Lest ye think I am about to launch into a biblical sermon, let me say that the above quote from the Bible is very applicable to business in every sense. Perhaps you are like me and have discovered that jewelry sales are not always so rosy. Every day is not a barn burner in our business, but a lot of those days would produce much better sales if we simply asked for them!
OK, I can feel you already becoming cynical on me, but before you do that, let me tell you a short story about a jeweler I know...
Many years ago, this jeweler and his wife had struggled to build a respectable business, but then the recession of 2001 hit. Day to day life certainly changed for this jeweler. The folks that visited their store on a regular basis suddenly stopped coming in. All around them, customers and friends who had shopped with them for so long, all of the sudden started losing their jobs and could no longer afford to buy fine jewelry.
This couple continued to trudge on bravely and fight the good fight, but business kept getting worse. The techniques the jeweler had learned back in the “Glory days of the 1980s” were no longer working and no longer produced the sales and traffic flow the store needed to survive.
Amazingly, this jeweler came to the realization that their complete business approach would have to change or they would soon go the way of the textile mills and furniture plants that were closing up around them.
This jeweler’s hero had always been Zig Ziglar and he remembered something this wise motivational teacher had once said. Zig said that he grew up during the middle of the great depression, but even during those tough times, he’d always noticed that many folks still drove nice cars, shopped in local stores and were even members of their local country club. How could this be, he thought?
Then, out the blue, these words came into this jeweler’s head... “You Have Not Because You Ask Not!” It took a while for these words to truly sink in, but the revelation of the meaning behind the words hit like a lightning bolt!
What is the meaning, you might ask. Simple, “You Have No Jewelry Sales Because You Don’t Ask For Them!” This isn’t mumbo jumbo my friends... think about it for a minute and let me prompt your thinking by asking you:
- When was the last time you let your customers know about a special new line you were now offering? Better yet, did you ask them to stop by, and by doing so, offer them a special discount just for making a purchase from this new line?
- If you don’t have something new, did you ask your customers to pay you a visit and offer them a special price, dollar amount off, FREE gift, etc. of items you’ve had for a while? (David Geller affectionately calls these jewelry items your old friends)
- Did you remember to ask your clients to stop by on their birthday & anniversary to receive a special $25 gift certificate for them to spend on their special day? (You do keep track of birthdays and anniversaries don’t you?)
- When did you last invite your clients for a visit either by newspaper ad, direct mail, e-mail or a phone call and let them know you’re having a special “Customer Appreciation Event” just for them?
- Do you ever offer a FREE gift to your clients just for coming in during certain hours of the day, and having certain special items set aside for this time only?
Perhaps, as you read these words, you’ve come to understand what this jeweler meant when he acted upon the words, “You have not because you ask not.” So many are sitting idle in their stores while competitor’s are gobbling up the market share of those customers who can and will buy, no matter what the economy is doing, as implied by Zig Ziglar.
As you begin to make special offers and invite clients in for special events, you’ll discover that there is business to be had out there and it simply goes to the one who most effectively asks for it.
Who was that jeweler I referred to earlier? Why it was yours truly, and my lovely wife Angie. Over the course of those difficult years and in the current economy, we grew our business by over 100% simply because we loved our customers and we repeatedly asked for the honor of their business with value added products, offers and benefits. If we can do it - so can you!
Before I end this article, I wish to say, Thank You to the Virginia Jewelers Association for inviting me to speak at their Convention recently. We had lots of fun during my “How To Cook With Gas, Take No Prisoners and Build A Winning Jewelry Store” seminar. Virginia Jewelers certainly do “Cook With Gas!”