Professional Jeweler Archive: Passion on the Road to Successful Sales

September 2001

Managing/Timepieces


Passion on the Road to Successful Sales

Your staff needs emotion to begin selling more watches


A vast number of treatises, manuals and seminars are available on methods to increase sales in every industry imaginable. I call the methods I use at my store The Five P’s to Success. These simple concepts are:

  • Passion.
  • Position.
  • Practice.
  • Presentation.
  • Performance.

This month, we will deal with passion – without it, the other P’s are irrelevant. Passion and fine timepieces should go hand-in-hand for a simple reason: The enthusiasm you demonstrate for the timepieces in your store is apparent to customers. They’ll pick up on this energy and enthusiasm, giving you and your staff a better chance of closing sales.

Passion at All Levels

Low-priced brands are good traffic-generators. But passion is what makes the difference between a good sales associate and an order-taker – regardless of the price category.

In addition, passion for watches has to exist on all levels, from managers to buyers to sales associates. When I ask sales associates whether they love watches, I’m trying to determine whether their store regards watches as a component that’s as important as anything else in the store.

Evil or Asset?

Do you see watches as a business asset or a necessary evil? Believe it or not, some stores get involved in watches only because they see them as a part of a jeweler’s business. They enter the marketplace without proper research, background or skill. This is defensive – rather than aggressive – selling, and it will never allow timepieces to help your business overall.
This mistake happens with stores in every phase of the business cycle – those just getting into the business, those with just a few watch lines and mature stores with multiple watch lines. Regardless of store size and experience, proceeding without passion and a plan is a tricky road.

Use Jewelry Sales Skills

Regard watches as jewelry. Sure, they’re marketed and perceived as durable, fabulously engineered marvels of split-second timing that seem to do everything but make breakfast. But if they’re in your store, they are also jewelry.

This concept is critical because if you regard them only as watches, you’ll miss the chance to use the skills – typically high in passion – you’ve developed selling jewelry. (Use of these existing skills will be the focus of a future column).

Assign a Point Person

The other way to ensure your store is passionate about wristwatches is to identify a point person.

Perhaps that person is the store owner, manager, buyer or a sales associate. Identify the staff member with the greatest ability, interest or knowledge to be deeply involved in your watch buying and merchandising. This person also will be responsible for transmitting enthusiasm and knowledge to everyone on your staff.

Improve the passion at your store by deciding a few key things:

  • Do you want to be involved in watches at all? Some stores exist quite well without them. What is right for you and your marketplace?
  • Do you recognize watches are indeed jewelry and need to be presented, treated and sold with the same romance and passion as jewelry, despite their unique physical and technical characteristics?
  • Do you have someone on staff who will be able to devote time to help your company get enthusiastic and knowledgeable about this fascinating business?

Answer all three before proceeding.

Next month: The next P: Position – What’s yours?

– by Paul White, watch division Director, Reis-Nichols Jewelers, Indianapolis, IN

Each month Paul White fills this column with tips for retailers who want to manage watches more efficiently. 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; timepieces@professionaljeweler.com.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications