By Aleah Arundale
Editor’s Note: Aleah Arundale is a regular contributor to The Retail Jeweler. Her selling insights are instructive as well as humorous if not a little brash. They are fun to read and to share with your staff. This first group of ten Best Sales Tips will be followed up by the next group in the July/August issue. The sales tips are not in numeric order of importance. They are just the first ten! We hope you find Aleah’s insights into the sales process.
· Make your customer feel important. People buy jewelry to feel important, attractive, rich. You can sell the feeling of importance by asking people their opinion. Try asking your customer something like, "Oh I just finished these two ads. Which do YOU like better?" Even something as simple as, "Will you hold this" can make people feel more important and more comfortable in your store.
· Talk up the occasion why they are buying jewelry. Talk about how special and meaningful Christmas can be. Talk about how lucky they are to be getting engaged and how special it is when you meet the person of your dreams. The more important the event becomes, the less the price matters.
· Everyone wants to feel unique. One way you can emphasize this point is to talk about the rarity of the piece you are showing. Lines such as these can be used to make your customer feel special. "Only the top 1% of women own an engagement ring over a carat." "She will have a unique piece of jewelry that you won’t find anywhere else." Make your customer feel unique and they will buy from you.
· You must have a VALUE STORY. In order to close a sale, you need a clear reason why you provide the best value. Your value story can be that you buy second hand diamonds, or that you have 40 years buying experience, or that you just got back from a buying trip to Antwerp. Telling customers you have the best warranty, can give them that feeling of value. The price does not matter, customers buy the feeling of value.
· You need one clear message. If I throw six balls at you, you won’t catch any of them.
The same is with messages. Pick one idea and make it crystal clear.
· People buy stories. In a study by Anne Bowers she sold the same for three different prices and the only thing that was different was the story. Find a way to be a better story teller either by practicing telling stories or by attaching a pre-written story to each piece of jewelry in your case
· Have someone else sing your praises. Have your associates say something like "Let me have you talk to Jim, he has over 30 years of diamond experience" or "Oh, You should talk to Beth, she is a pearl fanatic.” This way you are already instilling confidence before you even meet the customer.
· #8Sales Diva Kate Peterson of Performance Concepts tells us to make the engagement ring sale all about the girl. Guys cannot tell you her favorite color, but he can talk about her hobbies, her job, and her interests. If you get him talking about her, it gets him move invested emotionally and makes him realize all the many wonderful things he loves about her, prompting him to spend more.
· Another stunning tip from Kate Peterson is that the new and best way to sell jewelry is tocustomize your presentation. You can't just tell why a ring is good any more, you must tell them why the ring is good for THEM. People want customized rings and customized sales presentations too. Do this by listening to the customer then repeating back to them. Ask her likes. She likes to cook? Oh well this ring is perfect for a cook because there are not too many places food can get trapped in it. She likes to bike? Well with this necklace she won't even need a bike light because people will see her coming a mile away. Make the jewelry good for them and you will make the sale.
· Turn everything into a question. Want to tell your customer why platinum is great? The fastest way to bore someone is to tell them something they already know. However if you turn it into a question such as, "Do you know what makes Platinum so much better than white gold?" Then you’re asking instead of telling and you will be more engaging.
Now go sell some jewelry