Let me share a critical success secret with you! Allow me to take a moment to pull back the curtain (or lift the hood of the engine) and tell you about my own background.
I’ve been in the jewelry business for nearly 40 years. At the beginning, I ran various operations, but for the last 30 years, my wife Angie and I have had our own store, located in the western mountains of North Carolina in a town with a population of 3,800 people. It’s a bit of a blue-collar town; it’s the idyllic “Mayberry” and we love it. We’ve built a seven-figure business here – no easy task! But as I’ve said before, it’s method, not magic.
Here’s a paradigm shift I personally had that I’d covered in my first book, “The Fastest Way to a Full Recovery: Five IMMEDIATE Profit-Enhancing Strategies Jewelers Can Use Today to Create a Thriving Business”. When we first opened our own jewelry store, I thought that because I’m the best goldsmith in town, people would appreciate my skill and love me for it. They’d beat a path to our door to do business with me. Boy, was I wrong.
There was need beyond gold, so I learned watch repair and became quite skilled at that. Then I thought that because I was the best goldsmith and the best watch repairman in town, people would know me, love me, and want to do business with me, beating a path to my door. Wrong again.
Next I learned how to cut gemstones and went through school to become a gemologist. So then I thought that because I was the best goldsmith, watch repairman, and gemologist and lapidary in town, people would know me, love me, appreciate my skills, and want to do business with me – and the path to my door would certainly be well- worn. Again, au contraire, my friend.
My skills were one thing, but I had to make a shift in my mind and thinking: The day I quit being a jeweler (and watch repairman, gemologist and lapidary) and became a marketer of jewelry and jewelry-related products and services, we found ourselves on the road to success. Our volume doubled quickly, and kept growing from there.
When I learned that my chief job was to market my business well, revenue and profits increased! When I became a marketer of my business, finally, clients were beating a path to my door.
The truth is that it doesn’t matter if you have the best jewelry store, the best jewelry lines, the best skills, the best CAD/CAM system, and the best salespeople in all the land. It doesn’t matter if, like I was, you are excellent at what you do in your store. It doesn’t make one bit of difference unless and until somebody knows you’re there. Your success depends directly on your ability to market your business.
In addition to marketing your store, you also have to market yourself as the expert you are. I have learned to become a proficient public speaker – not something I really expected long ago when I was learning to become a goldsmith, watch repairman, and gemologist. But as I mentioned, once I learned that I wasn’t a jeweler but a marketer of my jewelry business, revenue and profits really began to grow.
So, as a marketer, I’ve learned to be a good speaker, and I searched out opportunities to speak at local Chambers of Commerce, civic groups, schools, and other functions. That has led to me becoming an in-demand professional speaker at jewelry shows, conventions, and state or regional association meetings. (Note the word “professional,” so I get paid and it’s yet another revenue stream.) This has really given me credibility that my competitors (whether across town or across the country) simply do not have.
I truly believe the mantra “Always be marketing and always be positioning yourself as the expert and industry leader in your field.” As my speaking career developed, I also spoke at other non-retail industry events and functions about branding and traffic building that has actually resulted in more clients for my jewelry store. I see no reason that jewelers and jewelry or retail salespeople should not become speakers.
Heck, you speak every day – just change your stage!
This is an excerpt from “Diamond” Bill’s latest best selling book, “The Ultimate Jeweler’s Success Guide” available on Amazon or at www.diamondbillmarketing.com.