Professional Jeweler Archive: Comparing Watch Brands and Prices

July 2003

For Your Staff


Comparing Watch Brands & Prices

It's a good time to review some selling basics


When not principally involved in a watch sale, I try to listen to and observe watch transactions involving others. I’ve noticed customers frequently ask which watch is better than others.

The answer depends on the needs of the wearer. But often a customer persists in trying to get a sales associate to rank or rate watch brands. This can be tricky – you want to present all your brands as worthy, but you also recognize significant price and quality differences. The difficulty is compounded if two brands are truly comparable, with similar movements, styling and prices.

What to Do?

I often find using non-jewelry examples helps a customer understand differences among products. Ask the customer about a recent buying decision for a household product or clothing. If he or she can recall a new item of cookware, for example, it may be something basic or it may be a higher-end model. If it’s high-end, ask why the customer made that choice? Reputation? Status? Qualitative difference? Gourmet requirements? This helps the customer see his or her motivation. The customer may be attracted to a watch for reasons having little to do with quality. Style, feel, look and status are a big part of marketing and buying decisions in our industry.

Sell with Confidence

The other element of comparative selling is never feeling defensive about what you sell. In our store we sell a range of watches from $100 to tens of thousands of dollars. How do we make the buyer confident he or she can buy a quality timepiece anywhere within that range? We’re not afraid to make comparisons, as long as they’re positive. We discuss differences in bracelet construction, movement design, fit and feel, service and maintenance, or other features that will keep the discussion positive and help the customer decide.

One customer wanted to celebrate a significant business success with one or more watches, but he knew nothing about them. As he toured our selection, it became clear quality and reputation were as important as styling and status. By his own choice and by my providing informed, clear and honest answers, he bought two high-end watches. Remember, the key to selling with confidence is to know your stuff and how to use it.

Next Time: Let the customer lead.

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

Paul White fills this column with tips on how to sell more watches. If you have topic suggestions, questions or examples from your store, send them to Professional Jeweler, 1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102, timepieces@professionaljeweler.com.

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