Your sales staff is the most important asset to your store. From the time a client walks in to the moment they make a purchase and walk out, the fate of your business lies in the hands of efficient sales staff. From hiring the right staff, to training and teaching them the right values, here’s how jewellers are equipping their sales staff to handle the toughest of clients says R Sugandha
Lethal airborne viruses and rising gold prices are all adding to the mountain of challenges that the industry is facing. Sales personnel in the jewellery business along with their employers seem to be reeling under the pressure. Real gold and diamond jewellery are considered a must- buy for every family wedding in India. From the birth of a child, till his or her wedding day, gold has held its sway over most Indian households, across the planet. Devising the right sales strategies for this business is a daunting task.
Striking a fine balance between persona and knowledge
“In India people look at jewellery as an investment, today they may be looking at it as a luxury. Buying gold is an outing of sorts -- brides don’t come alone to buy jewellery. They come along with nearly their whole family, mother, aunts, grandmother, cousins, friends etc,” informs Pratiksha Prashant of Kishandas & Co. More the number of people who accompany the bride, bigger the challenge for the salesperson. He or she has to please one and all in the party. “A sales person should have a balance of friendly qualities and knowledge. A good sales person should have a pleasing personality and the ability to read the customer. S/he must strike a balance between firmness and easygoing nature of a friend you can trust. Selling jewellery is nothing but identifying what the client needs most accurately ,” enlightens industry veteran, Vijay Khanna of Khanna Jewellers. While Yash Agarwal of Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas says, “Our sales representatives undergo a thorough screening and training process to adapt to the brand’s aesthetics.” A pleasing personality and a dignified demeanour add value to the jewellery sales business, like nothing else.
When your clients are niche, the personality of your sales staff too has to be quite a match to their standards. It’s not just about how presentable they are; a clean shaven look, Indian attire and an etiquette to match will take a salesperson leagues ahead, while being able to land customers Pratiksha Prashant, Kishandas & Co.
Gaining the trust of clients
“A good salesman does not sell, he wins the trust of his customer,” asserts Nakshtra Mehta of Rare Heritage. Trust matters the most in the jewellery business. “Like family physicians, in India we have family jewellers. Indians like to buy from jewellers with whom they have been doing business for generations,” informs Khanna. In fact, these jewellers become part of extended families for many buyers. “We have many such family clients, where the grandmother has bought her wedding jewellery from us, and her granddaughter too comes in to buy her own wedding jewellery from our store. Kishandas & Co. has become a legacy,” beams Pratiksha. Therefore trust becomes second nature to all their staff members.
Sales in this field, isn’t just about selling products, it’s about befriending the client. According to Khanna, “Trust is an important aspect of selling, and it’s also the trust that the salesperson displays in the brand and products which matters the most.”
Paying attention to grooming
“When your clients are niche, the personality of your sales staff too has to be quite a match to their standards. It’s not just about how presentable they are; a clean shaven look, Indian attire and an etiquette to match will take a salesperson leagues ahead, while being able to land customers,” explains Pratiksha. Adding to her sentiment, Khanna asserts, “A smiling face and standing up to welcome a customer into the shop, and making the customer feel at home is very important. Buying jewellery is an important task for the client, whose daughter is getting married. A good salesperson will read his client and will be able to discern the finer elements of their preferred jewellery and the budget they have allocated for buying it within just the few initial moments of their discussion.”
Isn’t personality a complex word? “Personality is not merely one’s exterior self. It has more to do with the mental framework of a person, which needs to be thoroughly positive,” explains Mehta. “People with too many worries and those who are bogged down by their personal lives can never exude the kind of positive energy they need in their job,” says Vijay Khanna. No one likes to see a grumpy face and a person of ill temper serving them. “In this business, personality has to be teamed up with excellent product knowledge and ability to reach out to clients. Hard and aggressive selling strategies can ruin the chances of an actual sale. Clients need to be given the freedom to make the right choice,” explains Pratiksha.
A good salesman does not sell, he wins the trust of his customer. Personality is not merely one’s exterior self. It has more to do with the mental framework of a person, which needs to be thoroughly positive Nakshatra Mehta, Rare Heritage
Developing a rapport with clients
With 25 years of taking over several responsibilities in their family-run store in Hyderabad, Pratiksha recalls, “When I first started looking after the store, I used to be the only lady in the store and I remember my father-in-law telling me about the esteemed clients who shop with us. I used feel intimidated by their presence and would hesitate to talk to them freely. Today’s youngsters are a lot more confident, they talk to some of the most powerful clients in an equal yet dignified tone. They are unperturbed by the inequality in power or status. These things do not disturb their discussion, and I feel it is important for business as well. They are in a better position to establish a rapport with our clients.” Customer connect plays a vital role in bringing back customers to the store. “We encourage our staff to create an emotional connection with every valued walk-in. Going by the phrase ‘it is not what you say; it s how you say it,’” opines Agarwal.
A good sales staff always establishes a good connection with the client. “I always tell my sales staff, never be over zealous in your determination to make the person across the table a customer, you have to be able to make him or her your friend, sister or aunt, you have make her feel like a family member, compassion and empathy go a long way in establishing rapport with the client,” says Khanna.
Never be too pushy with clients
Subtlety ascends to become a virtue of prime importance when it comes to the art of selling jewellery. Direct and hard selling tactics will never work in this field. “No one likes to be pressurized into buying jewellery. You would never re-enter a store if you find sales persons pressurizing you into buying,” explains Pratiksha, whose efforts have always been directed towards giving total freedom to buyers. “A jewellery store must exude an elegant, home-like feeling, where the client is made to feel like a queen or princess – that is what subtlety can do,” explains Mehta. Subtle is powerful in this business. “Get the client to clinch the deal. Show her a way to do what you want her to do, that is skill. Catering to the needs of your client is of utmost importance, never compromise on what the client really wants. If you do not have a product to match at that point of time in the store, accept it, get it made-to-order, but give the client what she really wants. Don’t coax her into buying what you want to sell,” explains Khanna, without mincing words. Sales staff must maintain a cordial distance with clients, so as to allow them to make their own choice. “Hovering over clients at all times will serve no purpose,” feels Agarwal.
All in all, jewellery sales is a stiff cliff to ascend and with added competition and several factors all out there to jeopardise the efforts of sales personnel in this field, bearing these time-tested ideas in mind will surely bring in some good business.
Our sales representatives undergo a thorough screening and training process to adapt to the brand’s aesthetics. We encourage our staff to create an emotional connection with every valued walk-in – Going by the phrase ‘it is not what you say; it s how you say it Yash Agarwal, Birdhichand Ghanshyamdas