Roundtable: How to Sell Luxury Goods in a Down Economy
Recently, CustomRetailer had the opportunity to speak with several leading executives, covering a wide range of custom electronics categories, on the not-so-simple topic of selling high-end custom electronics in today’s market.
The following comments and suggestions on up-selling in a tough economy are from Pete Baker, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Remote Technologies, Inc.; Mike “Sparky” Detmer, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Niles Audio; Bill Johannesen, Director of Sales and Marketing, CodexNovus; and Manfred Freiberger, Senior Account Executive, dnp USA.
CR: With potential customers seemingly reluctant to make investments in luxury goods, what would you consider to be the single most important technique for selling higher-end products in today’s market?
Detmer: First, you must understand what luxury goods are and what customers value most. Luxury goods are defined by Master Card as those goods and services that make up the top 1percent in prices. That being said, it is important to understand that when selling custom-installed audio video equipment one must segment the market and take a share from other luxury items, such as jewelry, travel, new cars, etc. You do this by framing a salient value proposition that resonates with these homeowners. It could be something like this: “As opposed to other luxury items, a custom-installed A/V system gives you something to relax with at home; something to enjoy when you entertain; and something the kids would rather use than going out.” But the ultimate way is through third-party referrals. The power of a customer recommendation should never be doubted.
Johannesen: Micro-targeting and personalization. Business is down, it’s not gone. Customers for your products are out there, they are just in smaller numbers and harder to find. The “Get-out-the-vote” activity from the recent presidential election has driven the science of targeting customers by both demographic and behavioral data to a new usable reality. This allows sniper-like targeting of pre-qualified prospects with extremely relevant, personalized e-mail and direct-mail marketing messages; driving them to your web site for engaging, benefit-oriented messaging with an invitation toward competent, authorized local dealers.