receive before going on to the shop floor. In this sheet there are techniques to keep the conversation going and to ask the right questions.

By using questions you show interest and the answers the answers provide information. Instead of getting a lot of short answers like yes and no, you as a Ambassador must know what questions to ask. Use a little bit more time and give more attention, the customer perceives this as pleasant. Remember, to listen well (active listening) as this is important for the component that follows. Know the difference between closed and open-ended questions (who, what, where, when, why and how)

Summarise
With active listening the Ambassador must be able to summarize the wishes and needs of the customer and ask follow up questions. This gives you control over the situation, gives you confidence and the customer will respect you

Fabric characteristics

In this document you find the most common fabrics and their characteristics. This is useful for give care advice to customers and giving additional information about the how fabrics will behave and combine together.

 

Fabric and dying dictionary

Knitwear, Teflon, Lana, textured wool jackets and sumptuous silks. With all these different fabrics and techniques it is important to keep your knowledge up to date.
Start learning about our most used fabrics in this fabric guide. Don’t forget to pass this knowledge along to your customers, to make sure they will buy the right styles and also check the wash symbols to enjoy them for as long as possible.

fit dictionary

The fit dictionary can be used for describing how an article falls around the body.
For instance; What you are wearing now is a khaki relaxed fit chino or this pants is deconstructed which means  you are showing collection and product knowledge.
You can easily grap suggestions and alternatives for the customer  for instance for combinations, body types or other wishes the customer has.