The jewelry retailer of today can no longer afford to spend money on advertising and marketing and sit back and hope that the advertising works. To build an ivory palace and wait for customers to come into the store could spell disaster. Salespeople in a successful jewelry operation have to take some responsibility and do their part to help drive traffic into the store. It is no secret that prospecting is the toughest part of your career in sales. Prospecting takes the most drive, effort, determination, and self-discipline. Yet, prospecting is the activity that will give you the greatest number of potential customers. You certainly can’t sell anyone if you don’t talk to anyone.
Selling is finding people to sell, and selling the people you find!
The following will help you find more customers to sell!
1) Ask every existing customer for a referral or recommendation. People that are buying jewelry just might have friends and relatives who may be interested in jewelry as well. Saying to your customer; “If you know anyone else who is in the market for fine jewelry I would love to meet them as well. Let me give you a few of my business cards.” It certainly couldn’t hurt to ask your existing customer for referrals and recommendations. Most great businesses were built solely on referrals and recommendations from others.
2) Handout your business cards.
Sales people should have a minimum of 25 business cards in their possession at all times. Every time you encounter another human being, you should hand him or her your business card. Hand them out to the bank teller, the postal clerk, the grocery cashier, your electrician, cable guy, even the policeman writing you up a ticket. Just say to him/her, “Here is my card. I’d like to write something up on you someday.” You never know where your next customer is going to come from.
3) Provide such incredible customer service that it causes word of mouth advertising. We know that when people buy new jewelry they can’t wait to show it off to all their friends and family. The customer has two choices when showing their jewelry. They can either say “You have to see my beautiful new earrings.” Or they can say, “You have to see my beautiful new earrings that I got from ABC Jewelry.” In one case, they are bragging about their new jewelry, in the other case they are bragging about their new jewelry and the store where they purchased it. Whether they mention the name of the store or not is totally dependent upon the type of service that they received from the store.
It amazes me how many stores that I go into and see the customer get all the way to the register, they are writing out a check, and they ask where am I, or who do I make this out to? If this happens in your store, then apparently the salespeople did a lousy job of selling themselves and the store. Selling the store and themselves is essential in developing repeat and referral customers from your existing customer base. I would recommend that salespeople provide such exceptional customer service that it actually causes word of mouth advertising. There is no more powerful form of advertising than word of mouth.
4) Network and get involved in the community! In order to maximize success in sales, I have always felt you have to get out in the world and shake hands and meet people. One of the most effective ways to do this is through networking. Get involved in the community through the Lions Club, Rotary, civic organizations, charitable groups, etc. Not from the perspective of actually selling these people on the spot, but the more people that you know, the more people you will have that you can sell to eventually. Further, I just think it is a great idea that people get involved in their communities and give back to the people that provide your income.
5) An effective telephone/e-mail clienteling process. Your existing customer base is probably the easiest way to generate more traffic into the store. It has been written that as much as 60% of a store’s business comes from 25-30% of its customer base. Therefore, we have to get our existing customers to come into the store more often.
The secret to an effective telephone/e-mailing process is to get your customers to ask you to call them. In other words, get them to tell you what jewelry they may be interested in purchasing in the future. If I am working on a birthday gift for a wife, for example, and find out through our conversation that they are planning on taking a cruise in a few months for their anniversary, I would want to get the customer to ask me to call them several months down the road to set up an appointment when we can work on an anniversary gift.
How a salesperson approaches this method will determine the success that they have. Telling people that you would like to follow up with them in the future, after a buying trip to a trade show, when new items arrive, to see how they are loving the pieces they purchased, special events that are happening in the store, etc., will get the customer to ask you to call them. Then when calling several weeks or months down the road, make sure you relate back some personal information, i.e. how was the cruise you took for your anniversary?, then the process of using the telephone/e-mail becomes a customer service rather than “just another sales call.”
Again, the secret to an effective telephone/e-mail campaign is in getting the customer to ask you to call them. This takes practice, practice, practice, but you may be surprised at how many of your existing customers would truly take advantage of the relationship and look at your efforts as providing exceptional customer service, which it is.
As I mentioned it has been published that as much as 60% of a stores sales comes from 25-30% of its customer base. What hasn’t been published is that a typical store loses 20-25% of its customer base on an annual basis. Where are they going? Maybe they move away, have a change in economic conditions, have completed their need to purchase jewelry, start shopping at the competition, pass away, are giving their jewelry away, etc. My point is that successful jewelry retailers have to constantly look at ways to increase their customer base by at least 25-30% per year just to break even. That number has to increase even more in order to show sales increases.
I do not believe that customer loyalty is dead, as I have heard others say. I believe it is alive and well. Actually, when a customer comes into a jewelry store today, I don’t believe they are looking for jewelry. I believe that they are looking for a place and a person from whom to buy the jewelry. Be the professional expert that your customers expect you to be and the professional that you want to be by implementing these techniques into your sales presentation. Be their friend in the jewelry business, provide exceptional customer service that causes word of mouth advertising, and don’t simply rely on your advertising and marketing to draw customers into the store. Be proactive and cause people to come into your store.
Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training. Mr. 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, firstname.lastname@example.org visit his website at www.iastraining.com.