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Exclusive! Have 25 Minutes? Doug Gollan Has 23 Ways To Help You Increase Sales Opportunities |  September 24, 2014 (0 comments)


New York, NY—23 Ways To Create More Sales Opportunities in 25 Minutes is a new book that taps the 25 years’ worth of sales and revenue expertise of Doug Gollan, Elite Traveler Media Group co-founder and group president. In it, he shares the key actionable tips he learned in his journey from novice to top executive with responsibility for growing significant ad revenue. In an exclusive interview with The Centurion Newsletter, he gives a preview of some of his best selling strategies for both wholesale and retail sales. 

After starting as a journalist in the late 1980s, Gollan moved into advertising sales to earn more money. In 18 months he increased his territory by 500% and quickly earned a promotion to advertising director. Under his leadership, the magazine he worked for at the time moved from seventh in its market category to one of the top 10 magazines in the world as ranked by Advertising Age.

In 2001 he became one of the founders of Elite Traveler, popular in the jewelry and watch categories because of its distribution to wealthy consumers on private jets.

Key leaders in the luxury market, from LVMH to Ritz Carlton Hotels, have praised his new book. Jean-Claude Biver, who heads LVMH’s timepiece division, wrote in the foreword of 23 Ways, “Next to all the numerous, sophisticated theories and concepts in today’s world, we are in urgent need of practical experience and advice. Doug’s book based on his experience provides practical insight that is so rare nowadays. If you want straightforward tips, strategies and advice to sell more, this book is made for you.” 

Gollan's book is what the title says: a short read of 23 actionable tips presented as chapters, and he says the entire book can be finished in one session on the treadmill, a short flight, or over your morning coffee.

“At first I wanted to make this into a longer book as people equate girth with value,” he says. “However, the more time I spent on this project I realized that distilling my experience into 23 short and to the point ‘chapters’ is the most effective way I can share my knowledge with you.”

23 Ways is available through Amazon and can be read on Kindle or any free Kindle app for $4.99.

Here is what Gollan told The Centurion Newsletter about successful selling:

The Centurion Newsletter: Your book is one of the few that focuses on B2B sales tactics. How can a luxury
jeweler apply these tips in a B2C sales environment?

Doug Gollan: Many of the tips simply will help any salesperson increase their value to their customers. Buying jewelry is about trust and relationship. One chapter discusses being a source of relevant information that is important to your customer, but may have nothing to do with selling jewelry. For example, you have a customer who makes widgets. You're on vacation and you read in the local paper that the government of where you happen to be is offering subsidies for anyone who opens a widget factory. Send your favorite widget maker this information. Chances are he or she may not have heard about it, and even if he or she doesn't act on it, you are no longer somebody whose only interest is in sell him or her jewelry. 

The Centurion: Apart from price, what is the most significant difference in selling a luxury product vs. a non-luxury product?

Gollan: For small and medium sized business I would say very little. A neighborhood deli or your local electrician won't be successful if they don't have great people providing great service. Obviously when you are selling fine jewelry and luxury timepieces, trust the relationship will get more scrutiny and therefore the salesperson needs to work harder in setting themselves apart from the competition.

The Centurion: How can jewelers cultivate future customers who may not have
the income for a luxury purchase now, but who fit the psychographic of a
 luxury customer?

Gollan: The latest research from Unity Marketing shows aspirational consumers are looking for simplicity and are more focused than ever on savings rather than spending. This means building a relationship beyond simply selling the prospect a bracelet is more important than ever. There is nothing worse for a consumer than being pushed into buying something that financially they are not comfortable with. You might get one low priced sale, but you can be sure that customer won't return.

The Centurion: Is today's luxury customer more likely to have grown up with at least some affluence and luxury, or
a first-generation affluent who needs to "learn" about luxury?

Gollan: Various research shows up to 90% Ultra High Net Worth consumers—those with a net worth of at least $30 million—are self made, with many of these consumers coming from lower- and middle-income households. In other words, mom may not have had a collection of fine jewelry, she may have been a teacher, and dad more likely worked at the factory, so he wasn't going to the country club on the weekends. This may mean the people with the most amount of money may be relatively new buyers when it comes to high-end jewelry and timepieces. Consumers are able to do large amounts of research online. However, if you Google ‘what shape of diamond is the most expensive' you get over 2 million results. Sharpen your probing skills to find out if the customer has questions or needs to tap into your knowledge. Become a consultant and advisor by understanding their questions and needs.

The Centurion: Can a salesperson whose annual salary is lower than the price tag of what he or she is selling truly relate to
people who can afford to buy the product?

Gollan: This is simple. Put it in perspective. When they buy a $25,000 bracelet from you it's like when you go to Starbucks to buy a latte. Don't get intimidated. The super rich are people too. The most successful salespeople are able to develop a mutually beneficial relationship. Think about my widgets example. That is what 23 Ways to Create More Sales Opportunities in 25 Minutes is about.

The Centurion: In your observation, what do luxury jewelers do really, really well in
selling to the affluent?

Gollan: When I look at some of the most successful luxury jewelers, I see how deeply they are involved in their community. Remember that with the UHNW consumer they have very deep pockets. You won't be able to stop them from shopping when they go to New York or Paris, but by building strong personal and community relationships, you can capture a larger share of wallet.

The Centurion: Is there any one thing that jewelers often get wrong in sales strategies? And if so, what's the best way to improve it?

Gollan: Sometimes there is a perception, 'I already know all the rich people in my area.' Elite Traveler has a database of private jet owners, and whenever we do a merge-purge for a joint marketing promotion, it is rare that there is even a 10% match. What that means is just in your local footprint, it is probably possible to increase the number of 'top customers' by 1000%.

The Centurion: So much has been written about the shift from conspicuous to inconspicuous consumption. What does that mean for merchandising, or
even for the jewelry category as a whole?

Gollan: The problem with anecdotal examples is they are anecdotal. For the most part, UHNW consumption has never been conspicuous. In some cases it gets publicized, but that is for the most part not intentional. What I would say is UHNW consumers behave differently depending on where they are going and whom they are with. While they may own exotic cars, go to a private jet terminal and the parking lot is filled with mid-level luxury cars. On the weekends when they are with friends, out comes to Ferrari or Lamborghini. From a jewelry perspective, the high jewelry customer is also somebody who buys in the $500 to $10,000 price range ongoing, accessorizing with new outfits, or out shopping with friends and family. It's the mother who buys a new $2,500 bracelet and $2,000 earrings and then buys her daughter and daughter's best friend $750 earrings. Boom! $6,000. But for the aspirational consumer, that's the choice between fixing the deck and an anniversary present. 

The Centurion: Tell us about the B2B focus of your book.

Gollan: I absolutely recommend it for manufactures and designers. It is a literal road map to increasing wholesale business.

The Centurion: For the B2B designer and manufacturer reading your book, what are the first tips they should focus on doing?

Gollan: The most important tip is to remember it's often the little things that make a difference. 23 Ways is all about giving you a game plan of the little things that will give you an edge when all else is equal.

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