Going for the Gold

June 1999

For Your Staff:Selling Gold

Going for the Gold

When it comes to selling gold jewelry, information is power

By Julie Livingston
sales training & public relations consultant

Gold jewelry sales still form the foundation of most jewelry businesses, despite the current love affair with platinum.

It's baffling why we often make it challenging for customers to shop for or buy this powerhouse basic. Sharing information about gold jewelry before customers ask can make all the difference. The World Gold Council, a promotional arm of the gold industry, recently commissioned an extensive consumer research study that sheds some light on what inhibits sales in retail stores. Here are some of the insights.

Sell to Women
No woman has ever said she has too much gold. There's always a desire to acquire more. Women often comment about the uniqueness of wearing and owning gold jewelry and the almost spiritual connection they have with the precious metal. Gold's sentimental value, romance and the ability to pass it on to loved ones and relatives are all part of its eternal appeal.

You can enhance the shopping experience for these valued customers by showing your own enthusiasm for gold jewelry – it can be contagious. Maintain a friendly, cheerful attitude and pay attention to the customer at every stage of the sales process. In addition, encourage the customer to enjoy herself, to touch and try on the jewelry. Whenever possible, clean each piece with a soft cloth or Selwyt cloth before handing it to the customer to remove any smudges or fingerprints. This adds to its perceived value and the overall experience. It also helps to keep a mirror handy.

Reduce Price Confusion
Confusion about price is probably the biggest stumbling block to making sales. So before customers ask, provide information about individual prices or price ranges as they peruse your showcases.

It's also important to stay current on all promotion activity. Sales often confuse customers (and associates), so make sure you know what's on sale and when. If you don't, ask your manager for an update. Never let a customer leave your store without a clear answer.

Cultivating Karat Knowledge
Customers like knowing the karatage of pieces they are considering, so it's advisable to point out the karat mark and manufacturer's trademark. Mention that by law, karat gold marks must be accompanied by the manufacturer's trademark. Placing karat signs in the showcase, showing that you are in compliance with the law, and including World Gold Council goldmark signs also makes karat identification easier and builds customer confidence.

Romance the Sale
Add romance to the sale by describing each piece. Brush up on chain, earring and bracelet styles (for help, see Professional Jeweler's"Selling Jewelry Styles," this month covering chain link styles, p. 171). Women love seeing what's new in your assortment, so show them how to wear the latest gold styles and watch your sales rise!

Julie Livingston is a New York City-based sales training and public relations consultant.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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