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David Geller

David Geller: All About Trust

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David Geller names three professions for which price is not an issue.

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[h3]All About Trust[/h3]

[dropcap cap=W]hat are the similarities between a jeweler, hair stylist and pediatrician? ¶ I bet you’re puzzled, aren’t you? Let’s work backwards from the bottom of this list. If you’re a female or know one (I know a few) ask yourself or her this question:

“You’re taking your child to a pediatrician. Now if I could recommend another one, probably just as good as the one you’re using now, would you change if I could convince him not to charge you the co-payment on your health insurance? In other words, would you change from your existing baby doctor if I could get you a test done a little cheaper?”

[inset side=right]These are three professions that women use personally and which require trust. Can you think of any professional a woman uses and pays who demands more trust than the person who treats her children?[/inset]What do you think the answer from the woman would be? I’ve asked many women this question, and a resounding 90 percent say “No way, Jose!”

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Working up the list, ask a woman this:

“You have a hair stylist you’ve been using for a while — if I could recommend another hair stylist who might be less expensive, would you change stylists?”

Easily 75 percent of the women I ask say, “No, I’m not going to change.”

Now we’re up to the jeweler.

But before I ask any more questions, let me tell you where we are at right now. These are three professions that women use personally and which require trust. Can you think of any professional a woman uses and pays who demands more trust than the person who treats her children?

Next is a woman’s hair stylist. My wife will have her hair colored and styled for $125 and I’m guessing time spent is about an hour, hands on (don’t tell her I let you know). This stylist has been doing her hair for about 10 years, and prior to that the previous stylist had seen her 30th and 40th birthdays. Almost everyone in her family uses this guy.

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Change stylist? Never in a million years. He’d have to die first. Or move far away.

That leads us up to the jeweler. The jeweler repairs jewelry that touches a woman’s body. It may not be as personal as the other two professions but it’s just as serious a subject to her and just as trusted.

The stylist and pediatrician are all about trust. Think about it: trust.

The woman leaves her jewelry to be repaired with your store because she trusts you.

[h4][b]She trusts that:[/b][/h4]

• You keep her jewelry secure and safe while it’s in your care.
• You’ll fix it right and do it right the first time.
• You’ll treat her and her jewelry with respect.
• You won’t swap her stones or break or damage anything she leaves in your care. As the doctors say, “Do no harm.”
• You’ll stand behind your work and make it worry free after the repair is delivered.

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[inset side=left]But the most important part is that the jeweler knows how to handle a woman’s emotions.[/inset]Why is jewelry almost as close to a woman as the other two professions? The pediatrician is all about good health. The stylist is all about how she feels about herself, her self-esteem, and especially how others view her. Hair is everything! Women want to feel and look pretty, and she trusts the stylist in this regard.The jeweler is doing exactly the same thing but in a different way. The jeweler is handling expensive items, sometimes the third most expensive thing she might own, after her house and car.

But the most important part is that the jeweler knows how to handle a woman’s emotions. We men sometimes have a hard time understanding that aspect of the female. (Where’s the manual? Please!) Jewelry can make a woman more beautiful; help her show herself off, display accomplishments, express to her and the world the love of her husband, parents, children and even herself. And she wears it every day.

You might resize a ring tomorrow that came over on a boat from Europe 70 years ago, that was given to a woman on her 16th birthday, worn for years and recently handed down to your customer as a present or even received after the death of a loved one.

You might retip a half-carat diamond engagement ring that is 25 years old, but the husband worked nights and weekends to save up enough cash to pay for the ring, which he presented to the love of his life on bended knee in a restaurant.

You wouldn’t be able to buy this ring from her for a million dollars. So what makes you think you’re trustworthy enough to care for it for the next week until its ready?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — jewelry repair is not price-sensitive, it’s trust-sensitive. And while we may not be No. 1 on the list, coming in third is still a pretty good spot to be.

David Geller is an author and consultant to jewelry-store owners on store management and profitability. E-mail him at [email protected].

[span class=note]This story is from the July 2007 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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