SELL YOUR WATCHMAKER, PART II: BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
The watchmaker as matchmaker, bringing salespeople and customers together
by Paul White, Director, Watch Division, Reis-Nichols Jewelers, Indianapolis
Last month we talked about reasons why watchmakers build your image as
a full-service jeweler. Now here's how they help you to build relationships
with your serious watch customers.
Watchmakers Can Close a Sale
Maybe the customer just needs a bit more reassurance about his purchase.
Our staff members are highly informed and extremely confident, but they're
not afraid to get the watchmaker involved if they think it will help. One
very important way watchmakers can help close a sale is in quick sizing
of bracelets. Every customer has a different wrist. Every watch is different
in construction, link size and flexibility. It's crucial to know whether
the watch will provide a comfortable fit before a customer falls hopelessly
in love with it. A watchmaker can help you and the customer make the right
decision and save some disappointment and headaches.
Watchmakers Can Nurture the 'Watch Maven'
We all have a wide variety of customers in our stores, from novice watch
buyers to experienced watch owners. Perhaps the most challenging customer
is the true watch aficionado who seems to demand a bit more than a sales
associate can deliver. It's not an issue of competence or even technical
knowledge. Some customers will demand that they deal directly with the watchmaker
about their special watch. It's nice to have a watchmaker who can satisfy
that customer's needs.
Watchmakers and Service
Whether it's that no-charge battery replacement, a quick adjustment on a
watch or full service on a fine Swiss automatic timepiece, in our store
the results are clear - we unequivocally build new jewelry business by virtue
of having watchmakers on staff. We're fortunate to represent some fine Swiss
watches. Throughout the year we have tremendous first-time traffic for people
needing service on these watches.
Watchmakers Create Loyalty
Any of you who develop relationships with specific vendors or stores know
exactly how good it feels to work with someone you trust. Maybe it's your
tailor. Or a great mechanic for your car. That neighborhood deli that treats
you like royalty. Likewise, people are very devoted and attached to their
fine watches. They need a confident, trusting relationship that keeps them
coming back to you for watches and more. That relationship can continue
even if they move to another part of the country. A little effort can build
a lifetime customer.
Maybe all of the above is terribly obvious to those of you who have been
in the watch business for a long time. Our experience is relatively new,
having developed a substantial watch business in the short period of six
years. But there are many stores without local or on-site watch service.
And there are many store owners considering getting involved with fine watches
for the first time. If asked my opinion, I always say the same thing: find
a good watchmaker and hire that person. Promote the service, take advantage
of training and certification; you and your customers will reap the rewards.
And that definitely is time well spent.
Each month Paul White, director of the watch division at Reis-Nichols,
will fill this column with sales tips for retailers who want to sell more
watches. If you have suggestions for topics, questions for him or specific
examples from your store, send them to Professional Jeweler, 1500 Walnut
St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 1998 by Bond Communications.