How to sell luxury products without discounting

April 7, 2011 | by Bob Phibbs

Do you have a luxury product to sell? I'm not talking a good or better version of something you could find at some dollar store. I'm talking the best.

Selling luxury goods is very different from selling even a premium product. Why? Because those who can afford to buy the luxury item know two things:

  • One, they can afford it. Whether that is the CEO making hundreds of thousands of dollars, or the woman with a black American Express card. They don't have to decide whether it's shoes for the baby or a new Rolex watch. Because of that, the power is in their court.
  • Two, you really want to make the sale of the higher priced goods

Which means they'll probably ask for a discount.

The luxury goods boutique opens itself up to unprofitability if they allow their employees to fold their tent and give the discount.

A woman who used to work in a fine jewelry shop in Southern California told me, "I never sold a luxury watch for less than 25 percent off its price."

But discounting your luxury goods, if we really examine it, frequently comes from an employee's poor self-esteem.

Deep inside they believe the watch, the fur, the yacht, the plane, the cruise, isn't worth it.

And if the salesperson doesn't believe your luxury goods are worth the price, they'll pass that disbelief right on to your customer. Hence, that employee will tell you they had to discount – like a car dealer selling used AMC Pacers.

There are two things to address here. First is the type of employee you have on your floor, and second is how they see themselves working in your luxury boutique.

By all accounts the luxury market is booming. Whether that's Hermes scarves, Manolo Blahnik shoes or Patek Philippe antique watches, the luxury market's staying power is evident across many brands.

If you're not getting your share, if your employees are standing around with their hands in their pockets waiting for customers and not moving your merchandise, it's not your customers that are the problem, it's your employees.

That's why you should download my 7-page special report: How To Sell Luxury Products: A Guide.

In the meantime, have you had an experience — good or bad — you'd like to share about a true luxury brand like Tiffany, Hermes, or the like? If so comment below please.

Topics: Consumer Behavior , Customer Service , Employee Training , Hiring and Retention , Marketing

Bob Phibbs / Bob Phibbs, the Retail Doctor, is a popular motivational speaker and small business Consultant who has transformed thousands of businesses throughout the world with his straightforward, proven advice. His success at making over businesses has been featured on PBS Life & Times, in the Los Angeles Times, Entrepreneur magazine, and the New York Times.
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