For Your Staff: Selling Skills
Add Value with Add-Ons
Don't stop at the first sale when your client is in a buying
One of the most common missed opportunities in our industry
is the add-on sale. Why do so many of us miss that opportunity?
Whatever the reason fear of rejection, being perceived
as pushy or simply a case of premature celebration we
need to change our thinking. The reality is the customer who
has already selected one item is the perfect candidate for another
Think about it; she's already in the store. By making the
first purchase, she's exhibited a "buying" frame of
mind. She's demonstrated a high level of confidence in you, and
she's in a good mood because those who make the buying decision
are usually happy campers immediately thereafter.
Three elements ensure we take advantage of this opportunity:
the unspoken word, the spoken word and the last word.
The Unspoken Word
Display merchandise so customers can easily see some items
go hand-in-hand. In showcases displaying gold, for example, show
matching chains and bracelets together. When appropriate, include
an adornment when presenting a chain. When a customer chooses
a solitaire pendant, show how traditional stud earrings can set
it off perfectly.
By seeing such pieces displayed together in a showcase or
gift box, customers will often sell themselves on the add-on.
When you group coordinating earrings, pendant, bracelet and ring,
customers automatically start to think about a "suite"
rather than a single piece.
Add-on sales often result from the client's impulse to buy;
therefore, heart jewelry should appear in virtually every showcase
of women's jewelry before St. Valentine's Day. Pearl studs should
be in several showcases in June.
Jewelry isn't the only add-on option. Jewelry boxes are naturals;
if you stock them, use them as part of displays. Always show
jewelry cleaner and polishing cloths in several areas of the
The Spoken Word
Just as you ask customers for the sale rather than wait for
them to say "I'll take it," you must suggest the add-on
rather than wait for them to ask to see another item. A common
thread exists among all associates successfully selling add-ons.
They assume the add-on it's OK to do that here
by removing the item from the showcase and saying something like
"Now that you've decided on this exquisite solitaire, here's
a classic diamond wedding band that will complement it perfectly"
or "Try on this pendant; it will look fabulous with the
earrings you're buying."
What if you don't have an item that coordinates with the initial
purchase? How about these opportunities:
- "I love the shade of purple in your sweater; look at
how well this gorgeous amethyst pendant matches."
- "You've done an excellent job choosing your husband's
birthday gift; in fact, you deserve a reward. What do you think
of these earrings that just arrived?"
- "I love your sapphire bracelet; slip on this exquisite
new ring. It would look great with that bracelet."
Perhaps the greatest opportunity for add-on sales is in the
bridal category. Here are some suggestions an add-on expert might
- A wedding band to complement the engagement ring.
- A wedding band for the groom.
- A more modest ring for her to wear when traveling, playing
- A wedding gift from him to her.
- A wedding gift from her to him.
- Gifts for the bridal party.
The Last Word
Not every client will buy an add-on. It's important to remember,
however, you still have options for those who say no. Offer layaway,
which guarantees they'll have the matching item at today's price
when they're ready to buy it.
Record upcoming gift-giving occasions in your Client Record
Keeping Book and inform the customer you'll call with a reminder
about the jewelry closer to the time of the occasion.
Finally, a tip from some of the top add-on sales achievers
in the business are you sitting down? Don't stop at the
second item! Suggest a third, even a fourth. Customers will let
you know when they've hit their limit.
Take a lesson from the experts: add on to the sale and add
on to your success.
by Christine Anzell & Jack Levenson
Christine Anzell and Jack Levenson are sales trainers in the
fine jewelry retail industry. To order their copyright Client
Record Keeping Book or Sales Training Manual, call them at (800)
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.