Lately, the topic on everyone’s lips is how to sell to millennials. That’s certainly important, but let’s not forget the 40- to 70-year-olds, who also get married. Furthermore, there are a lot more anniversaries than there are weddings. Gen X-ers are just reaching their jewelry-buying potential, and baby boomers control most of the instant cash in the United States. They are the ones buying the 2-, 3- and 4-carat diamonds — not the millennials, whose average purchase is still 1 to 1.5 carats.

The 40-plus crowd goes to their local jeweler, the store they trust. Chances are, they’ve shopped there before. They are interested in higher quality and a large inventory to choose from. Since they’re older, the house is often paid for, the kids may be out of the house, and they have discretionary income. Unless they say differently, always start by showing them a larger diamond. Most of the time, the older client does not come in with a photo of the ring on her phone. She wants a patient sales associate in front of her, and she wants to try on mountings and start telling stories about her life. 

When you’re talking to the male client, always ask, “Would you like to know more about the diamond?” Often, the older he is, the less he’ll care about knowing more. Sometimes, he might want to know the color and the clarity, but ultimately, he’s there because he trusts you. A lot of these sales are lost because salespeople get too technical. Remember: They buy you and the experience, so she wants to have plenty of time to try on all the mountings she wants. Usually, she picks the mounting and he picks the diamond. So you have to sell them both at the same time; they both need to feel included. Keep in mind that older couples might want to know that the diamond comes with a GIA lab report or in-house appraisal for their insurance.

When selling to older clients, the following are also important to remember:

  • They’re not in a hurry; they planned to come in and take their time.
  • They want to tell stories about their lives. 
  • The more you get them to talk about themselves, the higher your closing ratio will be. 
  • Seat these clients in comfortable chairs. The longer they stay, the better.
  • Have a mirror on the counter so she can see how the ring looks on.
  • Clean and polish the jewelry she’s wearing.
  • Offer them something to drink.
  • Offer to turn her old mounting and diamonds into a new piece she can wear against her heart.
  • Show him new bands with diamonds. Chances are, his current ring is worn out.
  • She buys style, fashion, and sentiment. This generation still buys yellow gold and it’s coming back strong.
  • Because this is a special day, be patient. (If you can’t be patient, T.O. the clients.)

Learn to romance the reason the clients came in. Special anniversaries only happen once. Make it a bigger deal than they even thought it was. This makes the price become insignificant, and they may even upsell themselves!

Shane Decker has provided sales training for more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Contact him at ( 719) 488-4077 or at

This article originally appeared in the August 2016 edition of INSTORE.

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