Watch Sales Academy : Acquiring the competence to highlight time

President of Tissot, vice-chairman of the Association des fabricants et détaillants en horlogerie, marché suisse (AMS – association of watch producers and retailers, Swiss market), but above all President of the Baselworld Swiss Exhibitors Committee, François Thiébaud is a discerning watch industry connoisseur. He was the driving force behind the creation of the Watch Sales Academy, an institution that trains watchmaking sales advisers via a Federal certificate for watchmaking sales assistants.

Today, having awarded almost 150 such federal certificates, François Thiébaud also speaks as the head of a major brand in highlighting the skills he expects from staff responsible for selling watches. “Whatever the economic climate, and even more so when times are tough, sales personnel must be the ambassadors of the brand that interests the purchaser. To achieve this, the sales assistant absolutely must succeed in creating a trust-based relationship with the customer : it is not about unfurling the brand banner using commonplace arguments, but instead about taking people on a journey through history, technical expertise, creativity and design. These are the elements that enable the potential purchaser to truly enter into the watchmaking world.

It is thus crucial that sales personnel should win over the customer and earning a federal certificate can help them learn exactly how to use the opportunities that arise. But above all, the sales assistant must get customers to understand that by wearing a Swiss watch, they are joining all the other ambassadors of Swiss brands. This is an important source of added value. Finally, if the sales assistant has done their job well, he or she will have helped customers develop strong ties with their timepiece that will constantly remind them of special moments in their existence. Their watch thus truly becomes part of their life.

Today, being well-trained in the profession of sales adviser is an indispensable asset and that is why training is a must. This wish is notably expressed by brands that are increasingly demanding that the manager of a multibrand retailer as well as the associate manager should hold a federal watch sales certificate. Those in charge of retail stores must grasp the fact that only thus will sales staff play their intended role as standard-bearers for Swiss expertise !”

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