Professional Jeweler Archive: Practice Makes Perfect

November 2001


Practice Makes Perfect

The third "P" to successful watch sales means using information daily

We’re at the halfway point in our journey through the five Ps of developing and maintaining a successful watch business.

We’ve covered Passion (September 2001, p. 110). You need a passion for selling watches or no watch business can succeed.

We’ve covered Position (October 2001, p. 102) – improving your place in the market and refining how your watch sales fit into your store’s business goals.

Now, it’s Practice time.

Product Training

I can’t overemphasize the importance of training. There are various sources, including watch company representatives. Try to schedule workshops with these representatives to take advantage of their programs.

Revisit previous Professional Jeweler articles on how to sell watch types, such as chronographs. Read and save magazine articles, book chapters and sales manuals.

Study glossaries of watch terms. An extensive glossary can be downloaded from, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry’s Web site. Also, many companies offer technical definitions to their retailer customers.

Customer Types

Practice selling to a variety of customer types – everyone from the novice to the watch maven. It will help you to understand the subtle sales techniques necessary for handling these situations. Refer back to articles in this series (go to

Your employees should be as committed to being experts about fine watches as they are about diamonds and jewelry. Customers have high expectations of their fine Swiss timepiece. Sell with them in mind.

Learn to Earn

While there’s no organized watch sales program in the industry, it’s possible to amass a great deal of information about fine watches from libraries, magazines and on the Web.

One person in the store must spearhead the effort – organizing information and presenting it to the staff. Your staff then must study this information.


Have your staff practice on each other with role-playing. I practice by presenting merchandise to customers who haven’t asked for timepieces. It’s an opportunity to present the product in a low-pressure situation. You’ll practice using your knowledge, and you may make an unexpected sale.

Knowing your own merchandise is one part. You also must know what’s going on in other stores. Customers will ask you to compare and contrast brands and features and will want to know which is better. The ability to answer to your store’s advantage – without running down the competition – will help ensure sales success.

You have to supply a lot of your own energy, training and commitment. But if you are willing to practice, the payoff is increased sales.

Next month: Presentation.

– Paul White, Watch DIvision Director, Reis-Nichols Jewelers, Indianapolis, IN

If you have suggestions for topics, questions or specific examples from your store, send them to Professional Jeweler, 1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102;

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