In today’s retail jewelry environment a retailer has to look at every opportunity possible to create sales. One of the most misunderstood strategies is clienteling via the telephone. Far too often a retail jewelry store owner gets all excited to start a telephone campaign and it actually hurts the store more than it helps.
We have to realize that our customers have busy lives, and the last thing they want is a telephone solicitation from a jewelry store. If you call a customer and say, “Hi, this is Brad at ABC Jewelers and I just wanted to check to see if you had jewelry in mind for any upcoming events,” what might your customer be thinking? Get off my phone. Why are you bothering me in the middle of the day? I just put the baby down for his nap and the phone woke him.
There are two problems with starting an effective telephone, text or e-mailing campaign. They are:
- The salesperson doesn’t want to make the call.
- The customer doesn’t want to be called.
How do you get around the problems in order to get an effective telephone campaign up and running? Get the customer to ask you to call them!
Your success with any clienteling program will have a direct correlation to how you:
- Introduce the program to your customers – For example, when introducing a VIP Program you must introduce it in a way that gets the customer to ask you to call them. Find the customer benefit in calling.
For example, “I would love to keep a record of past purchases so I can make gift recommendations in the future,” or “So I keep you informed about new arrivals, special events, etc.” or “So I can remind you about our special events, let me have you complete one of our VIP Cards so I can call you a couple of weeks prior to your anniversary.” You should write out 15-20 different ways to introduce the program to your customers.
- Your ability to capture and relate back personal information. “This is Brad from ABC Jewelers. You had asked me to call a couple weeks before your anniversary with gift ideas. Oh, by the way, how was your family ski trip to Vail?”
Customer Profile or VIP Club
When contacting potential customers via the telephone the process requires a unique and different set of rules than normal retail face-to-face contact. The goal of the Customer Profile System or VIP Club is to make an appointment for an in-store visit.
Therefore when calling a customer you had better have something important to say.
In the first 7 to 12 seconds you need to let the customer know the following:
- Who you are.
- Why you are calling.
- What’s in it for them? (The reason the customer asked you to call them)
Don’t use these:
- I just wanted to touch base.
- I just wanted to make sure you received the information.
- I haven’t spoken with you for a while. I thought I’d check in with you.
- I was just wondering if there was anything you needed.
- I’m calling to introduce myself.
There are also numerous types of clienteling calls you can and should be making, each a unique situation. You could be making any of the following types of calls:
- After the sale follow-up
- After repair follow-up
- Reminders prior to special events, birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, etc.
- Maintenance – 6 month free clean & check
- Wish list opportunities
- Birth of a child
- Sweet 16, etc.
The initial telephone contact statements you develop should be created differently for each of the situations with which you are faced.
Customer Profile or VIP Club
By using the Customer Profile or VIP Club system you can easily get your customer to talk about the most important thing to them, which is themselves. You will want to have them write down all the information possible – for instance, name, address, phone, e-mail address, cell number, spouse’s name, children’s names, birth dates, anniversaries, etc. You notice I said get them to complete the information. There are several reasons why I believe that they should complete the information.
- It forces you to introduce it in a way that gets them to give you permission for follow-up.
- They are more likely to complete the information without you having to ask 15-20 questions.
- This should be an opportunity to get the information from everyone possible, not just the people that are buying from you. Most stores don’t have a method of collecting the data from people that do not make a purchase, which could be 70% to 80% of the people coming into the store.
- In addition, you do not want to run the risk of ruining a marriage or a surprise based on your following up, or making an uninvited telephone call.
- The customer now has the option of how, and where they want to be contacted. The most important lines on the Profile Card are – Can I Contact you, Contact Location and Preferred Means of Contact, telephone, text, e-mail – at home, at the office, via their cell phone, etc.
Again, the most important information that you will receive from the Customer Profile isn’t necessarily the specific answers to the questions that they will be answering. The most vital information that you will receive is the extra information that the customer will share with you that is of a personal nature. Family coming in from Chicago for the holidays, taking the kids to Disney World for summer vacation, taking a Caribbean cruise for their anniversary, etc., then relating back the information during the course of your clienteling phone call.
One store I work with requires their salespeople to make 5 appointments per week. Of the 5, they are closing 3 of them at an average of $1000 each – times seven salespeople is $21,000 per week in added sales – times 52 weeks is an addition of about One Million Dollars in added sales per year. It is well worth the time and effort to develop an effective clienteling process. If you would like an example of the Customer Profile or VIP Card I use, contact me at the e-mail or telephone numbers below and I will e-mail you the information.
Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703 or email@example.com. Visit his website at www.iastraining.com.