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Shane Decker: Keep ‘The Bogey’ out of Your Game

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Part 2 of 3 columns on better sales-floor negotiating.

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On a golf course, you earn a bogey when you’re one stroke over par — in other words, you’re one stroke off the pace. One worse than average.

In jewelry sales, the customer I call “The Bogey” isn’t just a little below average, he’s way below average (average price, I mean). In other words, he’s asking for a big discount. The Bogey technique is usually used by men, and it’s always a bluff.

You’ll know your client is a Bogey when he says, “I love your $6,000 ring, but I only have $3,000.” A lot of sales associates fall for this and begin to discount the product.

To avoid Bogeys, your first order of business is to fully romance the sale during your presentation. You need to romance four areas: beauty of the product, value-added statements, features-advantages-benefits, and the reason the client came in.

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Romancing product beauty is self-explanatory, and even a novice can do it. Value-added statements require more expertise. In a value-added statement, the sales associate uses her gemological knowledge and product knowledge in order to persuade the customer of an item’s worth.

When romancing features-advantages-benefits, features are always facts, such as, “Diamonds are the world’s hardest known substance.” The advantage is always the advantage to the client, such as, “Because diamonds are the hardest known substance, they’re scratch-resistant.” The benefit is the natural result (i.e., “Because diamond is the hardest known substance and is scratch-resistant, you can wear it every day of your life and pass it down to the next generation”).

And, of course, when you romance the reason the client came in, making it seem like a bigger deal than they even thought it was, the price becomes insignificant (see my January 2007 column, “Find the Why” on instoremag.com, for more details).

The better you romance these four areas, the fewer Bogeys and price objections you’ll have.

Of course, no matter how well you romance, you may still see a Bogey or two. Instead of negotiating on price, you can answer, “$3,000? That would be a great down payment; let’s put the rest on layaway (or financing).” Or you might reply, “That’s a great payment for starters. Surely you have a Mastercard or Visa, and we’ll just apply the balance.”

Your other alternative is called option negotiation, which means changing the options on the item to fit the customer’s budget. For example, you might ask: “Are you telling me that all you actually have is $3,000?” His answer is “yes.” You can then say, “Well, I can take out this one-carat diamond and put a half-carat of the same color, clarity, and shape into this mounting for you, and sell it to you for $3,000.” He’s still getting a beautiful diamond ring, and you keep your integrity. If he comes back and says, “I don’t want the half-carat, I want the 1-carat,” you then say, “Well, that’s $6,000.” Holding firm shows him that you’re not willing to negotiate.

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Your job as a sales associate is to make sure the client gets the most satisfaction with the least amount of concessions as possible. So remember: the Bogey is always a bluff. Don’t fall for it!

Next month: The Krunch.


Shane Decker has provided sales training for more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Contact him at (317) 535-8676 or at ex-sell-ence.com.

This story is from the December 2010 edition of INSTORE.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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Shane Decker

Shane Decker: Keep ‘The Bogey’ out of Your Game

mm

Published

on

Part 2 of 3 columns on better sales-floor negotiating.

{loadposition shanedeckerheader}

On a golf course, you earn a bogey when you’re one stroke over par — in other words, you’re one stroke off the pace. One worse than average.

In jewelry sales, the customer I call “The Bogey” isn’t just a little below average, he’s way below average (average price, I mean). In other words, he’s asking for a big discount. The Bogey technique is usually used by men, and it’s always a bluff.

You’ll know your client is a Bogey when he says, “I love your $6,000 ring, but I only have $3,000.” A lot of sales associates fall for this and begin to discount the product.

Advertisement

To avoid Bogeys, your first order of business is to fully romance the sale during your presentation. You need to romance four areas: beauty of the product, value-added statements, features-advantages-benefits, and the reason the client came in.

Romancing product beauty is self-explanatory, and even a novice can do it. Value-added statements require more expertise. In a value-added statement, the sales associate uses her gemological knowledge and product knowledge in order to persuade the customer of an item’s worth.

When romancing features-advantages-benefits, features are always facts, such as, “Diamonds are the world’s hardest known substance.” The advantage is always the advantage to the client, such as, “Because diamonds are the hardest known substance, they’re scratch-resistant.” The benefit is the natural result (i.e., “Because diamond is the hardest known substance and is scratch-resistant, you can wear it every day of your life and pass it down to the next generation”).

And, of course, when you romance the reason the client came in, making it seem like a bigger deal than they even thought it was, the price becomes insignificant (see my January 2007 column, “Find the Why” on instoremag.com, for more details).

The better you romance these four areas, the fewer Bogeys and price objections you’ll have.

Of course, no matter how well you romance, you may still see a Bogey or two. Instead of negotiating on price, you can answer, “$3,000? That would be a great down payment; let’s put the rest on layaway (or financing).” Or you might reply, “That’s a great payment for starters. Surely you have a Mastercard or Visa, and we’ll just apply the balance.”

Advertisement

Your other alternative is called option negotiation, which means changing the options on the item to fit the customer’s budget. For example, you might ask: “Are you telling me that all you actually have is $3,000?” His answer is “yes.” You can then say, “Well, I can take out this one-carat diamond and put a half-carat of the same color, clarity, and shape into this mounting for you, and sell it to you for $3,000.” He’s still getting a beautiful diamond ring, and you keep your integrity. If he comes back and says, “I don’t want the half-carat, I want the 1-carat,” you then say, “Well, that’s $6,000.” Holding firm shows him that you’re not willing to negotiate.

Your job as a sales associate is to make sure the client gets the most satisfaction with the least amount of concessions as possible. So remember: the Bogey is always a bluff. Don’t fall for it!

Next month: The Krunch.


Shane Decker has provided sales training for more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Contact him at (317) 535-8676 or at ex-sell-ence.com.

This story is from the December 2010 edition of INSTORE.

Advertisement

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular