Selling Premium Goods

In a short pro­file of ‘lux­ury sales con­sult­ant’ Jean-Mar­ie Brück­er, we dis­cov­er a few psy­cho­lo­gic­al tech­niques he teaches to his cli­ents on how to sell high-end lux­ury goods:

  • Describe an item in terms of its ‘value’ rather than it’s ‘price’ or ‘cost’.
  • Sell a story (‘romance’ and ’emo­tions’) rather than ‘products’.
  • The macar­oon tech­nique: sand­wich­ing the price “between the pro­duct’s more romantic bene­fits”.
  • Har­bour and eli­cit pos­it­ive emotions–they sell (e.g. com­pli­ment your cus­tom­er on their exist­ing items, even if they’re from your com­pet­it­ors.
  • Don’t dis­count. Gift instead (dis­counts get for­got­ten, free gifts don’t).
  • Cre­ate con­trast between old, exist­ing items and new ones.
  • Sug­gest ‘sorry-gifts’ for those who may lay guilt on the pur­chas­ing party (e.g. their part­ner)

As ever with these things, I believe you could sum­mar­ise it as: play on and exploit a cus­tom­er­’s emo­tions (hap­pi­ness, guilt, etc.) while using subtle lin­guist­ic tricks to dis­guise the price.

These hap­pen to be key ten­ets of casino mar­ket­ing, which revolves around flat­ter­ing men, dis­tract­ing their wives, and keep­ing them around as long as pos­sible; the longer they stay, the more likely they are to spend money. But Mr. Brück­er was nev­er dis­dain­ful of customers—in fact, he cham­pioned the need for bet­ter, more thought­ful ser­vice that makes the cus­tom­er sense caring and qual­ity —the stuff of lux­ury.

“You’re selling pure emo­tion,” he said. “That’s why I love this job.”

1 thought on “Selling Premium Goods

  1. mike

    This sounds a lot like recruit­ing pro­spect­ive stu­dents (and their par­ents) for col­lege admis­sion to highly select­ive private uni­ver­sit­ies (in the US).

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