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December 1999

For Your Staff: Selling Platinum

Wear It and Win

To sell platinum successfully, you have to wear it. You also need to know who buys it and how to stress platinum's strengths

When Angelique Crown asked how many people in the audience for her seminar "Focus on Platinum" were wearing platinum jewelry, no one raised a hand. Crown, an instructor at the Gemological Institute of America, took them all to task. "If we're in the jewelry industry and we are not sold on wearing platinum, how are we going to convince the consumer to buy it?"
she asked.

Crown provided some hard-hitting selling tips to those in attendance, who were taking advantage of seminars sponsored in California by Platinum Guild International, GIA, Jewelers of America and the California Jewelers Association.

Rarity

Acknowledging that objections to platinum's higher price are among the most frequent, she suggests telling customers about the metal's rarity. "There are only four sources in the world – the Ural Mountains in Russia, the Merensky Reef in South Africa, and smaller mines in Canada and Montana," she said. "Tell your customers there are only two years of reserve platinum on hand, compared with 25 years of gold in reserve. Tell them platinum is 60 times more rare than gold."

Purity

Jewelers also should emphasize platinum's purity, strength, density and weight.

"Show them how heavy it is, let them feel the heft," she said, as jewelers at the seminars handled identically designed rings of silver, 14k gold, 18k gold and platinum. "Feel how much heavier the platinum is. Even the smallest piece of jewelry in platinum feels substantial. It feels luxurious."

Platinum Purchasers

She identified platinum customers as:

  • Men who are well-educated, professional, earning above-average incomes, to whom material possessions are important. They're impressed with the technological superiority of platinum.
  • Women who are well-informed and educated, adventurous, ambitious and independent, willing to try new designs. They know platinum is unique and want to own it because no one else has it.

By age groups, customers include:

  • Generation Xers, who are open to new things, are smart consumers and spend more than the average amount of time shopping. They have money and are willing to spend it, but they demand quality.
  • Baby Boomers, who value quality over price. They shop less but demand accurate information and outstanding service. They're affluent and have disposable income. "Prove the value (to them) and they'll spend more."
  • The children of the Boomers, or Generation Y, who reject tradition but appreciate fashion and jewelry. Their parents didn't grow up with platinum, so they must have it. They possess technological awareness and global consciousness.

by Jack Heeger

From the new Nuvole collection by Bulgari, this necklace and earrings feature simple, curving lines, a favorite with platinum enthusiasts. Bulgari, New York City, (212) 315-9000.



Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.



 

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