Columnists Mia Katrin Do you know your customers?

Do you know your customers?

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They’re the life-blood of your business. Fulfilling their wishes, inspiring repeat sales, expanding your client base - the more you do this, the more successful you’ll be. But how well do you know your customers?

Click into their needs, wants and dreams and they’ll keep coming back for more. A young couple seeks romance. Entice them with the perfect ring to tell their story. A sophisticated client wants to project elegance and discernment. Captivate her with a latest designer original. A daughter seeks a gift for her mother. Charm her with a personalized locket or memento with sentimental value. As you delve into what makes your clients tick you may be able to suggest pieces that tap into deep wishes they’re not even fully aware of themselves. You can help create and shape their desires.

Listen and connect. Go the extra mile. Show customers newly arrived pieces and ask which they like best and why. Facebook and blogs set up a dialog, a forum for invaluable feedback. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes. Ask what would I want if I were a customer?

Key motives to tap into:

Tried and true. Clients want someone they know and trust. Loyal customers are repeat customers. You have a major advantage over Internet and big box stores. Impress customers with your expertise, your integrity, your reliability, your willingness to go the extra mile. Once you’ve gained their trust you’ve gained an invaluable asset.

• The comfort zone. How inviting is your store? Is it free of clutter and well-organized? A warm, inviting atmosphere and friendly staff go a long way. Too much formality may be intimidating. Is it a place you’d like to drop by if you were a customer, just to see what’s new and chat? Offer refreshments and comfortable seating, attractive décor, perhaps pleasing background music. Special parties and events make shopping fun!

• Reach out and touch someone. Keep a list of birthdays and anniversaries with wish lists of favorite pieces. Know customers’ jewelry wardrobes and suggest additions to complement them. Send birthday and holiday cards and thank you notes after major purchases. Call when a special new piece comes in that suits a particular client. Feature “preferred client” events such as Trunk Shows. Consider loyalty incentives such as discounts or gifts. The personal touch shows you care.

• Inspiration. It’s new! It’s fresh! It’s hot! Showcase the latest trends and designers. Attract attention by frequently changing your inventory and displays. Become the “it” store in your area, the “go to” store for the newest and best, a destination for excitement and fun. Create a buzz!

Spreading happiness creates success. Expand your circle of clients. Make new friends. Deepen your connections with your loyal customer base, “keep the old.” As the saying goes, one is silver and the other’s gold.

Mia Katrin is an award-winning, internationally celebrated couture jewelry designer specializing in high-end necklaces with precious gems in 18-22 karat gold as well as the new affordably priced Jewel Casual Collection. Her Collections, which have been worn by A-List Hollywood celebrities, are featured in many top galleries and stores throughout the country, where she regularly hosts Trunk Shows. Contact Mia via her website, http://jeweljewel.com, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 1- 877 JEWEL-MY (539-3569).

 
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