Crafting a Customer Database: Have Fun with It !

Check out my new article on how to craft your customer database and enjoy the process…
Crafting your customers database: pleasure & fun guaranteed.

What do luxury clients demand today?

This is a very interesting article about what luxury companies should be addressing throughout the year…surprising luxury customers with Excellence.

When the number of Stars is not enough…

Emotional Marketing: Three Steps to Surprise Your Clients

Hope this article helps you get closer to your best asset: your relationship with clients!

Three Language Secrets To Improve Your Sales Results

Language is one of the most important means of communication. Words are vital components of language, and so are gestures, looks, movements, sounds, art, music, and of course, silence. (Many people feel uncomfortable with silence, yet, it is such a remarkable excellent tool both in life and in sales!)

As effective communicators, we sales people need to be aware of our messages: sometimes “unwanted” words and gestures come up, and fluid communication becomes somewhat difficult. That is why it is so important to think how we are going to use words with clients before actually being with them. Rehearsing some language secrets in advance will turn your communication into a more fluent, transient, and empowering experience for your clients.

Secret Number One: Avoid Labeling

Broadly speaking, when we openly or mentally label a situation, a person, a feature of ourselves – whatever – it is always with a negative connotation which tends to limit possible different ways to keep on growing, specially in the sales arena, just because labeling is a means to narrow our minds and has the effect to “filter in” only the information that will serve as “consistent evidence” that back-up the labels we created. You need to remember that our mind is sometimes tricky: you cannot trust it very much, it may lead you to make big mistakes!

So, in order to avoid labeling, every time you have a tendency to judge, simply act as a judge instead, :use language to reason, ask yourself: “What is the real evidence I count on to make such an assumption about this…person, situation, myself, whatever?” “What questions could I make in order to learn more about this and check if I am making a sound conclusion or a stupid one? “Why do I post this “identity label” to myself and keep it in my mind when it does not help me in my work – and life – at all? What is it I need to say or do differently in order to produce the outcomes I desire?

To help you adopt good self- criticism, just refer to you ( the situation, the other person – whatever ) in a positive, enquiring manner: “I am such a great salesperson! Isn´t it great I am able to improve my performance by learning new language strategies?” “She is a very reserved and quiet client, what could I say to her (or what words would I choose ) to open up the dialogue without sounding pushy or invasive given her reluctance to speak?

Note that whenever I get you through this column, I reinforce the idea of making lots of open questions everyday, all day long. They are really helpful and have the advantage of erasing all psychological “stick ability” to labeling.

Secret Language Number Two: Use Tag Questions

This is such a simple, wonderful and effective technique! Isn´t it? You will find it very useful, especially when you have established good rapport with clients. Question Tags are known as “positive change facilitators” in Neurolinguistics because they reinforce “buy-in” behaviors. You can even apply them to reinforce the client´s “mood” of the moment: “ You know Ms. XX, I truly believe you are going to enjoy this beautiful ring for many years to come and in plenty of occasions, don´t you agree?

I am pretty sure once you start noticing how helpful this tool is in getting results, and once you feel comfortable expressing question tags, you will feel encouraged to use it more in your daily working routine, won´t you?

Secret Language Number Three: Neutralize objections with “And…”

Your clients will come up with thousands of diverse objections rather than price or payment. They will tell you even interesting things about family matters if they have in mind to get you up in their roller coaster of “not being sure” or “not being ready” to purchase. We know that, and certainly we expect that. After all, it is in the very core of human nature to struggle a bit before closing a deal, just because…

Therefore, when a client posts an objection and he/she says something like: “ I am really scared to make this step” , you take a few seconds and magnetize your suggestion: “I understand Mr XX…AND that means you are someone conscious about your important choices…Plus, fear is part of human nature, isn´t it?</span> Although I am sure you will agree that our best decisions come associated with a little bit of fear, just because it is an ingredient of getting everything is worth having, don´t you think so?</span>”

As professional salespeople in the luxury market we have today what I believe is an un-precedent historical opportunity to take advantage of the person-to-person interaction: you can harness language tools and use them purposefully in the direction of positive change, whether it is closing a sale or coming to an agreement.

Make the effort: study these secrets a little bit further and apply them right away, they will help you go beyond your imagination, and sales goals.

Note: this article has been published in Jewelry News Network , USA – January 11, 2012

Mónica M. Arias

Excellence Expert & Consultant: Helping you discover how to reach your next level through excellence.

Copyright 2011

Let´s Rock & Gold!

Gold has, as we all know, a story, legacy and beauty of its own that managed to survive throughout the ages and whose mystery is still displaying its hottest genuine value by becoming the number one investors´preference worldwide.
At the same time, our beloved Earth has also been gracefully producing beautiful and valuable rocks (diamonds, gemstones, precious stones, etc) over and over again since ancient times for us to appreciate and admire.
The moment jewelry makers discovered the art of joining both together, they set the foundations for a fantastic and alluring business-to-come as if declaring: “Let´s rock and gold!” long before Elvis had ever existed.

Why is gold combined with stones so appealing?
Many a jewelry firm have no conclusive answer to this question. Generally speaking, rocks and gold simply “look” fantastic together. The simplest set of earrings can make all the difference if designed elegantly, respecting a true balance between the metal and the stones involved.

