Meet Amanda Mansfield
From the HGO Merchandiser
In Atlantic Canada, life moves a slower pace and shoppers tend to seek out for retailers who feel more like family (or at the very least, a close friend). Fortunately, those frequenting Hampton House Furniture, in New Minsa, Nova Scotia, Amanda Mansfield – a chatty and engaging sales associate who is proud to represent the store – has a lot to offer customers looking for a more personal connection.
After meeting and talking with her in person it’s easy to see why she was a shoo-in for the Retail Sales Professional Awards despite the fact she’s only been on the floor for a little over three years. She is the 2019 recipient for the Atlantic Region.
“Hampton House Furniture is a family run business and we’re a small team, but we love what we do,” she enthused during a recent interview with Home Goods Online. “They nominated me for this award and I’m super excited.”
It’s clear from the outset she’s passionate about her career. “I would have to say I love everything [about my job]. From coming in the morning to my co-workers to just a really great atmosphere,” she says.
“It’s a family run business and once you are hired, you feel like part of the family. Hampton House puts customer service first in all things and we really do enjoy working with one another. Our customers also feel that vibe and in turn, many of them feel like family when they come through the door.”
Mansfield’s team was happy to see her walk away with the award.
“It was a great pleasure to have nominated Amanda for the RSP Award. Hampton House Furniture is incredibly fortunate to have Amanda as a furniture sales associate,” says Anton Varner, president of the single-unit Hampton House Furniture.
“Her customer service skills are exemplary. Amanda takes initiative to figure out and learn about new products when they arrive in the showroom and has unquestionably become the ‘go-to’ person for anything regarding product information,” he continues, adding, “She is one of the friendliest people we know and always arrives with a smile and an eagerness to assist her clients in making informed furniture choices. Her natural charm and wit make everyone who visits Hampton House become at ease and they leave feeling like they just made a new friend.”
Mansfield is a pleasantly gregarious salesperson who immediately engages with everyone she meets, expressing genuine interest in their lives and making them feel at home. She’s also dedicated to helping people find what it is they’re looking for as soon as they walk into the store. “I really enjoy helping customers figure out exactly what they want and giving it to them. Our store is very large, so people can get a bit overwhelmed when they come in,” she says. “I really love being that person who is able to kind of narrow it down for them and help them find exactly what they want.”
This point was stressed in her nomination for the RSP Award. “Amanda is one of the most enthusiastic individuals that this retailer has employed over the past 10 years. She is genuinely interested in helping people solve their interior design dilemmas. She is also extremely self motivated and is constantly learning about the products that she sells,” her advocate said.
Mansfield says it’s easier to connect with people in Atlantic Canada as the community is smaller and tighter-knit – and everyone is interested in everyone else’s background.
“Everyone in Nova Scotia’s provincial pastime is just trying to find out they’re related to each other,” she says. “So, I try to keep that feeling throughout the whole experience with my customer. It’s not so much that I'm a salesperson and they’re my customer, it’s about making that connection, and that way when we start to get down to the nitty-gritty of it, it’s not me selling to them.”
Fortunately for the store, stories about good experiences travel fast. “There’s a lot of word of mouth in Nova Scotia because it is such a small-knit community, and it’s also just about being true to your word. I send a lot of Christmas cards to our customers,” she says.
When a customer first walks through the door, Mansfield starts off by engaging them in conversation. “A lot of times we start by talking just about pretty much anything. We start making that connection and their guard comes down a little bit. We start talking about what they’re looking for and once they start talking about their lives, you learn more about what they need.”
Mansfield says when customers mention key facts, such as whether they have children or pets, it’s easier to find pieces that are perfect for their households. “I just really listen for those little things that give you an idea of the feel of the room and the vibe that they want,” she says.
Mansfield also offers incredible product knowledge as she often labels the products that go onto the floor. “I do a lot of the pricing and labelling, so I’m constantly flipping through workbooks and I always see what’s new and what’s coming. Even if we don’t have something on the floor, it might be tucked away in the back of my mind. So, when someone comes in wanting something a little bit different, I can show them a picture get it in.”
She also believes the products also speak for themselves. “About 90% of our stores’ products are made in Canada and I just love being able to say that with confidence. It’s not that it’s just assembled in Canada, it’s made here. People really love that.”
Outside the store, Mansfield likes to keep active – and introduce people to Nova Scotia’s wineries. “I enjoy running and playing tennis. I also love to knit and my husband and I both love to cook and entertain. I also work as a tour guide on the Wolfville Magic Winery Bus which allows me to combine my love of talking to people and my pride for the place I live.”
As for what’s next, Mansfield hopes the industry will present even more opportunities. “I have loved working in the furniture business,” she says. “I have always wanted to be my own boss so I am excited to see what future opportunities there are that may allow me to achieve this dream within this industry.”