Hey, Big Spender

August 1998


Hey, Big Spender

To sell to the wealthy, understand the wealthy

When you're selling high-quality merchandise to wealthy customers, how you relate to them makes all the difference. Your sales associates should look as though they understand big spenders and sell to them all the time &#150 even if big-ticket sales are fairly rare. That's the advice from Laura Laaman, a sales training consultant who spoke on "How to Sell Top Merchandise for Top Dollar" during the spring Independent Jewelers Organization seminar/show.

"First, people like to shop where they think their peers shop," Laaman says. "So salespeople must look like they have regular customers who buy luxury merchandise."

To help sales associates feel comfortable with big-ticket sales – if they're not already – Laaman suggests role-playing. Take some merchandise from your case, triple the price tag and have them quote the price to you or another associate. Make sure they use the world "only" when quoting the higher price.

Physical surroundings also are important when selling to the wealthy, she says. Create a comfortable but elegant setting, she says. Offer a special blend of coffee in china – not foam cups. Serve a signature food – not Oreos or Chips Ahoy.

She also emphasizes proper attire for sales associates. "If you want to sell top-quality jewelry, you must look like the people who buy it," she says. "Men should wear shirts and ties, blazers or suits. Women should wear skirts."

– by Jack Heeger

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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