For Your Staff:Selling Romance
Jewelry requires a different kind of selling than does a set of tires,
a sweater or a dishwasher a more emotional approach. But you must
balance emotion with product knowledge
BY CHRISTINE ANZELL and JACK LEVENSON
Let's talk about a fictional jewelry store Jubilee Jewels and
its equally fictional staff: Technical Terry, Romantic Ronnie and Balanced
Bobby. Our customer belongs to an increasingly prevalent demographic: Nineties
Nancy, an upper-middle-class career woman. Today, she's shopping for a 1-ct.
bezel-set diamond pendant as a birthday present to herself.
"Welcome to Jubilee Jewels! I'm Terry. How may I help you today?"
"Where are your diamond pendants," asks Nancy.
"Right in this showcase, ma'am. All of our diamonds are certified
by the Gemological Institute of America," rattles off Technical Terry.
"This means they're graded by graduate gemologists for clarity and
color under 10-power magnification. What size diamond did you have in mind?"
Nancy pauses. "I'm not sure. I think something around 1 carat would
be nice." "I think I have just what you're looking for. This is
a 1.07 E-F, VVS2 set in an 18k bezel and it includes a 17-in. snake with
a lobster claw," Terry describes breathlessly.
Terry raises her voice, "THIS. IS. A. ONE-O-SEVEN ..."
"I heard you; I just didn't understand you," says Nancy. "I
don't know enough about the technicalities to understand that gibberish.
I just want something that's elegant enough to wear for dress-up but still
looks good for work. I've been dreaming and saving for it for a long time.
I want something I can enjoy now and eventually pass on to my daughter."
"I understand," Terry says. "This one should serve you
well. It's a 1.07 E-F, VVS2 set in an 18k bezel with a 17-in. snake with
a lobster claw." She's lost Nancy again.
"Terry, why don't you put all that in layman's terms?"
"I'm sorry; sometimes I forget everyone isn't as familiar with the
terminology as I am. Let's see, 1.07 means it weighs seven points more than
a carat. E-F refers to the color. D is the best because it has the least
color so E-F, being close to D, means it's virtually colorless.
"VVS means very, very slightly included and has to do with the quantity,
size and location of inclusions and blemishes and the make of the diamond.
The make is really the cut; if it's cut too deep or shallow, light will
pass through it rather than reflect and refract correctly, negatively affecting
the fluorescence and making for a less attractive diamond. This one has
a fine make and is probably rated VVS2 because there is a natural on the
girdle and the girdle is slightly thin.
"18k refers to the amount of gold in the setting it's not
14k or 10k; bezel refers to the type of setting as opposed to prong-set
"The lobster claw is the clasp, so named because it resembles the
claw of a lobster. It's one of the more secure types of clasps, which is
important in protecting your pendant.
"Oh, the snake? See, the chain looks like a snake," Terry finishes,
flushed with triumph.
"Terry, may I ask you a question," Nancy ventures. "Is
there anyone else who can help me? I appreciate your enthusiasm, but I'm
more concerned how this will enhance my wardrobe than the thickness of its
girdle. No offense."
Though she's a bit deflated, Terry knows she must please the customer.
"None taken. Let's see if Ronnie can help."
To be continued ...
Christine Anzell and Jack Levenson have spent a combined half-century
in fine jewelry retail. For information about their copyright jewelry-specificClient
Record Keeping Book orSales Training Manual, call them at (800)
887-8902 or (773) 244-3266.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.