When it comes to selling diamonds, the grading report doesn’t tell the full story.
STRIVE FOR THE BEST
THEY CAN AFFORD
Appealing to a customer’s emotions is a much more effective sales strategy than focusing on the 4Cs.
That’s increasingly the message from jewelers, many of whom prefer to tell the story of a diamond rather than using the grading report as an authority on the stone’s beauty.
“When you engage a customer, you don’t want to start off by saying, ‘Well, here’s what ideal looks like, and here’s everything else,’” says Alan Bronstein, owner of New York-based Aurora Gems, which deals in high-end colored diamonds.
“Most jewelers condition customers to strive for the best they can afford, rather than what they like.”
After all, the grading certificate details a stone’s imperfections: A clarity or color grade reflects how much a diamond deviates from being flawless or colorless.
But a customer might might not be seeking perfection. For example, she could be drawn to a stone precisely because the shape of the inclusion resembles her birthmark, Bronstein explains.
The emotional factor
“A diamond is like a human,” says Cullen Wulf, owner of AaLand Diamond Jewelers in
Merrillville, Indiana. “It’s made by nature. People like the idea that a stone will have certain internal
Telling the story rather than focusing on technical specifications should be easier than with other products, as the customer already has a narrative of his or her own, Wulf notes.
The salesperson needs to connect that story to the diamond itself. That may involve emphasizing how the diamond got from the mine to the finger, he explains.
“The reason you’re making the purchase is that you’ve made a connection with someone,” Wulf points out. “The key is making that emotional connection, because a diamond purchase isn’t like any other purchase. It’s not a car.”
That’s why Wulf steers clear of focusing on a grading report when talking about a particular stone, unless it’s an important factor for the individual buyer. The prettiest diamond may not have the highest color and clarity, he notes.
That doesn’t mean sellers should totally disregard the grading report.
Erik Runyan, owner of Erik Runyan Jewelers in Vancouver, Washington, prefers to sit down with the customer and let her pick the stone she finds most beautiful. Only then does he move on to the 4Cs.
“After the emotional connection is made I start talking about the characteristics that drew her to that diamond,” Runyan says.
He also talks about the “journey” diamonds make and agrees the trade needs to talk about flaws in a positive way.
“We have to convey that inclusions are natural phenomena occurring in the creation of these unique and rare stones,” Runyan adds.
Some customers will still want the details but there’s more to discuss than what’s on the certificate.