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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How to Sell, in These Tough Times, the Very Best of Things

A Guide to Sustaining High-End Sales Success from the Acclaimed Authors of The New Elite

For five years’s Harrison Group and American Express publishing have been conducting an annual, Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America. These studies have examined the lifestyles, spending patterns, purchase decision strategies and preferences ofhe roughly 11 million U.S. households with at least $100,000 in annual discretionary income. Nearly 90% of these families (as of December 2010) stillbelieve the Great Recession is with us. Over 60 percent expect it to stick around for another year or longer. Regardless of current economic facts or promising economic forecasts, such attitudes are driving a dramatic reduction in carefree spending. Overwhelmingly, America’s most financially successful have become more resourceful, more discriminating, more self-reliant and, more value-oriented. As consumers have become more driven by need, rather than want, and as new information channels have opened to consumers through the web and digital publishing, the role of the salesperson has been transformed.

Given these trends, how can anyone who specializes in high-end sales continue to make a living? Authors Jim Taylor, Stephen Kraus, and Doug Harrison believe the answer lies in one quality: passion. In their new book, SELLING TO THE NEW ELITE: Discover the Secret to Winning Over Your Wealthiest Prospects (AMACOM 2011) Taylor, Kraus, and Harrison reveal how passionate salespeople sell more effectively when they connect with the passion of affluent individuals and recognize the passion within an exquisite product or superlative service.

What characterizes a mutually satisfying interaction between buyers and sellers of top-of-the-line items, from $10,000 handbags to $10 million private jets? Drawing on their extensive studies of esteemed companies—Lexus, Chanel, Neiman Marcus, Four Seasons, Cartier, Hermés, and Louis Vuitton among them—and interviews with exceptionally successful salespeople, Taylor, Kraus, and Harrison provide fascinating, timely, and potentially rewarding answers.

Focusing on the mindsets on both sides of mutually satisfying sales interactions, SELLING TO THE NEW ELITE leads the way to profitably leveraging the passions inherent in a sales situation. Through illuminating surveys, case studies, and a series of thirteen exercises, readers will gain insights into their own passions, rethink the role of passion in their work, and learn how to:

* Go beyond knowing their own brand to understanding the rules and standards of sublime excellence in their category—the essence of luxury for a handbag, for example, or a hotel.

* Express their passion for their job with impeccable integrity to each prospective client.

* Forge a strong bond with elite customers through uncovering a shared appreciation or pursuit and mastering the art of modest self-disclosure.

* Sell to a prospect’s family as a team without overlooking the needs of each individual.

* Speak to an affluent prospect’s understated preferences and core middle-class sensibilities.

* Communicate a compelling brand promise, built on three core elements: truth, meaning, and distinctiveness.

* Ask passion-based questions that a prospect can’t resist—such as “Do you want to see something you can’t see anywhere else?”—in a natural and authentic way.

* Sell to the solid, rational sense of happiness on the rise among the affluent.

Expanding on the unprecedented research into America’s most influential consumer class that distinguished their first book, The New Elite, Taylor, Kraus, and Harrison offer more revelations plus proven techniques for sales professionals. Written, to quote the authors, for every “salesperson with a sincere love for what he or she does,” SELLING TO THE NEW ELITE is a unique guide to selling the very best of things in one of our country’s worst economic times—and prospering.


Jim Taylor and Doug Harrison are, respectively, vice chairman and founder of Harrison Group, a market research and strategy firm. Stephen Kraus is a former Vice President of Harrison Group, where he provided senior leadership to the company’s wealth consultancy. In addition to developing branding strategies for some of America’s top corporations, Harrison Group is internationally recognized for its annual study of the financially successful, Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America, produced in partnership with American Express Publishing. Taylor, Kraus, and Harrison are also coauthors of The New Elite: Inside the Minds of the Truly Wealthy (AMACOM; 2008). Taylor and Harrison both live in Westbury, Connecticut. Kraus makes his home in San Francisco, California.

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