Columnists Howard Kelrick 24 Karat Corner: News and Views from the 24 Karat Club Southeastern U.S.

24 Karat Corner: News and Views from the 24 Karat Club Southeastern U.S.


Because young women will want to hug and kiss you!

Scott is about my age, with two grown children, and a great wife, so imagine my surprise when I stopped by his store the other day, and saw a very attractive young woman kissing him and hugging the stuffing out of him right in the middle of his store!

I coughed loudly to gain his attention, and rather than the look of embarrassment I expected, Scott gave me the sign for “I have no idea who this is or why she is hugging me!”

So, as Scott separated himself from the clingy young lady, he brought me up to date, as far as he could.  Apparently, he had sold Maria’s boyfriend, now fiancee, an engagement ring last week.

“As I’m writing up the paper-work,” Scott began, “I asked the young man about his proposal plan.  He told me that he just plans to take her to South Beach for dinner and propose over dessert.  I asked where his and her parents will be at the time.  He said he hadn’t given it any thought, but why do you ask?”

“I explained that I was at dinner with a couple of friends a while ago, and they got a call from their daughter who lives in New York, that she had just become engaged.  So, while my friends were excited, they were also disappointed they couldn’t be there with their daughter to share in the excitement.  The rest of the night was very frustrating for them for all the reasons you could well imagine.  So, I made my kids, both of whom live out of town, promise that I could be nearby when they become engaged, and I was there for both of them, and they were two of the most memorable days of my life!

‘“Just something to think about,’ I told my young customer.  I wished him good luck and hoped he would call me when he was ready for the wedding bands.  So, apparently this is Maria, the young man’s fiancee, and that is as far as we got when the hugging started and you walked in!”

And, without missing a beat, Maria picked up the story: “Yes, my fiancee bought the ring here last week.  He also secretly arranged to fly my parents in from South America.  My parents don’t speak English, so he also arranged to have his parents, who had never even met my parents, meet them at the airport, pick them up, and drive with them to the restaurant, and hide in the bar until he proposed.  It was so perfect, everyone cried for hours!  I just came in to tell you how beautiful my ring is, and how special my proposal day was, and its all thanks to your suggestion!”  Maria then admired her ring for a moment, gave Scott another hug, said, “Thanks again for everything!” and headed out.

“What other business does that happen in?” Scott asked.  “For all the problems we face being retail jewelers, we do get to share in the happiest times and celebrations in our customer’s lives!”

Scott had just made himself a customer for life!  And, it had nothing to do with his price or selection.  He just wove himself into one of this couple’s most memorable days, and they’ll naturally think of him for their future celebrations.  He simply provided a little guidance, and connected on a personal level, all in an easy-going and natural way.  Just the type of thing that makes Scott an extraordinary salesperson and retail jeweler.

Scott developed this and his other great sales techniques in his thirty plus years behind the counter.  Wouldn’t you love to learn great sales methods, but not wait thirty years to do it?  Most local community colleges and many on-line schools offer courses in salesmanship, business development, and other related fields that can turn you into an extraordinary jewelry salesperson too!  If you’ve been doing this any length of time, you know all too well that the days of “these babies will sell themselves” are long gone.  Today’s successful salesperson is a professional with training that goes well beyond the four Cs.

The 24 Karat Club knows that the future of our industry is in the hands of those jewelry retailers willing to invest in their own professional development.  We offer a number of scholarships so that young jewelers can further their education and take themselves beyond being just clerks behind the counter, and become extraordinary retailers like Scott.  To find out how you can apply for one of our numerous scholarships, ask one of your 24 Karat Club member vendors for more information. 

How will you know when you’ve become an extraordinary salesperson?  When your customers want to hug and kiss you is a pretty good clue.

Howard Kelrick is President of Finger Mate and a  board member of The 24 Karat Club, SEUS.  Finger Mate manufactures and installs expandable ring shanks and sells to retail jewelers throughout North America. Contact Howard at 954-458-2700 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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