The Road Most Traveled

May 1999

For Your Staff:Selling Romance

The Road Most Traveled

Selling the romance vs. selling the technical: fourth in the series

By Christine Anzell
and Jack Levenson

Poor Nancy. She left home imagining a gorgeous new solitaire pendant. So far, she has encountered two sales associates, each with the best of intentions: Technical Terry almost put her to sleep with "Information Overkill." Romantic Ronnie, on the other hand, couldn't – or wouldn't – tell her why some diamonds sparkle more than others. About to hit the wall of frustration, Nancy will give it one more chance. Maybe Balanced Bobby can save the day – and the sale.

"Ya' know, Ronnie, you're very sweet. But this is a big decision for me and there are some questions I'd like to have answered before I make such an important investment. Is there someone else I can talk to?"

"Sure, dear. Let me see if Bobby, our manager, is available to help you."

"Hi Nancy; I'm Bobby. Ronnie tells me you're considering this breathtaking solitaire pendant. What questions can I answer that will help you make the right decision?"

"I've never made a jewelry purchase this big for myself before; I want to make sure I'm doing the right thing. How does this look on me?"

"Well, for starters, it fits you perfectly. One carat is just the right size for your physique; it's not overwhelming yet it isn't lost on you. And the 18k yellow gold is ideal for your coloring. One of the great things about the bezel setting is it's elegant enough to wear with an evening dress and, at the same time, classic enough to complement a business suit."

"That sounds great. Tell me about the quality of this diamond; I hear so much on TV these days."

"I don't blame you for asking. If you're going to enjoy this diamond, you should know a little bit about it and about the store you're buying it from. I'm sure Terry and Ronnie told you about our company and the fact we've been here for over 50 years; that should tell you a lot about our integrity and the value of our merchandise.

"As far as the diamond itself, I don't want to bore you with a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo. Instead, let me have you look at this chart. It illustrates the different diamond qualities and colors. The diamond you're considering is a VVS2 clarity; you'll notice that it falls high on the chart here, just below the 'Internally Flawless' category. VVS means very, very slightly included: no inclusions are visible to the naked eye, and the diamond has been cut to angles and proportions that allow maximum fire and brilliance.

"Yours is F in color. As you can see on the chart, color begins with a grading of D and continues to the end of the alphabet. So an F color grading is very near the top. You're getting an excellent diamond."

"No offense, Bobby, but I know there are people in every business who will tell you what you want to hear just so they can make the sale. How do I know these gradings are accurate?"

"That's a very good question! Each of our diamonds is graded by the Gemological Institute of America. The standards and grading systems of GIA are accepted around the world. This certificate is your assurance that what you're purchasing today is exactly what we've told you it is.

"Now, tell me. Am I going to wrap this spectacular piece in a pretty box for you or are you going to wear it out of here?"

"Oh, I'm not ready to take it off; I'll wear it home."

So Bobby closes the sale with just the right balance of romance and technical information. Nancy will leave excited about the beauty of her new purchase and the reactions it will evoke from her friends, family and colleagues. At the same time, she will be comfortable with the knowledge she acquired about the piece and its value.

Sell the romance but always have the product knowledge at hand. Because customers rarely need what we sell, it's our job to use romance to enhance their desire for it.

At the same time, our knowledge, used correctly, will give them the confidence that will keep them coming back.

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.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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