Whenever I get to talk with customers at trade shows, as they ogle over the beautiful color in front of them, there is always a consistent mantra, “I like color but I just don’t know how to sell it.” The first part is always comforting, but the second part is what I want to change.
Selling color doesn’t have to be difficult and in fact can actually be fun. Mainly because color gemstones are gorgeous! Exquisite color can sell itself, but you also have to want to sell color. My goal is to provide a simple plan to get color in the store and actually have you selling color.
One of the first major steps of selling color is to simply offer it. Make it a focal point of your store. There are sections for engagement jewelry, watches and other lines that your store carries, so do the same for color gemstones. By doing so, attention is brought to the items letting your customers know you can be the source they need for the rising popular trend of color.
Your store layout doesn’t need to change, but by simply adding a section specifically designed for color, you can increase your sales opportunities as popularity for color continues. These aren’t watch batteries and don’t need to be seen as add-on sales, they can shine on their own as big sales.
Once an effort is made to make color a focal point, educating yourself and your staff is very important. It’s easy to say, “I only know diamonds..,” but the current state of the market does not allow that mentality anymore. Use the free published tools of AGTA and GIA on their websites. If you want to go more in depth without becoming a graduate gemologist, Diamond Council of America offers a wonderful colored gemstone course that you and your staff can take.
Much like with diamonds, customers won’t trust the salesperson if they don’t think they know what they’re talking about. Customers want color too. While diamonds may command higher dollar totals per sale, to ignore the potential of color will only hurt your bottom line. As a result, education is imperative.
Much like education, relationships in this industry are crucial. Most sales aren’t made without solid relationships. Relationships build trust, and you must trust the people you are buying from in this industry in order to have the confidence to sell to customers. These relationships are represented as a vote of confidence each step of the way, from supplier to customer, as a sale is made. Find vendors that you trust, that will take the time to explain current trends, market availability, and treatments on color gemstones. Forming that kind of strong, cohesive bond will not only make your selling habits stronger, it will strengthen your brand.
Making the conscious effort to sell color, becoming educated and building relationships are essential in the process. However, the major question is, “well, what do I sell?” The world of color is so vast that it can be filled with endless options, but the answer is simple: stick to the basics of emerald, ruby and sapphire. These are the most popular and well known color gemstones. They have been incredibly popular throughout history, and their color alone sells themselves, but mastering color trends and treatments of these three stones are essential to selling them. Understand what you’re buying and feel confident when selling one of these rare beauties, because a customer can have the same feeling buying a color gemstone as one does buying a diamond.
Konrad Darling is the sales and marketing director for Darling Imports, a color gemstone wholesaler offering genuine and synthetics as well as lapidary services and stone identification. For more information contact Darling Imports at 800-282-8436 or www.darlingimports.com.