When you’re pressed for time, the most effective way to speed up the selling process is to ask the right questions.
Look at your merchandise as a grid of many different categories and pieces. Asking the right questions narrows down the grid. Consider the following exchange:
You: What brings you in today?
Customer: I’m looking for a Christmas present for my wife.
You: That’s terrific. What have you seen her wear before, or what has she mentioned that she would love to have?
Customer: We were window-shopping the other day, and she was looking at a diamond pendant and a watch. I think I want to get her a pendant.
You: Either would make a great gift. If you have time, we can look at a watch for Valentine’s Day. A pendant would make a great holiday gift. Tell me about her jewelry wardrobe.
Customer: She has a 1.50 ct. diamond in her engagement ring and a pair of diamond earrings with 1.00 ct. tw.
You: They sound nice. What’s important to her in selecting a pendant?
Customer: She mentioned that she would like a 1.00 ct. solitaire in a plain mounting.
You: I have a couple that I know would be perfect for her. Let’s take a look.
At this point, start demonstrating a few different 1.00 ct. pendants of various qualities and ask: “Tell me about the quality of the diamonds she already has.”
The salesperson’s questions were open-ended, meaning they can’t be answered with a simple Yes or No. The customer is inclined to give more information, so that can help you discover appropriate add-on items.
This process is known as NA=A/DA, which stands for “needs assessment equals answers, so demonstrate the answers.” It means you ask open-ended questions that uncover
A specific idea of what the customer wants
Why he wants it
What’s important to him in his selection
Ideas for potential add-on items
Then—most important—you sell based on the reasons the customer gave. Getting the customer to sell himself speeds the selling process.
And what if customers don’t know the answers to these questions? Then you be the expert and let them know what should be important in purchasing jewelry.