For Your Staff: Selling Diamonds
Diamond Dazzlers Close the Sale
Know how to approach customers based on their personality
and your sales approach
Selling just one 1-ct. diamond per week can double the average
jewelry store's volume for the year, according to Shane Decker
of Shane Decker Diamond Co., Franklin, IN.
This will take some work on your part, and you will have to
pay attention to what you do and how
you do it, he said at Professional Jeweler's PrimeTime Fall Marketplace
& Conference in Las Vegas, where he presented a seminar sponsored
by the magazine and coordinated by Charlotte Preston Catalysts,
White Bear Lake, MN. But the following techniques will help you
sell more big-ticket diamonds and other merchandise in your stores.
The right lead-in line can create sales. When dealing with
a repair customer or a customer who's looking at a string of
pearls, for example, begin by saying something like "Remind
me to show you something before you go," said Decker. "You'll
intrigue the customer, who will end up reminding you." That's
when you bring out the 1-ct. diamond and let the customer hold
it. This flatters people, showing them you think they can afford
the diamond, that they're discerning enough to recognize its
value and that you trust them enough to hold something that's
normally locked up.
Tailor Your Pitch
Never trot out a routine pitch one size does not fit
all. The first and most obvious difference is gender. Remember
the 80/20 rule: When selling to a woman, devote 80% of your sales
pitch to emotions and the tactile sensation of the diamond jewelry
and 20% to its perceived value. Reverse that percentage for men.
The second rule is to sell to the age group. When two 24-year-olds
want to buy an engagement ring, promote that this diamond will
signify their love, and commitment to being together forever.
Last year marked the first time second marriages outnumbered
first marriages, says Decker. So don't try to sell the merits
of "forever" to a man in his 40s looking for an engagement
ring for his second wife. Try to find out how big her first engagement
diamond was, then sell him a bigger one by appealing to his ego
and need to demonstrate his success. "It'll drive her ex-husband
crazy," he says.
To someone over 60, sell the idea of an heirloom that can
be passed on to children and grandchildren.
Who Are You?
Along with tailoring your sales technique to your customer,
make sure your selling style fits your personality.
Three distinct personality types determine your sales personality:
- Serpentine. Accounting for 70% of all salespeople,
they have the gift of gab and can wind all the way around a conversation.
- Missiles. Twenty percent of all salespeople, they
focus on their target and talk about the jewelry.
- Sneaks. Ten percent of all salespeople, they start
like a missile then sneak around from behind to close.
Knowing your personality type will allow you to tailor your
close. If you're a Serpentine, for example, help your customers
make the decision by complimenting them, indirectly suggesting
the benefits and reassuring their taste.
Missiles should be aware of their timing. Be direct, "whisper"
to them about the emotional value of their decision, reassure
them, ask for the sale and then assume the sale.
Sneaks are adept at designing and engineering their closing
to the customer's needs. Sneaks should borrow the direct and
"whisper" approaches from the Missiles, after trying
the Serpentines' indirect conversational style.
The Blanket Approach
Whoever the customer is, whatever personality type you are,
there are three things everyone can do to close big-ticket sales:
- Ask about the customer and use that information.
- Get them to laugh. Decker says this increases your success
- Never assume a customer won't buy what you're selling.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.