Selling Comfort and Joy

July 1999

For Your Staff:Selling Timepieces

Selling Comfort and Joy

It's not just time. Romance the unique look, detailed craftsmanship and feel of luxury associated with fine timepieces

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

A sure salesperson is comfortable in many roles. Technical expert, fashion consultant and negotiator spring to mind.

Selling fine timepieces involves all of these roles. But because you're in a fine jewelry store, romance is always important too. With diamonds or finished jewelry, this is often stressed as the premier focus of sales. With timepieces, romance shouldn't be forgotten amid all the talk of water resistance and dial treatments.

Brand Appeal
As you're aware, certain timepiece brands stress emotional attachment as a major part of their image. Be aware which of your store's brands use this image. Should a customer appear to be responding to the image, by all means follow it through – with backup. Add your store's own emotional message. This may mean anything from free gift wrap to free engraving to sending a dozen roses to a special customer.

Remind customers who buy fine timepieces for themselves how a watch can enhance a wardrobe. Note how different straps may change the watch's appearance to match the wearer's varying moods or occasions.

Diamond and gold watches, in particular, confer a romantic element to the purchase. A precious metal or gem conveys eternally proven beauty that for most buyers is more important than the battery replacement schedule. Can you guess which to discuss more often before the sale?

Place It on Wrists
Almost nothing sells fine watches as convincingly as the product worn by the potential buyer. Fit it to the wrist and discuss the feel of the piece, its lightness or heft, depending on the buyer's preference. Note the details on the case or the dial, and comment on small but beautiful features. Straps made of fine leather and many of the newer rubber straps are quite comfortable. Solid gold or steel bracelets often feel supple on the wrist, much like jewelry. In fact, selling them like jewelry is a natural path to take with many customers.

Self Check
Before any demonstrations, be sure about what you're showing. Check the showcases and look at the watches. Look at the bracelet's finish. Are all the edges smooth? Do the links seem to grab or pinch the skin or hair on the wrist? Is the deployant buckle smoothly snapped into place?

The best way for you to work on behalf of your customer is to try bracelets on yourself. Wear a different one each day. Then you'll know how they feel to a prospective buyer.

Know which watches might present a sizing problem. Also note the customer's wrist: a small wrist may not take well to a heavy bracelet.

Be Sure It Fits
A few cautions are in order when selling gold and all its beauty. Be certain your customers are aware of the risks in wearing gold bracelet watches too loosely. We've all seen the stretching that can occur over a periods of years when a heavier gold sport or dress watch is worn like a bangle or bracelet. This may be more of an issue with a woman's watch than with a man's. Encourage the customer to wear the timepiece with room for motion but not so it turns or is sloppy on the wrist.

Finally, more than ever we see deployant buckles used on fine watches in all price ranges. These are noted for ease of use and safety, but many of your customers may not be familiar with this device on a leather strap. Demonstrate to them that it can make sizing simple by adjusting the strap length through the underside of the buckle. It can provide a seamless look while making it easier to slip the watch over the wrist.

Still, for some wearers the metal deployant bar may not be to their liking. Often this has to do with the thickness or the amount of padding on the strap. The general curve and design of the buckles may vary also. In most cases, a tang or traditional style buckle will usually be available.

Each month Paul White fills this column with tips for 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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