|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
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
This is the "benefit" follow-through. For the screwdown crown
"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; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.