PUBLIC RELATIONS Dust off your four Cs speech, update your fashion-trends analysis and volunteer to be the voice of the small business community. There are meeting halls and newspaper column inches to be filled.
MARKETING If you don’t offer financing, get busy exploring the options. “If you go to any mall store, they are really selling a payment, not quality or style,” says Torin Bales (PICTURED), owner of Torin Bales Fine Jewelry in Victoria, TX. “Once you get them in, they’ll keep coming back — for bridesmaids’ gifts, wedding bands and anniversary gifts.”
TRAINING Terry Chandler, president of the Diamond Council of America, recommends delivering a training session that underscores that the bridal sale requires a relationship. “Train your sales associates to change gears during the holidays for this consumer so they don’t feel rushed or under-served,” he says.
INVENTORY Seven out of 10 brides opt for white gold rings, but Platinum Guild International says that, according to its research, a lot of them would prefer platinum. Review your stocks — and your staff’s platinum selling skills — to see if you can boost this category.
SALES Give your salespeople a homework assignment: Come up with 25 phrases that describe a diamond in the most emotional and desire-igniting way. If they need inspiration, they should watch QVC for half an hour and write down all the adjectives the well-trained presenters on the shopping channel use.
TECHNOLOGY In 2017 we shouldn’t have to tell you how important that initial online contact is. Test how your website loads on 3G, 4G, and WiFi to understand how your site really works in the hands of users.
OPERATIONS Draft a cleaning schedule to ensure all your bridal goods are polished and freshly ticketed.
DISPLAY Banish from view that tray of plain wedding bands; it makes it too easy to undersell your customers. Follow a rule of not showing more than three rings/bands at a time.
SALES Today’s shoppers are better educated than ever before. It’s important your staff have their facts straight. To help them, discreetly place “cheat sheets” (index cards listing selling benefits, origin info, and treatments) near displays that they can turn to during slow moments.
SALES Tell staff — and yourself — that for the next month, no one is allowed to bring out a report when showing a diamond until the deal is done or the customer asks for it. Your goal should be filling customers’ hearts with visions of a life spent with their soul mate.
TRAINING If you don’t have more than a few 1-carat-plus diamonds in your store, it’s time to memo up. The reason 90 percent of diamond sales are still done offline is because customers want to see and touch the real thing.
EMAIL Here’s a quick to-do to give your emails a personal touch. Include a signature, along with a short message (e.g. “We’re here to help you shine!”) that will automatically appear at the end of your emails.
This article originally appeared in the September 2017 edition of INSTORE.
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