Columnists Brad Huisken Keep your eye on the target

Keep your eye on the target

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It has been written and stated thousands of times that as much as 70% to 80% of a retail store’s sales volume comes from 20% to 30% of its customer base.  I absolutely believe this to be true.  What you don’t hear very often is that you are probably losing 25% – 30% of your customer base on an annual basis.

Where is your customer base going?  They may move to another community, maybe they have had a change in economic conditions and are no longer purchasing jewelry, maybe they have gone to your competition, maybe they have reached an age where they are no longer buying jewelry – they are giving it away, or it could be that they have passed away. My point is that you are losing a tremendous number of your customers weekly, monthly and annually.

In order to just break even you have to have increased your customer base by a minimum of 25% - 30%.  Increasing your customer base is no easy task, especially in today’s economic conditions.  Therefore, it is essential that you look at each and every customer, or potential customer, as an opportunity, to not only make a sale, but also, more importantly, to make a friend.

Everybody still wants their “buddy” in the business, people want to buy from, and do business with, their friends.  It is apparent that the customer doesn’t have a “buddy” in the jewelry business.  Because if they did they would be shopping in that person’s store rather than yours.  I have said for years that when a customer comes into a jewelry store, they are not looking for jewelry - they are looking for a place and a person from whom to buy the jewelry.

Too often salespeople believe that the goal when a customer walks in is to make a sale.  Yes, I want to make a sale as well.  However, I know that if I make a friend, the likelihood of making a sale both now and in the future has increased dramatically.

So the question is, how do you make friends with your customers?  First and foremost, especially in the jewelry business, focus on the emotional reason “why” the customer is buying.  99% of all purchases made in a jewelry store are to satisfy some emotional need.  Share in the event or occasion, develop a conversation about the event or occasion, and genuinely care about this special event happening in their lives.  After all, you are not just selling jewelry; you are helping people to celebrate the special moments in their lives.

Secondly, capture the customer’s name, address, phone numbers, e-mail address, and most importantly – permission for follow-up.  Get the customer to ask you to call them for their next special occasion, and then when you call, relate something personal.  Then and only then, will the customer think of you as their friend in the business.

In retail jewelry, we can no longer be satisfied with salespeople that make sales.  We need salespeople making friends and lifelong customers!

Visit www.iastraining.com to subscribe to Brad Huisken’s free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight”, or for any of his training programs. To contact IAS Training directly call 800-248-7703 or fax 303-936-9581.
 
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