Ch20 Article 2 - Style On Style How to Sell a $35,000 Watch...

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Page 1 of 2 2009 Factiva, Inc. All rights reserved. Style -- On Style: How to Sell a $35,000 Watch in a Recession --- Salespeople Study Distracting the Wife, Avoiding Talk of 'Price' and Other Tactics By Christina Binkley 997 words 23 July 2009 The Wall Street Journal J D6 English When a man in a Cartier watch stepped into the IWC Schaffhausen boutique in Beverly Hills recently, salesman Hua Huynh sprang into action. He led the customer to a case of Aquatimers, the Swiss brand's line of self-winding dive watches. "What's the damage?" asked the customer, pointing at one model. "The value is $5,800," replied Mr. Huynh. "Would you like to try it?" Hovering nearby, Jean-Marie Brucker winced. After the gentleman replied, "Nahh," and left, Mr. Brucker closed in on the salesman. Instead of asking a yes-or-no question, he chided, "next time, you say, 'I invite you to try the watch. Please take a seat.' " He pantomimed swiftly laying the watch on a suede-lined tray, leaving the customer no easy out. Mr. Brucker, a former Xerox salesman, is training IWC Schaffhausen's sales force to sell expensive watches in a recession. After years of double-digit sales growth, sales of Swiss watches have fallen off drastically. Watchmakers like IWC -- a 140-year-old company whose watches are considered collectors' items and generally cost between $3,000 and $300,000 -- are having to re-learn the old-fashioned art of salesmanship. The worst declines for Swiss watches are in the U.S., where sales fell 42% in May from a year earlier,
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Ch20 Article 2 - Style On Style How to Sell a $35,000 Watch...

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