Outrageous false claim? Blatant lie? Of course! But, if you’ve spent any time at all behind a jewelry counter, it’s probably not the most ridiculous thing you’ve heard recently.
I was waiting to take my friend Rob out for lunch to celebrate his new boat (it seems some jewelers are still continuing to do very well) and to wrangle an invitation for a ride over the week-end. As I waited, I leaned in to listen to his sales manager Chloe deal with a customer.
The customer was saying she saw a diamond eternity band, 3 1/2 carat total weight of 10 pointers, all G color, all VS quality, and all the stones were GIA certified, and it was less than half the price of what Chloe was offering her.
Chloe looked at me and rolled her eyes. I gave her the universal sign for “Ugh, what can you do?”. Chloe than started to explain to the customer that a diamond eternity band with 10 pointers would most likely weigh 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 carat total, not 3 1/2 carat, that the GIA doesn’t certify 10 pointers, and maybe she has some of her information confused?
Just then Rob bounded out of his office and we headed off for lunch. As we sat down, I brought him up to date on Chloe and her customer, and asked him how he thought it might play out.
“Years ago,” he began, “experts were saying that showrooming was going to kill the retail jewelry industry. Showrooming is the tactic in which shoppers visit traditional brick and mortar retailers to see and feel the actual pieces, but then leave to buy them online for less.”
We paused to order, and Rob picked up where he left off. “I saw it happen at my store and I made it my top priority to combat it. I now dare my customers to showroom me. Sure, the Internet’s share of business will continue to grow, but if my customers don’t feel they are getting killed on the price, we’ll convince them that there are many more benefits from buying from us than buying online.”
I was beginning to see how Rob was able to swing that new boat. “We’re able to offer brands and pieces that don’t show up all over the Internet. We offer things like service after the sale that online retailers can’t offer. And, we have highly trained and motivated sales people who can educate consumers, guide them in their decision making, dissect Internet offers, and show customers how much more value our pieces provide.”
“And,” I threw in, “People are finally learning that not everything is as advertised on the web, or even at that new place across town!”
Back at the store, Chloe had wrapped up the sale, and I got an invitation for a Sunday boat ride. Success all around!
The 24 Karat Club can’t promise that the scholarships we offer will provide you with the success you’ll need to buy a boat. But, if you or your sales team could benefit from the training it takes to combat the many outrageous and false claims coming at us from every angle, then ask your favorite 24 Karat Club member about our scholarship opportunities. And, perhaps soon enough, you too will be confident enough to dare your customers to showroom you as well.
From all of us at The 24 Karat Club, we look forward to seeing you at the SJTA Atlanta Show, and feel free to share with any one of us the most outrageous claim you’ve had to deal with. Even if its only that you could lose 10 pounds a month reading this column.
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 Howard@FingerMate.com.