Professional Jeweler Archive: Platinum Power!

August 2004

For Your Staff/Selling Platinum

Platinum Power!

Here are a variety of strategies to increase your platinum sales - go for it!

Platinum: Features and Benefits
Use the phrase “which means” to explain platinum’s stellar qualities to your customers

By using feature-benefit statements linked to platinum’s three key qualities of pure, rare and eternal, you can turn lookers into buyers. Feature-benefit statements like those in the table below are ones in which you first cite a positive characteristic of the product you’re trying to sell, then you show how that feature will benefit your customer by filling his or her needs. Try to come up with other benefits for the features listed here.

Platinum is 90%-95% pure; 18k gold is 75% pure. which means... You get more metal for your money.
Platinum is naturally white. White gold is not – it can fade or change color. which means... Platinum maximizes the brilliance of diamonds and won’t change over time.
Platinum is hypoallergenic. which means... It doesn’t affect sensitive skin.
Platinum is 35 times more rare than gold. which means... You will have something not everyone can possess.
There are only two sources of platinum in the world, and it takes 10 tons of ore to produce one ounce of metal. which means... You will be wearing a very rare symbol of love.
Platinum loses little metal to everyday wear. Gold wears down. which means... The ring you buy today will be the same ring on your 50th anniversary.
Platinum holds gems more securely than any other metal. which means... You don’t have to worry about losing your diamond.
Platinum is very dense. which means... It feels significant and permanent to wear.

Platinum Pointers
Show platinum first and always

Here are three top ways to sell more platinum jewelry in your store:

1. Offer it every time. Seventy-one percent of women who walk into your store are already predisposed to choosing platinum.

2. Assume they can afford it. People are willing to spend more when they understand platinum’s added value over other metals, so tell them its features and benefits (see table on facing page). Don’t prejudge or imagine what you’d do – let the customer decide.

3. Make the first sale. Once a customer buys platinum, she becomes three times more interested in buying more. The engagement ring is the prime link in a growing chain of platinum jewelry you’ll be able to sell in the future.

Platinum vs. White Gold
There are more differences than simply price

Explain to customers platinum’s advantages over white gold:

Platinum is naturally white; gold is yellow and must be mixed with other metals. It’s also plated sometimes to look white. The plating can wear away, leaving the metal yellowish.

Platinum is hypoallergenic; white gold can contain nickel, the cause of allergic skin reactions in some people.

Platinum doesn’t wear down; gold wears away, and rings made of it may need to be reshanked over a lifetime of use.

Explain How Platinum Wears
Platinum’s normal patina of wear shocks some customers – the key is to manage their expectations upfront

"You told me this metal was the hardest and strongest metal there is! But my ring is scratched and dull! What gives?” Have you ever had a customer bring back a piece of platinum jewelry with this complaint? The headache of having to deal with an angry customer has put some people off selling platinum.

It shouldn’t. Platinum – especially if it’s shiny – does look different after it’s worn for a while, but the patina it develops is natural. Here’s what to tell customers at the time of sale:

  • Wear happens. Tell your customers all fine jewelry loses its luster over time; platinum is no exception.
  • Help customers appreciate patina. In Japan, people honor the scratches their platinum rings sustain as symbolic of the history of the ring.
  • Explain platinum and gold both show wear, but only gold wears away. On a platinum ring, the metal is merely displaced when it scratches.
  • Reassure customers they can have their rings buffed, steamed or professionally repolished if they don’t like the patina.
  • Consider selling matte, satin-finish or another kind of worked surface that may hide the wear better.
Rings with worked surfaces might help consumers deal with the patina all platinum jewelry develops over time. Rings by Christian Bauer, Melbourne, FL; (800) 228-3724.

Copyright © 2004 by Bond Communications