Emphasize the Attributes


July 1998

For Your Staff

Emphasize the Attributes

Use salesmanship when you sell a diamond; don't be just a clerk

Salesmanship is the ability to create a sale from scratch. "Otherwise, we're clerks – customers tell us what they want and we show it and sell it. That's filling an order," according to Shane Decker, a sales trainer who specializes in diamond-selling techniques.

Decker, speaking at the recent Independent Jewelers Organization seminar/buying show in Palm Springs, CA, advocates taking advantage of the attributes offered by a diamond:

  • Rarity.
  • The cut.
  • The endurance factor.
  • The antiquity value.
  • The investment value.

"The first thing you should do is talk about rarity," he says. "It takes 500,000 pounds of earth mined to find a single 1-ct. diamond."

Next comes cut. "It takes eight or nine years to study to become a neurosurgeon, but it takes 10 years of apprenticeship to become a diamond cutter," he says. "As much as 60% of the cost of a diamond is in the cut."

Endurance is important also. "You can't pass on clothes or a car or a home to your family, but you can pass a diamond from generation to generation," he says. "If you do give them a car or a home, you're also giving them the cost of upkeep. Emphasize you can use a diamond every day and it will always look exactly the way it was when you bought it."

An emphasis on the antiquity value also helps to make a sale. "The oldest diamond has been carbon-dated at 3.4 million years," he says. "That means you have the oldest known substance sitting right there in your showcase and look how beautiful it is. Based on this, you can't even begin to estimate the antiquity value of a diamond."

While many people caution against selling a diamond based on its investment value, it's OK with Decker, but emphasize a different type of investment. "It's the highest compliment you can pay, to make an investment in memory, an investment in commitment," he says. "The average car costs $30,000, you drive it 11/2 hours a day and it lasts five years. But the average diamond is worn for 40 years, 24 hours a day."

He recommends using closing techniques all the way through the presentation. "If you wait to the end to make your close, you get only one shot, so use a close a minute," he says. Decker also urges diamond sales associates to wear a diamond. "That's a reassurance close. When [customers] don't see jewelry on your hand, they don't have reassurance."

Go for diamond add-ons, he adds. "When you write out the sales slip, write the name and address on it," he says. "Then write the product description and the amount, but don't draw a line under it or add the sales tax or total. The customer is already in a buying mood, so now go for diamond earrings or a pendant." Two hints: the add on should be in the same family (in this case, diamonds) and should be about half the amount of the main sale.

– by Jack Heeger

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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