In these days of change occurring in business with dizzying speed, fierce competition and technology, it’s all many in business can do to keep their eyes above water, let alone make a profit. This is particularly true in retail venues, where online competition drives brick-and-mortar establishments out of business on a daily basis.

Joseph Uzumcu is Adelaide’s premier tailor and the finest salesman I have ever encountered. Some 25 years ago, I was looking for a jacket and happened across his shop just off Rundle Mall. Joseph welcomed my wife and me with a vivacious flurry and yelled out to his assistant to immediately bring up “two of my finest coffees.”

Two hours later we walked out with three suits, four shirts, six ties and the finest pair of shoes I have ever owned.

That day, I spent over $2000 on clothes for the first time in my life and learnt an invaluable lesson from a true Master.

On a recent trip to the city of Churches with a client, we dropped in on Joseph to hear a little of his accumulated wisdom. He shared generously with my colleague and recounted his golden rule once more:

“Never sell… never discount… just make your customers feel incredible. Then give them time to choose what they want to do next!”

As many successful retailers will tell you, it’s all about the experience. This means customer service. In many cases, customers buy—or don’t buy—just as much due to the feelings associated with an establishment or its staff as due to a particular need they have at the time.

On this occasion, I managed to leave Joseph’s store without spending any money, but only because we were running late for a return flight to Melbourne!

Paul Allen is Australia’s Leading Authority on Supplier Margin. His book, Take Back Your Margin! reveals 10 critical insights that every supplier must overcome to protect their profits.