Reaching the Rich
Here's how to find the well-heeled and offer them the luxury merchandise
Hide-and-seek is a favorite childhood game. Now as an adult, you may
feel you're still playing the game as you try to find your community's wealthy
members and then try to market to them.
Not as many of them visit your store as you might like, but don't give
up. The truly wealthy like you to come to them.
The telephone is one of the easiest and most important ways to contact an
affluent customer you've already met. Briefly mention you have an exciting
new collection or special piece and you'd like her feedback. Invite the
customer to a private showing or offer to visit him or her at home or work.
"Creating the impression you are working exclusively for a particular
customer will make a difference," says Ella Gafter of Ellagem, a luxury
jewelry designer in New York City.
Find out when these customers work and play so you know when they'll
be most receptive to your call.
When advertising to this elite group, feature unusual designs and use
top consumer magazines. "The proper advertising not only attracts current
customers but opens doors for new customers as well," says Linda Goldstein
of Linda Goldstein Public Relations, a New York City firm specializing in
the fine jewelry industry.
If you advertise through direct mail, make the merchandise highly visible
and add a handwritten message or signature with the promise you'll open
the store for them before or after regular hours. Follow up with a phone
After you make the sale, keep in touch to build trust, one of the most
important factors at this level of the consumer market.
Finding New Customers
Socializing and participating in charity functions and community activities
can create opportunities for future business. Attend performing arts events,
benefit balls and other civic and society functions where you know your
community's affluent will congregate. "Meeting outside of business
will help build relationships and trust," says Tom Heyman of Oscar
Heyman & Bros., a high-end jewelry manufacturer in New York City. Volunteer
to give lectures, write articles and be available for interviews with reporters.
Such exposure stimulates affluent buyers, who love experts to call them.
Be alert when reading your newspaper. Examine the business section to
find out who sold a business or a piece of real estate. Sellers have cash
and may be in the mood to spend. Also check for who is opening a new business
or joining a medical or law firm. Add these names to your list of prospective
You might also ask your truly wealthy customers whether they have friends
who also are jewelry lovers. And if you plan a private show, ask your top
customers to bring along a friend if they wish.
Each sales associate should develop a profile of their best customers
and include what kind of jewelry and designs they like, occupation, birthdays,
anniversaries and other special occasions. Put this information to work
by sending "occasion" reminders to important customers. Though
you may do this for all customers, you should be prepared with specific
suggestions and be willing to take some pieces to the homes or workplaces
of the wealthy for their consideration.
Remember, many affluent prospects are neighbors, business associates
or people you've known for years. Proactively use the information you already
have to stimulate your sales.
by Lorraine M. Suermann
|Simply luxurious! 18k gold ring features a 2.39-ct. emerald surrounded by
1.97 carats of tapered baguette diamonds set in platinum ($50,000 suggested
retail). Platinum ring is set with 3.45 carats of marquise diamonds ($21,300).
Platinum flower brooch has 10.04 carats of round diamonds and features green
enamel leaves ($44,000). Platinum necklace has 30.14 carats of oval diamonds,
two pear-shaped diamonds weighing 0.73 carat and a 4.38-ct. pear-shaped
emerald in 18k gold ($121,000).|
Oscar Heyman & Bros. Inc., New York City; (212) 593-0400, fax (212)
|One-of-a-kind brooch features a carved rose quartz flower, 3.72 carats of
princess-cut sapphires in shades of green and a 0.79-ct. round orange sapphire
in 18k green gold. Suggested retail, $7,900.|
G.J. Designs, Sarasota, FL; (941) 951-6658, fax (941) 365-2577.
|This 151/4-in. platinum and diamond necklace features 134.92 carats of I-J/VS-SI
diamonds graduating from 1.0 carat to 15.02 carat. The earrings have a round
center diamond surrounded by heart-shaped diamonds totaling 23.46 carats
and graded E-G/VS-SI.|
Philippe Diamond Corp., New York City; (212) 869-5570, (800) 247-5570.
From the Mouvementée collection by Fred Joaillier
come these 18k white and yellow gold rings with diamonds and yellow, blue
and pink sapphires. Suggested retail, $2,900-$4,200.
Benedom Inc. for Fred Joaillier, New York City; (800) 282-0847, fax (212)
|86.06 carats of straight starburst white diamonds set in platinum create
the essence of elegance in this necklace and earring suite. Suggested retail,
Louis Glick & Co., New York City; (212) 259-0300.
18k gold ring is set with a 5.88-ct. cushion-cut tanzanite
accented with 1.33 carats of VS round diamonds. Suggested retail, $12,852.
Kabana, Albuquerque, NM; (800) 521-5986 or (505) 843-9330, fax (505) 843-9624.
|Platinum ring is hand-engraved and features a 14.22-ct. princess-cut diamond
accented with 0.57 carat of baguette diamonds and 0.22 carat of round brilliant-cut
diamonds. Suggested retail, $225,000.|
Alan Friedman Co., Beverly Hills, CA; (888) 489-4545 or (310) 278-4944,
fax (310) 278-5449.
|Versatile pin/pendant features a 4.79-ct. blue sapphire, 2.83 carats of
round diamonds, 0.66 carat of princess-cut diamonds, an 18.5mm-by-6.5mm
Australian pearl and two black onyx disc accents. Suggested retail, $42,000.
Earrings feature 4.43 carats of blue sapphire, 5.85 carats of round diamonds,
black onyx and two Australian pearls. Suggested retail, $30,000.|
Ella Gafter for Ellagem, New York City; (212) 398-0101.
|Diamond necklace features 56.18 carats of G/VS diamonds in 18k white gold.
Suggested retail, $128,600.|
Siyance, New York City; (800) 875-4701 or (212) 354-9055, fax (212) 302-6896.
|Earrings feature 6.82 carats of round diamonds on the platinum leaves, 0.25
carat of tapered baguette diamonds on the stems and two 21mm-by- 15.1mm
black pearl flowers. Suggested retail, $47,750.|
Peter Atman, New York City; (877) 462-8626 or (212) 644-8882, fax (212)
|18k gold ring cradles an 8.17-ct. tanzanite surrounded by 2.37 carats
of pavé diamonds. Suggested retail, $22,000. Also available in platinum.|
D'ckar Business Corp., New York City; (877) DCKAR99 or (212) 819-1177, fax
(212) 819-1717, www.dckar.com.
|Large Love necklace is crafted in 18k white gold with 1.0 carat of diamonds
set in an "X" pattern. Suggested retail, $3,250.|
Henderson Designs Ltd., Charlotte, NC; (704) 333-4444, fax (704) 333-4644.
|Bracelet comprises a series of hand-fabricated 18k gold and platinum beads
with 0.98 carat of diamond accents. To open the hidden clasp, press one
of the diamonds. Suggested retail, $25,000.|
Kent Raible Jewelry, Tiburon, CA; (415) 389-8885, fax (415) 389-0305.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.