Monday, 18 June 2012

When Price Comes First - The Video

This is a followup to the June 6th article "When Price Comes Firtst." I have opposition to this concept and I present my thoughts more fully so that you can further discusss this issue in your stores and refine selling techniques that work for your circumstance. Enjoy.

June 6th, I wrote an article called When Price Comes First.  It centered around us asking the question, “so, how much are you looking to spend.”  In my mind the question should be avoided at all costs, and in the article my interlocutors were in favor of asking the question early in a sales presentation. 

Marie Wade from Stettler, Alberta responded to the article by pointing out that you could easily be considered evasive ad shifty if you try to dodge the issue when the customer brings it up.  I totally agree.

As long as the customer doesn’t bring it up, here’s why I want to begin with everything but price.  We know from DPS research that engagement ring shoppers usually expect to pay about 1.5X the amount they report wanting to spend.  If they secretly expect to spend $6,000 but they tell you they want to spend around $4,000, what will they think of your attempts to show them $6,000 rings?  You’ll either sell them short, or you’ll lose them to someone who shows them a $6,000 ring that knocks their socks off, but you were afraid to show it to them because it wasn’t in their “price range.”

Listen, I had a client tell me he wanted to spend $25,000 for his 25th anniversary.  We showed him several items in the $25-30,000 range and guess what?  He spent $70,000.  When I told my dentist that I wanted to get my teeth fixed, I assumed that I’d need to spend a few thousand dollars, but I ended up spending $10,000.  If you believe that everyone buying a diamond has saved-up a finite amount of money, just take a look at your daily credit card sales versus cash or cheque. 

Some of your clients have no clue what they need to spend to get what they want.  Their reported $3,000 budget may have been prompted by a discounters photo-shopped ad for a 1ct diamond solitaire ring that in reality looks like frozen spit. 

If you ask the question, they might make up a number that cuts your selection down to the point of eliminating several great choices.  Most of the people I’m writing to don’t have hundreds of diamond ring styles in stock, so why eliminate half of your options by asking them what their budget is?

Why not show them a variety of your best designs, share with them the prices of each and let them tell you which direction they want to go?  After falling in love with a  $10,000 ring, but confessing that it’s beyond their budget, you can either show them similar rings in lower price points, or discuss the ways in which their favorite design could be altered in order to achieve a lower budget.

As Shane Decker talked about in Vegas, it’s our job to romance the purchase of a diamond.  If we take the time to romance the product before price enters into the conversation, we can keep our clients thinking with their right-brain; which is about emotion, aesthetics and imagination. 

Once we start talking price a fellow shifts to the left hemisphere of his brain.  We need that left hemisphere later to make a decision, but not until we’ve talked about style, about her preferences, about the occasion, and about the selection with the biggest wow-factor.  If you sell the right-brain, the left-brain will be a slam-dunk.

If you’re working for a chain store with unimaginative designs built around price-points, and if you’re personally selling more than 4 diamond rings per day, then forget everything I’ve just said.  Qualify, present, test-close, respond to objections and then close the sale.  You need to clear the deck and free yourself up for the next customer!

If you personally sell less than 20 diamond rings per month, that’s not even one per shift.  That means that you have more than enough time to engage the client, show them some amazing designs, inspire them, get to know a bit about who they’re buying for and why they feel the way they do.

This is not a mamby-pamby soft-sell approach.  This is a hard-core approach to making long-term clients.  This is how you sell them a lifetime worth of jewellery purchases before you even finish making the initial sale.  This is how you should spend your time on the sales floor; looking to make emotional connections.

For someone who is to become a client for a lifetime, don’t they deserve to see the best you have to offer?  If their budget doesn’t allow that now, sell them the best option they can afford.  Maybe they’ll come back and buy your best in 5 or 10 years?

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