New shopping-the-competition service added to the company’s in-store sales training curriculum
Collected Concepts, a retail consulting company that offers social media management, sales training, and in-store event planning and promotions services for retail jewelers, has recently launched Shop & Share. The new shop-the-competition service is part on an add-on to Collected Concepts’ sales and management training curriculum, offering retail jewelers not only additional insights into their store’s sales prowess and online presence, but also that of the store’s direct competition.
Shop & Share got its start in early 2012 when company president Nick Failla was looking for ways to augment his company’s sales and management training curriculum. At the core of Collected Concepts’ training program is reconnecting a sales associate with the primary mission of helping customers find the perfect piece of jewelry to communicate a certain message. In addition to this innovative sales training approach, Failla also wanted to offer relevant and timely information on a jewelry store’s direct competitors in terms of sales performance, staff demeanor, and showroom condition as well as a store’s online presence (namely their main website and social media evaluations).
In early November, Shop & Share had a soft launch when Failla was the central speaker during a late fall retailer event with the Illinois Jewelers Association. During that time he mystery-shopped 14 member stores and reviewed each member’s main website and their Facebook page. His findings were shared during an evening dinner presentation on Monday, November 5.
“An overwhelming majority of retailers found the feedback to be incredibly helpful,” says Failla. “It was a comprehensive and objective assessment of the first impressions a store makes both in their retail stores and online with their website. Effectively competing in any market today means constantly assessing how customers are greeted, treated and sold to in both environments.”
Carl Giganti, owner of Giganti & Giganti Fine Jewelry, located in Springfield, IL, was part of the Illinois Jewelers Association’s Shop & Share presentation. “The Shop & Share information provided me with a list of haves and have-nots for our store,” says Giganti. “Customer service is all we [retail jewelers] have with increased competition. We needed to know our customer service strengths and weaknesses. Regarding our online presence, the Shop & Share feedback gave me good insights on how to increase our Facebook fan base and improve the functionality of our website. And, Nick not only gave helpful information specific to each store’s operations, he also shared general sales training, customer service and staffing tips, providing our group with a lot of information to work with.”
Heather Wahl, manager of R. C. Wahl Jewelers in Des Plaines, IL, also attended the event. “It was good to hear from an outsider’s perspective what we’re doing well and ways we can improve customer service and sales,” said Wahl. “We were part of the Shop & Share Association seminar in early November, which was good for us in terms of timing. Small behaviors we could quickly act on I think helped with holiday sales, such as working on better greeting of customers, getting the jewelry out of the case and into people’s hands, and changing the way in which some jewelry prices were displayed were key points brought on in Nick’s presentation. I found the Shop & Share seminar very helpful and beneficial. I’d do it again.”
Paul Holewa, Collected Concepts’ director of sales and marketing, added this: “Shop & Share takes sales and store management training to a new level by providing in-store training essentials along with breaking information on how a jewelry store owner is reaching existing and potential customers online. This is vitally important as social media websites, namely Facebook, has become the first real way to interact real-time with customers, and mobile device web browsing continues to grow exponentially.”