Professional Jeweler Archive: Guy Talk

August 2003

For Your Staff/Selling Diamonds


Guy Talk

Where men are concerned, diamond selling should take a different tack


‘Men do not buy diamonds with the same speed and frequency as other luxury products,” says Diane Warga-Arias, trainer for the Diamond Promotion Service. Well, duh. What guy would buy a diamond when he could get a boat, a Porsche or a big-screen TV? The latter products are personally rewarding, action-oriented and fun, appealing to the more selfish instincts of most men (after all, many women would buy a piece of clothing or jewelry before treating a significant other to his favorite toy).

However, Warga-Arias said there are ways to lead the male diamond buyer to feel that same sense of conquest as he feels hunting for his favorite self-indulgent purchase. Warga-Arias presented tips for selling to men at a seminar called “A Diamond is Forever and the Male Paradox,” held in June at the JCK Show-Las Vegas.

Jewelers need to know what types of men are most likely to buy a diamond. DPS research shows there are four kinds of male shoppers: the surprisers, the doters, the wife-dependents and the financially limited. The last two present challenges in selling, but the first two exhibit the kind of unselfishness that’s a key emotional driver for purchase. The surprisers in particular feel the joy in giving and have the highest personal and household income. They also like to be loyal to a single jeweler.

So when a customer comes in looking to surprise his spouse or significant other, know you’ve got a live one. Proceed as follows, said Warga-Arias (with apologies to the many men who don’t conform to the stereotypes referenced below):

  • Don’t talk about his emotions in giving; he doesn’t like it. Instead, focus on how his significant other will feel receiving a gift.
  • Use sports-oriented language. It’s often a great way to bond with a male buyer. Female sales associates should do this too.
  • Use a strong advice mode – don’t ask for the sale as you would in a normal transaction – tell him definitively this is the piece to buy.
  • Appeal to his sense of competition. Men often shop to win and are motivated by achievement and status. You could say: “When your friends at the club hear about this ring, they’ll hate you – but their wives won’t!” This a good way to distract men from trying to bargain on price as a means of winning.

Warga-Arias also suggested sales associates find men where they are: at their clubs, golf courses or offices. Participate at such events and network, always letting people know what you do and that you’re available to come to them and to customize their buying experiences. Suggest to your manager he or she sponsor a men-only night. One example of an event that might interest men is a sports memorabilia auction.

– by Peggy Jo Donahue

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications