Selling to The New Elite

Discover the Secret to Winning Over Your Wealthiest Prospects

 Selling to The New Elite

Authors: James Taylor, Stephen Kraus, Doug Harrison
Pub Date: February 2011
Print Edition: $21.95
Print ISBN: 9780814434772
Page Count: 272
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814416549

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Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

We have focused much of our work in the past five years on

understanding wealthy individuals and luxury markets. We

have worked with companies such as Mercedes-Benz,

American Express, Cartier, Neiman Marcus, and many others.

In other words, we have worked with companies for

which luxury is not a preoccupation, but a passion. The same

search for extraordinary quality also defines our clients who

are not “luxury” providers, but are still exemplars of excellence

in their categories—companies such as Microsoft,

Coca-Cola, and Vitamix.

It is in passion, and with passion, that we find the

greatest opportunity to sell.

We know how hard the last four years have been. Many

have called it the Great Recession, with good reason, as it has

already been far longer and more severe than any economic

downturn since the Great Depression. Government economists

tell us it began in December 2007, but our research

identified spending cutbacks and an “emotional recession” as

early as mid-2006. As of the writing of this book in

September 2010, our research still suggests challenging times

ahead for sales professionals. Despite the government’s assertion

that the recession ended in June 2009, over 90 percent of

the affluent believe the recession still continues today, and

over 60 percent expect it to continue for more than a year—

attitudes that can easily become self-fulfilling prophecies.

Most have reduced their spending. “I’ll buy whatever I want”

has been replaced with “Let’s buy only what we need.” The

process has made them feel smart, not deprived, and most

expect to continue their newfound frugality and valueorientation

when and if the economy improves. The unfortunate

bottom line: Today’s economic challenges are unlikely to

resolve themselves easily, deeply, or soon.

We know it has been hard to make your numbers.

Challenge, as always, creates opportunities. The desire to

acquire runs deep in the human species, and despite their

heightened value-orientation, the affluent continue to shop,

particularly in categories they are passionate about.

Moreover, excellence is still valued. Despite the economy,

the affluent have been reluctant to trade down—their expecta-

tions about and desires for quality, craftsmanship, and service

have not diminished. Meanwhile, their expectations that

purchases be thoughtful and meaningful have risen.

This is a book about how to sell,

in these tough times, the very best things.

We wrote this book primarily for those engaged in faceto-

face selling of high-end products and services to financially

successful individuals. But it is also of interest to those

more tangentially related to that core mission, such as:

• Those who sell to the 90 percent who aren’t affluent.

• Those who sell nonluxury products.

• Sales managers whose charge is to hire, grow, and

retain top sales professionals.

• Advertising, marketing, and branding executives who

try to build customer relationships “from afar”—

through traditional and social media, through the

products they create, through the brands they develop,

through the retail experiences they design, through

the corporate culture they build, and through the sales

approach they instill directly and indirectly via hundreds

of management decisions daily.

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