Columnists Ivan Levi Are you still a jeweler?

Are you still a jeweler?

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I have an important question to ask you - one that could change the direction of your business and affect your income considerably this year. The answer is not as simple as it might seem at first.

"Are you still a jeweler?"

I ask this question to jewelers across the country in my sales training seminars and the immediate response is, "Of course we are, Ivan!"

But when I define the term ‘jeweler' to owners and sales associates I start getting different answers.

Let's start by defining a jeweler. A jeweler is a merchant that deals primarily in high-end precious stones and timepieces, along with superior customer service that is second to none.

Do you fit in that definition?

Many jewelry establishments used to fit that description, but have changed their direction considerably. They used to sell high-end pieces, but now feel that non-precious items are more profitable, possibly due to our current economic market. But I want to challenge that thinking.

I am always surprised when I walk into a jewelry store and the ‘WOW' jewelry section is no longer the focus of the store. In fact, I am shocked to see that much of what is featured is not valued enough to put into the safe at night. Is this the definition of a successful jeweler?

I understand that the moderately priced items often pay the bills, and I fully realize they have a place in our stores - but I want to encourage you to become familiar again with the higher-end lines. Start by implementing the following strategies in your store. The results will surprise you!

  1. Role play selling high-end items at office meetings! As most of you know, I believe in being thankful for all sales - both large and small. But that doesn't mean that we should forget how to sell the big-ticket pieces. Many sales professionals have forgotten how to plant the seeds for future sales - often conditioned to sell the "economy" lines instead of fine jewelry. At your next sales meeting have your sales associates:
    • Practice saying the lines, "Before you go, I want to show you one of the most beautiful necklaces in our store!" Plant the seeds of future sales!
    • Practice saying the higher prices out loud! It's amazing how we gravitate toward what we feel comfortable with - and that comfort is detected in our voices even when we state the price of a piece of jewelry. So practice saying the price! "This gorgeous piece is $15,500. Where do you see yourself wearing it?" Or aim for the moon and say, "$25,000 to 50,000!"
  2. Contact past clients that have purchased high-end jewelry. When was the last time you contacted your "A-List" clients? I suggest talking to them at least once per quarter to keep you on their radar screen. The reason for calling could be a free appraisal, complimentary jewelry cleaning, or to let them know you have a new line or a piece of jewelry that they would love. Value your past clients and they will return the favor.
  3. Remember to honor the "Fine Jewelry" that many of you have placed on your company name or letterhead. At one time only Kings and other royalty could acquire what we sell today. And even in our current economic environment there are still people purchasing high-end merchandise. Don't forget about them. Remind yourself daily that you are the resource for beautiful things - both moderately priced and luxury items. Never lose sight of selling in the upper range - all it takes is reminding yourself and your staff to show the "dream items" to all that walk through your door.
Dust off high-end thinking and start planting the seeds of selling high-end jewelry by implementing the three strategies listed above. Of course you can still sell moderately priced pieces, but remember to include your ‘WOW' line also. That will ensure that you are still the Jeweler that you originally wanted to be!



Ivan Levi is celebrating his 26th year in the jewelry industry. He is president of Ivan Alan Jewels® and Ivan Alan SolutionsTM. His dynamic sales training seminars are attended throughout the country at trade shows and in-store meetings. To contact Ivan for seminar information, call 800-235-1918.
 
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