Events & Awards

These Are the New Sales Rules to Live By

Events & AwardsApr 06, 2017

These Are the New Sales Rules to Live By

Live from Conclave, millennial marketing expert Jeff Fromm sets out the new rules for retailers to follow in the digital age.

Live from Conclave, Jeff Fromm, president of consumer trends consultancy Futurecast, set out the new sales rules for retailers to follow in the digital age.

Los Angeles--Retailers have heard a thing or two about selling according to generation demographics.

They’ve heard about “midults.” They’ve heard about Generation Z. And they’ve probably heard enough about millennials to write a book about them.

But Jeff Fromm, president of consumer trends consultancy Futurecast, is the man who actually has written books on the topic: he’s the co-author of “Marketing to Millennials” and “Millennials with Kids.”

At the American Gem Society’s Conclave education conference, going on now in Los Angeles, Fromm laid out new sales rules for retailers to follow that were far from the typically espoused millennial marketing wisdom.

These rules also apply to an ever-evolving baby boomer customer and beyond.

Here are some of the highlights.

The New ABCs of Sales
Retail jewelers have probably been taught to “always be closing,” but today, Fromm explained, they need to “always be collaborating.”

“It means you’re going to have to be more useful and less pushy,” Fromm said.

Millennial consumers are inherently wary of a sales pitch. They’re digitally savvy and tuned in. They’re “prosumers” rather than consumers, exposed to and capable of processing large amounts of information.

So if a salesperson acts in the role of a trusted advisor, imparting their specific jewelry expertise and making suggestions, rather than someone making a sale, they can create a loyal relationship.

This can be achieved by foregoing rote sales questions like “What is your budget?” and instead, making suggestions and learning about the customer’s needs.

Today’s shoppers already know how to compare prices and work within their own budgets. Retailers should focus on collaborating with their clients and becoming a trusted source of knowledge.

Put the Millennial Focus on Employees
Traditionally in sales, the customer always comes first. But Fromm suggested that to understand a millennial customer, store owners should pay attention to their millennial employees.

“Many of them, in addition to compensation, not in lieu (of), want to work for a brand where their values align with the brand’s values,” he said.

This speaks to the importance of passion in the work place. Millennials want to work with companies they believe in, whether that’s due to an enthusiasm for the product being sold, an emphasis on work/life balance or even the way a company gives back.

The important thing is to understand what your millennial employee wants and what they value, thereby helping stores understand how to connect with their consumer cohort.

“You

can’t win with millennial consumers if you can’t win with millennial employees,” Fromm explained. “You have to meet them halfway, because your rules and their rules are not the same.”

Don’t Treat Others As You Want To Be Treated
Instead, treat others as they want to be treated, he said.

“Empathy is at the core of it.”

A salesperson should understand the various emotions, including fear and anxiety, that come with purchasing fine jewelry.

The key is to identify a customer’s need state--or, why they’re shopping--whether that’s for an occasion like a proposal, a Mother’s Day present, or a self-purchase.

“The consumer has a need state that extends beyond the product you sell,” Fromm said.

Retail has to adapt to what the customer wants and needs, acting on the information a customer shares rather than sticking to a dedicated sales strategy.

“Not everybody wants what you want,” Fromm said.

The Next Step: Identify Influencers
Millennials crave content, and it’s a given that they require various social media channels to interact with a brand or store.

“I think we’ll see very rapidly that best-in-class retailers move to content strategies where they integrate traditional CRM (interactions with customers) with social behavior. We’re talking about who is consuming your content, who is curating your content and who is creating content on behalf of your brand.”

He emphasized that the latter, those who create content--such as Instagramming a product on their personal feed--are the most important consumers to a brand.

The way of the future, he said, is to use a simple algorithm, whether proprietary or from a third party, to identify the “5 percent of customers who not only buy from us, but actually love us and have a social influence” and treat those customers differently.
Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

The Latest

Policies & IssuesMay 14, 2021
Petra Reaches $6M Settlement Amid Claims of Human Rights Abuses

A report by a nonprofit documented an alleged seven deaths and 41 assaults on artisanal miners at the Williamson mine in Tanzania.

AuctionsMay 14, 2021
Phillips’ New Selling Exhibition Celebrates Female Designers

It features pieces from the likes of Solange Azagury-Partridge, Suzanne Belperron, Marina B, and Silvia Furmanovich.

Recorded WebinarsMay 14, 2021
Watch: Dissecting the Vintage Watch Craze

Watchfinder & Co. US Country Manager Edouard Caumon talks the timepieces retaining value and current marketplace trends.

Brought to you by
How to Engage and Sell to Millennials

Millennials were once feared in the diamond industry, but now this younger generation has become today’s largest diamond buying demographic.

TrendsMay 14, 2021
Piece of the Week: Deirdre Featherstone’s Amber Drop Earrings

They’re perfect for welcoming “Springtime in New York.”

Weekly QuizMay 14, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of May 10-14, 2021.
Take the Quiz
AuctionsMay 13, 2021
The 100-Carat ‘Spectacle’ Diamond Sells for $14M

It sold at the low end of its estimated range at Christie’s jewelry auction in Geneva.

SourcingMay 13, 2021
Fura Gems Launches Membership-Based Marketing Program

The Fura Marketing Council will offer advertising materials, sales training, product promotion initiatives, business consulting, and more.

Brought to you by
A New Golden Age

Gold has had its share of ups and downs over the last 5 decades. Here’s why the metal is having another big comeback.

MajorsMay 13, 2021
Sotheby’s Opens ‘The Emporium’ Retail Store in New York

The company celebrated its debut by collaborating with beauty entrepreneur Gucci Westman for a special edit of luxury items.

×