But this is too simple a statement to explain why we crave for beautiful gold and stone pieces because we are leaving aside the main elements to this gold and rock combination success: As in the movement once presided by Elvis, the revolution of Rock & Gold is directly associated with intense colors. Magic comes out of brilliant colors in full vibrancy of grades which produce the attached fascination that comes from choosing a jewel we love.

Jusf for the sake of giving an example of what I mean, let´s take rubies, for instance. According to many experts in the jewelry industry worldwide, rubies, which mainly come from Burma in Myanmar and Thailand, are considered to be the most powerful gems in the Universe, usually associated with astral signs and protection to the living. Its magical influence is associated with life force, passion, and love. It is been said that to own a ruby is to have contentment and peace and, last but not least, when rubies are set in gold they are also considered the symbol of vitality and royalty.
However, what is even more striking and fascinating about rubies is its wide range of color which varies from slightly vermilion to intense red, the most desired and valuable being the famous “pigeon´s blood” intense tone.
So, isn´t it amazing to have such a wonderful description of meanings and features to help us make the most appropriate connection with the piece we would love to carry ? Now, placing the question from the sales point of view: Wouldn´t you agree that you could literally add value to your demonstration if your customer showed a certain inclination to one of these features in particular? Absolutely!
Whenever possible, do yourself a favor: next time you are in front of a client, try to Rock & Gold a bit before making any demonstration. (I mean, seriously, make the effort to express your true passion for rock & gold, please!)

Ask him/her as many open questions about them as you can (see, the “open question parade” appears in almost all my articles, I insist so much because it is the key to open your best results). Then begin working toward influencing what you have perceived are their preferences by associating the exact feature of the piece which will make the strongest impact in your customer´s perception. Trust me: the rock and gold tactic will help you “see through” your customer’s real passion about a particular piece and you will celebrate a long-term “sales bliss” after having investigated further on Rock & Gold and its infinite benefits. And don´t worry about Elvis…from wherever he is, I am sure he´ll show thumbs up!

Nota: Este artículo fue publicado en Jewelry News Network – USA

Mónica M. Arias
Excellence Consultant: Helping you discover how to reach your next level through excellence.
copyright: Mónica M. Arias

Elizabeth Taylor Jewelry Auction by Christie´s December 2011

Check my list of entries out on the right !
Amazing first two-day Auction of Elizabeth Taylor´s jewelry collection by Christie´s in New York!
Enjoy !

Cold Calling is alive and kicking!

Let´s assume it: cold calling is alive and kicking! You may argue it is really difficult for luxury companies to get new clients through cold calling. Reality, however, proves quite the contrary.

So, what are the main reasons why this strategy is still used and will continue to be used for doing business in the future?

Cold calling has become:

A fantastic tool : Once you realize that more often than not clients love to be called and offered solutions and / or products on the phone, your possibilities to get new clients will go up very quickly.

A “voice-bridge” between your product /service and your client/ prospect: when you make cold calls, you can easily interact showing the right “voice-attitude” , so that the person who is listening on the other end may “feel” your pleasant words as you speak. This will autommatically generate a bridge between you and him /her, allowing for your speech continuity .

A “fun” resource : There is no need for you to be so serious when cold calling. I mean, you may perfectly respect your client /prospect when on line but at the same time offer him /her a “tone of your own grace” by saying something casual, or talking about a news event about the market, or whatever the phrase of your choice to lighten them up a bit.

From a professional point of view, cold calling is not only necessary but obligatory. This means you should at least have a couple of strategies on paper to start working with every week, as well as an action plan to follow up on those calls that need to be made again (either because the client was not present at the moment you called or because you left a voice mail and need to follow up if you did not get an answer)

Make your own movie: strategies for cold calling come in different versions but one I really love and recommend using is crafting your own scripts. I know there are many sales professionals that will hate me for saying this. However, I know scripts work so well because once I used to think exactly like the haters and then forced myself to go “the extra mile” and prepare my own scripts with phrases and assorted words that helped me enormously in my everyday work of enhancing my portfolio.

You can even record your voice once you have prepared your scripts and listen to yourself over and over, reading your scripts. You may even choose to change certain words for others much more suitable at the time of your rehearsal.

In order to be ready, you can always rely on your list of words and phrases I recommended you to craft in previous articles.

Their help is immense and so will be the feedback from your customers.

Once you start using cold calling, do not underestimate the power of voice mails. I know, I know…it is sooo stupid to talk to a machine! But, again, studies have shown that 60 % of the messages you leave on answering machines offering your customers / prospects to call you back because you have something really juicy to talk about is answered. Now this simply means that voice mails work, and that 6 out of 10 messages you leave will be answered. Do you know of an easiest tool to make new customers or make your existing clients part of a loyal portfolio?

As Wendy Weiss puts it: “ All sales professionals use scripts, not all sales professionals use good scripts” And I would add: “not all sales professionals use excellent scripts for cold calling.”

So, as everything else in the sales arena, you need to take action:

Craft your script, make a list of possible questions you would like to ask, write on another column a list of possible objections you might find, and finally what kind of responses you would like to say to overcome them with grace and courtesy.

Pick up the phone….differentiate from the rest, make that call, talk to your prospect using enchanting words and phrases, leave a message, send them a picture of the last exciting colorful collection piece and enjoy your brightness closing more sales every month while making your customers truly happy purchasing from You.

Mónica Arias – Excellence Consulting: Helping you discover how to reach your next level through excellence” – Copyright Mónica Arias 2011