Columnists Brad Huisken Selling jewelry in the current economy

Selling jewelry in the current economy

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No longer can a jewelry retailer sit back and wait for customers to come to them. A jewelry store owner can’t just build the ivory palace and hope for customers to come into the store. Sometimes they aren’t coming. Savvy jewelry retailers have to go out and get customers. As a jewelry store owner I would want to take a look at every advertising dollar that I spent and make sure that I am getting a sizable return on the investment. The owner of the store, or the marketing people, have to create selling opportunities.

From a statistical perspective, I would want to know if I need to advertise more, advertise more effectively, and run more promotions or special events. Do I have customers coming into the store and does my sales staff need to do a better job of selling them? Has my average sale decreased and if so, why has it decreased? Are my salespeople selling additional items and bumping up the sales that they are making? Bottom line, most jewelry stores need to do a better job in all areas.

My area of expertise isn’t in advertising and marketing. I know that advertising and marketing have one purpose – to bring customers through the door. My area of expertise is when the customers come in, what the sales staff does with them. A salesperson’s job, quite simply, is to convert traffic into sales. However, today a salesperson can’t just sit back and wait for customers to come through the door. They have to do their fair share to create traffic within the store as well. In other words, the salespeople have to make something happen too.

This month I thought I would detail my top ten ways that a salesperson can increase their personal sales.  There are three basic concepts to increasing sales from the standpoint of a salesperson. 1) Get more people to come into the store 2) Sell more of the people that are already coming into the store – increasing your closing ratio and 3) Sell more to the people that you are already selling. Each of these top ten ways to increase sales is geared toward these three concepts.

1) Make a telephone call to your existing customers with a customer benefited reason for the call. For example, new merchandise arrivals, special events, promotions, holidays, change in seasons, remodeling of the home, etc.  The secret to a successful telephone program is to get the customer to ask you to call them.  Therefore, throughout the course of the year you need to make sure you are capturing contact information with permission for follow-up.  For example: “Our buyers are going on a buying trip next month. Would you like me to call you when I know what new merchandise we will have coming in?”

2) Ask every customer for a referral or a recommendation. I know that people that buy jewelry tend to hang out with people that may be in the market for new jewelry. Who else do you know that may need new jewelry this season? Who else do you know that may be interested in fine jewelry?  Would you mind giving them one of my business cards? I would love to meet them as well.

3) Carry and pass out business cards to people that you come in contact with in your personal life. Bank tellers, waiters and waitresses, post office employees, etc.  You may encounter hundreds of potential jewelry buyers in the next few weeks or months.  Everyone is potentially a customer. The more people that know that you are in the jewelry business, the more potential customers you may have.

4) Network within your community. Join the Chamber of Commerce, Red Cross, civic clubs and organizations, church groups etc.  Not from the standpoint of actually selling to anyone.  But I know that the more people you encounter, the more potential customers you will have. My Dad always told me if you are going to be successful you have to get out there and meet the people. Shake hands, kiss babies, get involved in your community and as many various networking opportunities as you possibly can.

5) Contact your friends and relatives about special events going on in their lives.  Friends and relatives are a great source of potential customers and people that might just refer their friends to you.  Don’t forget the people that you come in contact with on a personal level.

6) Ask every customer at least two add-on questions. For example: What other special events do you have coming up? When is your anniversary? Who do you know the may be interested in new jewelry soon? 

7) Attempt to sell every customer higher quality merchandise through increasing their perception of value.  The easiest way to bump up a sale is through increasing the customer perception of value in the higher priced and higher quality goods. Everyone wants items that will last well into the future. Through selling higher quality goods you are actually providing a great customer service.

8) Attempt to convert every service or repair customer into a jewelry buyer. Ask every service and repair customer questions to get them involved in looking at jewelry.  As long as the customer is in your store for a repair, you might just as well ask them to look at merchandise or determine any current jewelry needs.

9) Sell based on the emotional reason that customers buy, not just the technical.  In this way, you are developing personal trade customers that feel that you are their friend in the jewelry business. Jewelry is very personal, it represents love, commitment, a celebration, etc. Share in the excitement of the emotional reasons behind the purchase and the likelihood of developing a friendship, not just a customer, is far greater.

10) Turnover sales that you cannot complete to another salesperson and give them a chance to complete the sale. The reasons that people don’t buy are as numerous as the reasons that people do buy!  Just because the customer didn’t like anything that you have shown them doesn’t mean that they may not like something another salesperson shows them.  They could even buy the same piece you were showing, they just liked the next person more. If you look at your very best customer, and think about everything that you know about that human being, I would guess you know their name, spouse’s name, where they live, where they work, how many children they have and their names, as well as knowing the name of their pet. Then think about the customer you didn’t sell. What do you know about that person? Probably not much, it all comes down to your ability to befriend another human being. If you can’t befriend that human being, then give somebody else a shot at it. I know that half of something is far better than all of nothing.

Good luck and work every minute of everyday to increase your personal sales and productivity. Don’t fall into the sea of mediocrity that I see so many salespeople fall into. You really can and do make a difference in the success of your organization.  A salesperson is one that causes the exchange of ownership of a product or service based on the wants and needs of the customer, with integrity!

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training.  Mr. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and  produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it visit his website at www.iastraining.com.

 
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