The Screwdown Crown

For Your Staff:Selling Timepieces

The Screwdown Crown

Here's a new series about basic watch product features

By Paul White
Watch Division Director
Reis-Nichols Jewelers, Indianapolis, IN

Customers are more knowledgeable than ever. This means that as a watch salesperson, you have to know product terminology and features of all your timepieces – from basic to beyond.

Questions are often a good sign the customer is interested. Your response to these questions must be accurate and satisfying. In other words, your knowledge and how you present it should move the customer toward a sale rather than create confusion or repeated questions.

Let's start with the basics. These are questions regarding features consumers know from seeing the watch, seeing them in advertisements or doing their own research.

Screwdown Crown
The crown, once known popularly as the stem, was often the most vulnerable part of the watch. If struck hard, it broke. For many customers who have never owned a fine watch, their crowns probably were flimsy or bent easily.

But most importantly, the crown is the greatest gateway through which water or dirt enters the case. The screwdown crown was invented to make the watch more durable and safer to wear under various conditions. Many watches, not just diver models, are made with screwdown crowns today. The crown screws into the side of the case via a special tube to lock out debris and water. There are even gaskets and a washer-like device to complete a water- tight seal.

Explain the Benefit
This explanation should be only part of your response to crown questions. Following the concise description of the "what" part of the answer, you need to relate it to the customer. Make the product information you've just delivered move beyond technical information. Make it feel good to the potential buyer.

This is the "benefit" follow-through. For the screwdown crown it's basic:

"Your screwdown crown watch can be worn anywhere without fear of water contamination ... You can take this timepiece from the boardroom to the beach ... You can wear this at your workplace and on the tennis court." If customers miss the technical details, you'll probably hook them with how they apply to day-to-day use of the watch. But you should include the full explanation in a manner you know customers will best understand.

Demonstrate if Needed
If you've piqued the consumer's interest or the customer has a particular model in mind (or in his or her hand) consider demonstrating how to unscrew the crown and then retighten it. It's time to do this if the customer seems perplexed with a timepiece, notes "this is hard to turn" or specifically asks you to demonstrate.

Your demonstration should appear as effortless as possible lest the consumer consider the screwdown crown more trouble than it's worth! Therefore, perhaps a few practice sessions with each major watch you sell would familiarize yourself with each model's quirks or requirements. As you may already know, some models really do operate more simply than others. Also remind buyers that to retain the advantages of these crowns, they should be checked during routine maintenance offered by your store.

We'll explore additional product features in future issues, including sapphire crystals, quartz vs. self-winding watches and chronographs.

Each month Paul White fills this column with sales tips for sales associates who want to sell more watches. If you have suggestions for topics, questions for Paul or specific examples from your store, send them toProfessional Jeweler,1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102;

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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