News and Views from the 24 Karat Club Southeastern U.S.
I love watching talented retail jewelers work the counter. I went up to Palm Beach the other day to have lunch with my friend Randy. She has a beautiful boutique in the fancy part of town and caters to the up-scale crowd. When I got there, she was already well into her presentation with a customer, so I parked myself out of the way, but close enough to listen in.
It seems the customer was back a second time to look at an expensive stone he was considering. His objection wasn't the hefty price of the stone, or in fact, anything about the stone. His concern was more about the economy. "How can I spend this kind of money on a stone when the stock market is this volatile? Just the other day it was down over 300 points! I'm just not sure this is the best time to sink a lot of money into something like this" he said handing back the stone.
Randy gave me a smile and a wink. She had him just where she wanted. "I know exactly how you feel" she started. "I have money in the market, too!".
"But, if you bring this ring home for her today, she will look at it everyday and smile regardless of how much the market is down! And, you'll be diversifying out of stocks and into something that will be cherished for years and passed down from generation to generation. Plus, who knows how much this stone could be worth in the years ahead! The important thing is, the stone will pay dividends every day that she wears it. It will be the happiest investment you ever make!".
A few minutes later, the paper work was done and the customer was out the door feeling good about himself and his purchase. I complimented Randy on her text book closing by over-coming the customer's objections.
Then Randy let me in on a little secret. She keeps the latest stock market information up on her computer screen all the time. On those days that the market is flying, and she has a customer mulling over a big purchase, she'll innocently ask, "Do you follow the market?". In this part of town the answer is always, "Of course, why?". She'll reply, "I hear its up big today! Why not lock in some profits and put it towards something tangible you both will enjoy?". So, whether the stock market is up or down, Randy can spin it in her close to her advantage.
Implementing a successful close is a technique that can be learned. To foster the development of skills and expertise, whether its learning to over come customer objections, or craft a piece by hand, The 24 Karat Club annually awards scholarships to those worthy individuals seeking to improve their talents. Ask your favorite vendors if they are a member of The 24 Karat Club, and see if you might qualify for a scholarship opportunity.
Howard Kelrick is President of Finger Mate and a board member of The 24 Karat Club. Finger Mate manufactures and installs expandable ring shanks and sells to retail jewelers throughout North America.