Professional Bench/Defining Quality
Selling Men's Jewelry
Whether the customer is male or female, don't underestimate this under-served category
Mens jewelry is the focus of the New Products stories in our Diamonds, Colored Gems & Pearls and Precious Metals departments this month. Now that youve seen the products, here are some tips on selling them.
1. Use watches, weddings and women as bridges to mens jewelry. When men come for a battery change or mechanical watch repair or to look at wedding jewelry, guide them past your mens jewelry display, advises Larry Sanders, president of Sanders Jewelers, Pasadena, MD. Theres also an opportunity to add on cuff links when you make a watch sale, says Nelson Holdo, president of Asanti Fine Jewellers, San Marino, CA. Or show them some mens jewelry when theyre shopping with their wives.
2. Wear it to sell it. Male sales associates should wear diverse pieces. I wear platinum and diamonds, ranging from a platinum and diamond wedding ring and one-of-a-kind platinum link bracelet to a cuff link and tie-tac set, says Sanders. I typically wear cuff links and get called over by other salespeople to show a woman how they look.
3. To sell more cuff links, add on a French cuff shirt with purchase. Most men dont have French cuff shirts, but you can make an arrangement with a tailor, shirt manufacturer or department store to sell shirts with a purchase of cuff links, says Holdo. Sweeten the deal by offering a discount on the shirt or arrange for a custom fitting.
4. Help buyers coordinate cuff links to their lifestyles. If the man wears gray or blue suits, I recommend onyx or lapis in a cuff link, says Holdo. If suits are brown or tan, try carnelian. If men are concerned about wear and tear, suggest precious metal cuff links with diagonal ribbing, which dont show wear because of the textured finish.
5. Introduce buyers to the idea of wardrobing. In watch and cuff link categories, men have become collectors and you should encourage this notion. Just as women can never have enough rings or bracelets, men are increasingly of the attitude they can never have too many watches, says Sandie Rousso, vice president of Davids Ltd., Charlotte, NC. Point out that good jewelry and watches can be passed down through the generations.
6. Know how to sell to gift buyers. Men like the hunt, so remind significant others not to take it personally if a man wants to check out other merchandise before accepting a gift, says Rousso. Reassure gift buyers that refunds or exchanges are welcome. Or have men fill out a wish list card you can use to contact their significant others with ideas.
7. Reassure men that jewelry is an affirmation of success. Sanders had a customer who really wanted a mans diamond ring, but his wife tried to talk him out of it, saying his clients would think he was making too much money. On the contrary, says Sanders, people would think the company he represents must sell good products. Making money and spending it on self-affirmation is more like an investment in yourself, says Sanders. Diamonds are a sign of success for men and an enduring reminder of how hard they worked to get where they are today.
by Lorraine M. ODonnell, A.J.P.