Columnists Bill Warren Are you fishing for whales or minnows?

Are you fishing for whales or minnows?

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A high profile bank robber was questioned after being captured about his life of crime.  The biggest question that the investigator wanted to know was, “Why did you always prefer to rob banks?”  To which the robber answered, “Simple. Because that’s where the money is!”  Most would agree that this was a very straightforward and true answer. 

So allow me to ask you a question... “If you, Mr. or Mrs. Jeweler, are so concerned about having an overall lower average ticket sale, why don’t you do like the bank robber and go where the money is?”  Hey, I’ve got to admit myself that I’m a long way from walking the walk and talking the talk, but at least I’m thinking about it and trying to make changes.... and so should you!

Have you found yourself trying to concentrate on the product lines that constitute a sale of $99 to $199 because it seemed that’s what customers are buying as of late?  I know I have and its a mind-set I need to break and perhaps you do to!

So how do you break out of the habit of low ticket items?  Perhaps one way would be to do as Shane Decker instructs and that’s simply to show more 1 carat or bigger diamonds to each and every customer who walks in your door.  Another way might be to “add-on” or “bump up” each sale you make by selling companion items or special offers once they reach the cash register.

Certainly one method that has worked well in my store is to market to the Top 20% of my clients, or in other words, the folks less affected by the downturn in business in our country.  We regularly send this important list of clients gift cards or notices of private sales and they get first pick of new merchandise/lines that we get in.  On average, they hear from our store about 6 to 8 times per year.

One jeweler recently shared a great idea with me.  He said that each month he picked one or two of his better clients and took them to dinner at a nice restaurant.  The only caveat was that he would ask these clients to bring along a few of their friends so he could meet them (notice I said meet them, not try to high pressure sell them).  This was pretty smart in my opinion because his better clients also had friends much like them who were affluent and well able to purchase nicer fine jewelry.  Later on he relates, his store became the talk of the town for doing this and other clients would start asking them when he was going to take them out... I love it!

Probably each of us would like to see higher ticket sales in our stores and I’m sure many of you have ideas that are working for you.  I’d be interested to hear them and I’ll bet our readership would love to hear them as well.  If you would be willing to share your idea, how about e-mailing it to me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , and perhaps I can share it in one of my future columns.


Bill Warren is president of The Gold Mine Fine Jewelry & Gifts, Inc., a successful jewelry store in the Hudson, NC.  He recently formed Warren Marketing Systems, a company dedicated to helping small to medium size jewelers achieve success through innovative marketing.  He regularly speaks at jewelry shows and conventions and also is a member of the Marketing Wizards Alliance.  If you would like to receive more money making ideas like those in this article, consider subscribing to the Marketing Wizards Alliance Newsletter. To do so or to contact Bill, call 828-729-1020 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
 
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