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?"
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.
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."
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."
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.