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Kathleen Cutler

Client Appreciation Events: Here’s a Better Way to Make Them Successful

It means playing down sales and playing up your relationship.




THINKING TOO BIG can be a big mistake when it comes to client appreciation events. From bursting budgets to paralyzing overwhelm, my team and I have helped jewelers through some of the toughest and most common challenges.
To make the most of your client appreciation events this holiday season, here are our top three strategies.

1. KEEP IT PERSONAL — AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK. It’s easy to fall into the trap of using client appreciation events as sales opportunities — but it can be a costly mistake in the long run.

Avoid initiating sales-related discussions; it’s essential to let the client take the lead in discussions about jewelry. If they express interest in a particular piece, respond with genuine enthusiasm and information. It can be tempting to go for the sale then and there, but it’s better to book a private appointment unless your client insists.

To redirect the event’s focus, consider adopting a personalized approach and even preparing thoughtful questions beforehand. Engage in conversations that tap into clients’ personal experiences, such as their recent travels or holiday plans. This shift from sales-driven topics to more personal discussions can create an emotional connection.


2. THE RIGHT ALLIES MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE. One common misconception is that client appreciation events need to be elaborate affairs, but you don’t have to do it all.

Hosting casual gatherings or meet-ups at local venues can create a relaxed atmosphere where clients feel comfortable. A curated guestlist with a few of your best clients can go a long way toward making an unforgettable evening of cocktails and small bites or coffee and manicures.

Another approach is leveraging partnerships with knowledgeable guest speakers. Inviting professionals like luxury travel agents or a sommelier to provide short presentations on subjects that resonate with your clientele is a great way to bring new energy (and leads) into your showroom without being pushy. In turn, you can offer to give short talks or spotlights on topics like jewelry care, little-known gemstone facts, and how to style jewelry for the holidays.

3. GIFT FROM THE HEART FOR THE HOLIDAYS. If you choose to incorporate gifting into your client appreciation plan, choose one that shows genuine gratitude without the pressure of sales.

Avoid sending them promotional materials. Instead, consider giving your best clients a Thanksgiving pie, a floral arrangement, or a scented candle. By offering something meaningful to be enjoyed during the holidays, you can stay top of mind for your clients’ next gifting opportunity. Bonus points if it is a little luxury with their name monogrammed on it (not yours).

The holiday season provides a unique opportunity to create meaningful connections with your clients. This simple yet effective approach will boost your client relationships into the new year.




This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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