For Your Staff/Selling Timepieces
Presentation Is a Sales Message
The fourth "P" to successful watch sales shows how you feel about timepieces
In this series weve talked about passion, position and practice as keys to developing and maintaining a successful watch business (September 2001, p. 110; October 2001, p. 102; November 2001, p. 104). This month we look at one of the simplest but most overlooked components presentation.
Treat Like Jewelry
How you present the timepieces in your store will go a long way toward defining your performance and profitability. To put it simply, watches are jewelry. Present them the same way. The marketing of watches makes them appear as indestructible instruments capable of withstanding all sorts of abuse. While this may be partially true, it certainly doesnt apply to all fine watches and shouldnt be part of your thinking even for the brands with especially rugged reputations.
Treat and present fine watches the same way you would a high-end diamond ring, a delicate emerald or any other fine piece in your store. I emphasize this because, somehow, watches are often regarded as only mechanical, functional things. Theyre handled roughly, often shown over showcase glass rather than a case pad.
Even in our store where we emphasize training and product care we see watches left in positions that can scratch or damage them. This costs sales and money and isnt good for a stores reputation.
Keep them Clean
Keep the watches clean, free of fingerprints and oils from handling. Show them as carefully and lovingly as any piece of jewelry. If you dont demonstrate a high level of care for an investment of this kind, what message are you sending?
Keep your watch batteries fresh. Dont let a watch go out of your store with little life left on the battery. A quick round-trip with a stopped watch is not a pleasant experience for a salesperson or for your customer.
Another key component of presentation is adding value to your sale. There is heavy competition in the watch business, plenty of it right in your own market. Stay ahead of the other guy by providing extended warranties and offering in-house service capabilities and freebies where possible. Freebies can include manufacturer premiums, such as shirts, hats and pens with the brand logo. Contact reps for information.
Occasionally, offer to sonic-clean a watch bracelet, change a battery or provide another service for free. Youll be surprised at how such a small thing can pay big dividends.
Finish the Sale
The final part of presentation is finishing the race. Runners who think theyve a race won sometimes pull up short of the finish line. Dont let a customer go home without fully explaining and demonstrated the watch. Even if its just showing how to change a date, take nothing for granted.
Cover all service responsibilities, warranty parameters, wear-and-care precautions and more. Customers, like some salespeople, may tend to abuse a watch without thinking. Make sure youve given them the complete information rundown.
Presenting a watch to a customer is your last best chance to convey information as well as your passion and respect for the product you sell. Do it consistently and your customers will return time after time.
by Paul White, Watch Division director, Reis-Nichols Jewelers, Indianapolis, IN
Each month Paul White offers sales tips for retail jewelry professionals who want to sell more watches. If you have suggestions, questions or examples from your store, send them to Professional Jeweler, 1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102, firstname.lastname@example.org.