Watch Platinum Sales Grow

August 1998

For Your Staff:Selling Platinum

Watch Platinum Sales Grow

With the proper care and feeding, your platinum sales can bloom

by Caroline Stanley
Manager of Communications
Platinum Guild International-USA

Platinum continues to make increasing strides in the U.S. jewelry market. Last year, for example, platinum bridal sales increased dramatically, giving platinum jewelry a full 15% bridal market share.

Many retailers are taking advantage of this increased consumer interest. Here are a few of their selling tips.

Show Platinum and Gold
Within one week, one smart retailer had three gentlemen ask for white metal bands. He took their orders for white gold bands and ordered the three rings in the appropriate sizes, widths and weights. The sales amount of these three bands totaled about $450.

The retailer then wondered whether he had undersold his customers, himself and his bottom line by not fully explaining about platinum versus other white metals. So after he ordered his customers' white gold bands, he ordered the same bands in platinum.

When his customers returned to the store, he sat them each down and explained the differences between platinum and white gold. In two out of the three cases, the customers spent more and bought the platinum bands.

Because of his forward thinking, the retailer made larger total sales (the three sales now totaled about $1,050) and made a greater profit margin.

In addition, all three of his customers had a chance to make an informed decision to buy the best – everyone came out ahead.

Do try this at your own store, with male and female customers. Show them the platinum difference.

Men's Bridal Market
A sales associate pointed out men can get the short end of the stick in the bridal ring market. When a man purchases a wedding band and perhaps an engagement ring for a woman, he often spends several thousand dollars or more.

What happens when the woman comes in to purchase the man's ring? She is told the basic, no-frills band he's picked out for himself is only a few hundred dollars, if that. Often, she's amazed and perhaps feels a little guilty. So show her a platinum band and educate her.

She'll spend more; he'll get a nicer wedding ring. (It may even match the watch he's wearing.) She'll feel better and you'll add to your bottom line. Everyone wins. Don't forget to show those men's platinum bands!

Getting Started
Perhaps you need an overview before you can begin profiting from platinum. The chart on the facing page gives you hints and a step-by-step guide to platinum sales.

Caroline Stanley is a third-generation jeweler who grew up on the sales floor. She is a past-president of the Arkansas Jewelers Association and the Southwest Guild of the American Gem Society. Caroline travels for PGI, training retailers across the U.S.

 Steps to Successful Platinum Sales

Stock Platinum
Your store should target platinum stock to your most likely customers.

  • 40% of platinum sales are bridal.
  • 40% of platinum sales are self-purchases by women.
  • 10% of platinum sales are self-purchases by men.

Your store should stock at least five pieces of platinum jewelry to give your customers a choice. If your store is just beginning to stock platinum, begin with bridal jewelry. Platinum accounts for 15% of the bridal market.

Get Training
Get excited about selling platinum! It's new and hot and can be the beginning of great conversation with a customer.

Ask your manager to hold a store meeting and talk about platinum's features and benefits.

Does your store need a Training-To-Go Package? Just ask your manager to fax a request on company letterhead to (714) 760-8780 to receive free sales training assistance.

Display Platinum to Its Best Advantage
Your store should group platinum jewelry pieces together, whether the selection is large or small.

Use signs and tags as silent salespeople for platinum jewelry. Contact PGI for more information on these merchandising tools.

When redesigning showcases, your store should stick with cooler colors that show platinum to its best advantage. Try white, black, navy blue, cobalt blue, lavender and shades of gray.

Don't use lighting with yellow overtones. Incandescent lights are yellow-based, so they are not as flattering to platinum jewelry as halogen lights. A neutral or white light works best.

Promote Your Store as a Platinum Leader
Use platinum as the means to differentiate your store from the local competition. Advertise yourself as the jeweler who carries platinum.

Give your customers the chance to come to a class on platinum. Show samples to your audience, educate them and watch your sales increase!

After-Sale Contact
As many sales associates already do, give your customers a brochure as they indicate interest in platinum or when they make a purchase.

Add their name to your mailing list and client contact book.

Call your platinum customer when you get a new piece they may fall in love with. Owning platinum is addictive – they'll want more than just one piece.

Re-stock, Measure Your Progress and Begin Again
Remind your manager to restock as platinum inventory gets depleted. The manager could use the extra profits from your platinum department to expand the selection.

Your store should track its sales. Are platinum sales in bridal at least 15%? If not, analyze why sales are below the national average.



Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


 

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