February 1998


Diamond engagement ring customers are different from those looking for a diamond solitaire necklace. Learn selling strategies for each kind of diamond customer and watch your sales soar

by Diane Warga-Arias, director of education for the Diamond Promotion Service

We all understand why selling a diamond is different from selling a gold chain or a colored gemstone - the diamond's powerful symbolism in our culture is unmatched. Thanks to De Beers, only a diamond means forever. That intellectual real estate is owned by diamonds. It's why people want them.

But as much as diamonds are different from other jewelry store products, they're also distinct from each other, like snowflakes or fingerprints. You've heard it and said it in many ways to your customers: no two diamonds are alike. So your sales strategies must be as varied.

Many of you successfully sell diamonds by doing a lot of things right: making customers understand quality features, translating the features into personal benefits and romancing the stone. You create lists of favorite uncommon adjectives, use favorite romantic phrases. Yet you continue to search for new selling techniques because you want to sell more, bigger and better-quality diamonds.

The Diamond Promotion Service, using De Beers' research, has identified core selling strategies common to all diamond sales (see "Core Selling Strategies"). But that same research tells us the diamond engagement ring customer, for example, differs from the customer interested in a diamond solitaire necklace.

No matter how successful you are at selling diamonds, learning these differences is essential to your bottom line. You can integrate the consumer's universal desire for diamonds and what they symbolize with selling strategies tailored specifically to the kind of product she or he is interested in.

This article is based on information included in the Diamond Advantage series of educational programs offered by the Diamond Promotion Service.

Learn Core Selling Strategies First
Each month in Professional Jeweler, the Diamond Promotion Service will share De Beers' research findings on a different category of diamond jewelry consumer. Let's review the three basic core selling strategies for you and your staff.

These are the techniques that stoke the consumer's passion, which first motivated the desire for a diamond, keeping it at the heart of the counter experience. Fanning the flames of that emotional connection is at the core of more profitable diamond sales. Because most diamond purchases are for gifts from a man to a woman, focus on the romance.

1. Connect with the customer
Go beyond the technique of smiling, making eye contact and small talk. You can't "connect" if you have a premeditated opening. Salespeople with a smooth automatic opening that has garnered positive response in the past will have the hardest time with this. But to bring passion into the sale later on, even the most successful salespeople need to learn how to connect on a different level, and with a few more customers.

To achieve this, you must bring a bit of your personality to the sales floor. There's no replacement for this genuine approach. Be yourself. Bring your humor, your sweetness, your shyness or your confidence to each interaction with customers, getting them to open up and tell you what triggered the desire to buy a diamond. Be aware of what they are saying and the meaning behind it. When you are yourself, customers feel they're talking to a friend.

2. Link him and her

The critical link when a man buys a gift for a woman isn't matching him to the right diamond. The critical link is him and her. The diamond sale is about them.

Whether the man shops alone or a couple shop together, keep him linked to her throughout the sale. Keep her, and the relationship, uppermost in your conversation. That will help him to remember what he is really doing - expressing his love.

3. Focus on the experience
You want your customers' experience of giving and receiving a diamond to include a magical diamond moment, just like those created in De Beers commercials. Find out about the unique qualities of each customer's relationship and the unique experience he or they desire. It's "customized romance" in which you relate to the individual stories in front of you at the sales counter. Let them know you appreciate that their courtship story is unique and as romantic as a scene from a movie.

Once you have connected with your customer, found out what triggered him to want a diamond and kept him linked to her, stay focused on their experience. Ask yourself: Who is this man, who is this woman and why a diamond? Then no matter what challenging questions you must answer, no matter how much technical information the customer needs to feel comfortable about the purchase, you will be able to keep the "experience" top of mind for you and your customer. Buying a diamond is about something very personal.

Think Diamond Engagement Rings

Because February is a big bridal month, learn and remember these three DPS selling strategies for diamond engagement rings:

1. The two-month salary guideline.
2. The 4Cs.
3. Using the woman's influence to drive up the average sale of the diamond engagement ring.

On this third point, keep in mind that though De Beers research continues to show women drive down the average price of a diamond engagement ring when they're involved in price discussions, the research also shows women drive up the average price when they're involved in choosing or discussing the size and quality of the diamond.

Keep couples focused on size and quality, if you can, while saving price discussions to have with him alone. With this strategy, you should enjoy higher sales and improved profitability.

Next month: Vive la difference!
The French celebrate differences among people and so should diamond jewelry salespeople. Beginning next month in Professional Jeweler, you will learn how the Diamond Promotion Service is more finely distinguishing among the different types of diamond sales by launching separate selling strategies for different diamond jewelry categories, such as the diamond engagement ring, the diamond solitaire necklace, other fashion diamond solitaire jewelry, better-quality diamonds and more.

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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