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Belly Up to the Showcase: What Jewelers Can Learn from Bartenders

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Belly Up to the Showcase: What Jewelers Can Learn from Bartenders

KRISTA BAKER of Palas Jewelers in Atlanta recently told INDESIGN that “jewelers are like the bartenders of the retail world. You hear customers’ life stories. They’re in for a wedding or anniversary and we really get to know them when they’re at that stage in their life. I make friends every day.” It got me thinking: What else can jewelers learn from bartenders?

A great bartender coaxes stories from customers in friendly, subtle fashion.  And he or she always makes the customer the center of attention.  Remember Sam from Cheers?  Everyone knew he owned the place, but he came across as more of a servant and a friend than as the person in charge.  And he allowed Cliff, Norm, Frasier and the rest to vent their frustrations or celebrate their successes in a way that included himself in sharing their feelings.

That said, a great bartender always puts service first.  The most annoying thing at a bar is when you have to wait for a bartender to finish up a conversation before he comes and waits on you.  Great bartenders can smoothly and gracefully exit a conversation quickly to wait on other customers. As a jewelry store owner, manager or even salesperson, you may often find yourself in a similar predicament. But you have to always remember that your clients expect (and even appreciate) it when you put your job responsibilities first. You can always pick back up on a casual conversation.

Great bartenders are also experts in their craft.  They know every drink and come across as more of an expert than their customer. A jewelry salesperson has to be the same way and always know more than the client when it comes to your product.

Is there a bartender you know that you really like?  What lessons can you take from him or her?

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Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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