For Your Staff: Selling TIPS
More Tricks of the Trade
Do you play golf? If you do, you know it's not a complicated
game: use the stick to knock the ball into the hole. Oh, it's
a frustrating game and you always have room for improvement
but it's not complicated. The trick to being a successful
golfer revolves around pulling together a bunch of simple factors
and remembering to implement them when appropriate: stance, grip,
keeping your head down and choosing the right club. The great
golfers succeed by consistently putting together the right combination
Successful sales associates, too, consistently bring together
a handful of important ingredients each time they work with a
client. Previously, we've discussed not prejudging people and
being a "retail chameleon." Here, we'll look at three
simple tricks of the trade none of them rocket science,
but each a helpful step toward closing more sales.
Start at the Top
A customer enters the store and, after the formalities, says
he's shopping for a tennis bracelet. You escort him to the appropriate
showcase. Assuming he hasn't told you his budget (and you'd never
be so unprofessional to ask what the budget is), which bracelet
do you present first? If you said anything other than "the
most expensive one," go to the blackboard and write 100
times: "I will always start at the top!"
Presenting your "marquee" or "hero" piece
first fulfills several goals:
- You flatter the customer by communicating your belief he
can afford the expensive piece.
- You show him you carry finer quality and heavier weight pieces.
- You may prompt him to say, "It really is beautiful,
but I had only planned to spend $1,000." In that way, you've
determined his budget without asking.
- You've assured yourself he will be spending the most he can
- You've avoided prejudging him.
Let's say, for example, a customer is prepared to spend $2,500.
You have a $2,500 bracelet but begin by showing him a $1,000
or $1,500 piece. He may walk out very happy at $1,500, then spend
the extra $1,000 on those new golf clubs he's been eyeing. You
would never know what you missed.
By the way, contrary to the belief of some, you do not insult
the $1,000 customer by showing him a $2,500 piece. Just because
you wouldn't (or couldn't) spend a high amount for an item, don't
assume he won't or can't.
Maybe you're advertising a promotional piece a low-priced
half-carat solitaire or pair of diamond studs. Promotional items
are great for generating traffic, but most jewelers can't survive
on traffic-builders alone.
When your client comes in specifically to see that item, present
it immediately yours is not a "bait and switch"
operation, after all. Simultaneously, though, present a more
expensive piece heavier in weight or finer in quality.
"I have the advertised item right here, Mr. Client,"
you say. "While you're here, let me show you this piece
as well. The promotional piece is an excellent value but you
can step up to this exceptional quality (or heavier weight) one
for a mere $10 a month more."
Some customers will stay with the loss-leader, but you'll
never sell up if you don't make the offer. Will you be perceived
as high-pressure? Absolutely not. You're simply informing the
customer about an alternative he may wish to choose when he realizes
the small additional cost and the joy it will bring to the recipient.
By the way, if the promotional item is $299, don't jump to the
$2,000 piece next; $500-$600 would be a more achievable upgrade.
Save $, Not %
If you're prepared to discount items to close the sale, refer
to the savings in dollars, not percent. With the artificial 50%,
60% and 75% discounts offered by many stores today, your well-intended
effort to close the sale by offering 5% or 10% off (or the sales
tax) won't usually excite the customer. On a $1,000 item, it's
more effective to say "I can save you $50 today" than
"I can take off 5%." In most cases, they will actually
flash on the cash in their mind's eye.
Think about these helpful hints, practice them, role-play
them with your colleagues and then implement them. You'll no
doubt see the results: significantly increased sales with minimally
increased effort. Why not take a couple of strokes off your game?
by Christine Anzell and Jack Levenson
Christine Anzell and Jack Levenson have spent a combined half-century
in fine jewelry retail. For information about their copyright
jewelry-specific Client Record Keeping Book or Sales Training
Manual, call them at (800) 887-8902.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.