March 1998


Guide your customers safely from a discussion of the 4Cs to the understanding of why a particular diamond costs what it does. The key is explaining rarity

by Diane Warga-Arias, Diamond Promotion Service

That couple coming toward you wants a diamond. You can feel their desire. De Beers commercials and a lifetime of tradition have brought them to your counter. There's no question they are ripe for a diamond moment, such as those they've seen in the commercials.

Clutched in the man's hand, however, is a description of the 4Cs and some price guidelines, and he begins to ask a lot of questions about price and its relation to certain diamond grades.

It's reality time. As many of you well know, between the desire for a diamond and the consummation of that diamond moment lies a pathway filled with questions. Answer them satisfactorily and the sale is yours. And not just any sale - a better diamond sale. De Beers' consumer research continues to demonstrate that customers aware of the 4Cs buy better-quality, more expensive diamonds. But our research also shows that today's consumer is different from yesterday's. The 4Cs haven't changed, but the way you explain them to customers should.

The key is to add rarity to the discussion of the 4Cs and price. It's a missing link in many counter discussions. In recent years, consumers have needed more to justify the price of a diamond than a series of letters and numbers. True, the 4Cs give us the language we need to define what a quality diamond is. But an explanation of rarity helps justify the price. The more rare the diamond, the more it costs. Instead of some alphabet soup to wade through, rarity gives consumers a hierarchy that gives not only the definition of quality, but also the explanation of rarity and how it affects price.

The Diamond Promotion Service's diamond quality pyramid, introduced last year, is the system we developed to help sales associates explain and justify the prices of better-quality diamonds. One associate told us that when she added rarity to her sales pitch, her customers "got it."

Speaking to Customers
Using the single word "rarity" with the pyramid icon, the most successful sales associates on big diamond sales today use a variation of the following script. Imagine all the world's diamonds formed a pyramid. Those that are in greater abundance would fill the large base of the pyramid. More rare diamonds are higher on the pyramid. For example, most diamonds have subtle hints of color; the less color a diamond has, the rarer it is. The diamonds at the top of the pyramid are the rarest and most expensive. It's a diamond's rarity that determines its price. Keep in mind a diamond can be rare in one of the 4Cs and rarer or rarest in another C. It's the synergy of the 4Cs together that determine a diamond's rarity and price.

Don't Forget Beauty
Though rarity is the key to selling better diamonds, remember beauty - and how it is perceived - is an entirely separate issue. Beauty continues to be in the eye of the beholder. While those of us who handle the best-quality diamonds believe them to be the most beautiful, customers should be allowed to make their own decisions regarding beauty. Colorless diamonds are the rarest and most expensive. However, diamonds with hints of yellow are preferred in some cultures. The amount of brilliance vs. fire also continues to be debated in terms of beauty. Let your customers decide what is the most beautiful diamond for them. Just be sure they know which diamonds are the rarest ones of all.

Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.


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