I came across an interesting article today on the WSJ on the Art of Selling an Expensive Watch. Granted I am not in the league for >$35,000 watches (and I imagine most of you are not either), I thought we could still all learn from the sales tactics taught in this article. After all, knowledge is power and some tactics are quite universal. The gist of it went like this:

  • Instead of asking a client a yes/no question like “Would you like to try it?”, where they can swiftly say no, invite the client to try it on, “I invite you to try the watch. Please take a seat.” – so next time someone tries this on you, don’t feel pressured to take the bate!
  • Lavish attention on clients coming in to service their watch, in order to rebuild brand loyalty- this tip works for me!
  • Say “value” rather than “price” and to sell “romance” rather than “products.”
  • The article talks about the “macaroon technique” where they sandwich the number in with romance i.e. “Madam, this timepiece (or diamond or handbag) comes from our finest workshop and it has a value of $10,000. If you buy it, your children are sure to enjoy it for generations to come.” –It’s all in how one words it! Sneaky
  • Flattery will get you anywhere. So they encourage sales associates to compliment the customer’s own watch even if they are from a competitor to build up positive emotions- !!! I’ve had this done on me before!! And it totally worked!
  • Don’t bargain with a client because the minute the client leaves, they forget the discount. Instead, offer them a gift to remember you by. – very clever! But I think I’d rather have the discount… it’s definitely more useful than another random cup!
  • Lay the client’s well worn watch in between two new shiny ones to subtly suggest that it’s time for an upgrade- hmm don’t think this applies to fashion items
  • Distract the wife-not to sell her another watch but just so she wouldn’t get bored and say, “let’s go.” The longer they stay the better – I think sales associates have tried to distract me this way while my mom is shopping! It works too and creates a lot more goodwill
  • They’ve also discovered that men buy more when their other half is not around and have created men’s only sales events. They even suggest, “sorry gifts” of another time piece for husbands to appease their wives who might be mad about their big splurge- I agree, guys are in general such unsavvy shoppers. They are never patient enough to wait for the sales or bargain. Not so sure how effective the “sorry gift” idea is though… they’re trying to get you to apologize for splurging by splurging even more?

So watch out for these tricks next time you shop!

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