GN Diamond believes in continuing education and training for our retail partners and their staff. We’d like to discuss clienteling and how important it is for retailers to make the buying experience for their clients as easy as possible. Building a rapport with a customer is not only vital to the initial sale, but to the many future sales that may result and the potential for an increase in referrals. As high as 70% of your clients come from referrals. The closing percentage on this referral business may be as high as 60%.
There are three things to consider when executing clienteling:
• Service – If it’s just about a sale, it’s just about you. It must be about doing something for the customer.
• Convenience – Make it easier and more convenient for customers to do business with you.
• Staying on the top of their mind – Maintain a gentle presence just in case they need you. If you aren’t paying attention to your customers, someone in the luxury market could be.
• Be adaptable in your contact method and message – People need to be clienteled differently with all the different ways to communicate; phone, text and e-mail. Selling is only part of a successful sales dynamic. It’s also essential to develop and monitor the relationship with frequent contact to make sure your clients are always happy with your product or service and to address new needs that arise. To get the best results to maintain effective communication, your staff will need to have multiple ways to contact customers and know which way each customer prefers.
• Saying the right thing – It’s also important to know what to say. Always create a reason for customers to respond by asking a question. “How did the proposal go?” or “How did we do with the selection? Did she love it?”
When making service calls, ask if there is anything else in their jewelry box that needs to be cleaned, repaired, sized, etc. As long as she’s coming in for service, she might as well bring those!
• Always think ahead – There are five prime gift giving occasions: Birthday, Anniversary, Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Remember to stay top of mind before every upcoming occasion. Always maintain a current wish list. Gently reach out before each occasion and remind them you have options. Remember, you’re not only in competition with the other jewelry stores, you are in competition with the luxury market (ex: travel, automobiles, furniture, etc.). Make it easy for them to buy from you!
• Buying patterns – Multiply your customers’ purchases for the five gift giving occasions. Let me ask you: How many customers buy for all five occasions? Can you at least count on 1 or 2? Most loyal customers might buy only one time per year or even every other year. By staying in contact and always offering options, you can double the frequency with which your customers will buy.
Darci Aselage, GG, is a full time training professional with GN Diamond offering skill practice through skype, facetime, and in-store seminars. She has been in the jewelry industry since 1989, including 19 years of retail experience with a major, independent, retail store in the midwest, where she rose from a part-time sales associate to the Vice President of a $2 million plus operation. Additionally she worked as a business consultant with the Edge Retail Academy for 8½ years.