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David Geller

Lager Lesson

David Geller tells how beer might change the way you pitch repair prices.




AROUND 1920, legendary ad man Claude Hopkins was asked to help Schlitz beer, which was languishing in the No. 5 spot.  Back then, most advertising was in newspapers and magazines, and most beer advertisements related to the purity of the water used. “Pure” became an overused term. As part of his research, Hopkins visited the Schlitz plant, where he witnessed the beer-making process.

… within six months Schlitz rose from fifth place to first place in beer sales in America.  Hopkins saw a room where beer dripped over pipes and where the air was filtered to prevent impurities. He observed wells that provided fresh spring water for the beer. In a laboratory, Hopkins was shown brewer’s yeast that was a product of more than 1,000 experiments. He gazed at brewing vats large enough to contain a car. In the bottling area, Hopkins noticed that every bottle was washed and rinsed with boiling water four times before beer ever entered the bottle.

Schlitz was meticulous about its procedures, and Hopkins was amazed: “This is fantastic,” he said. “Why don’t you share this procedure with the American public?”

“It’s really no big deal,” the Schlitz folks responded. “This is how every beer company makes beer.”

Hopkins recognized the importance of the process and said, “We’ll advertise this to America right away.”

So they developed an ad campaign showing the stages Schlitz went through to make beer. Each ad showcased one procedure. Schlitz executives were skeptical, but Hopkins pressed on, and within six months Schlitz rose from fifth place to first place in beer sales in America.


OK, you ask, what does this have to do with jewelry repair?


Most jewelers think customers will buy a repair in their store based on either prices or maybe because all work is done on the premises. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While jewelers and their sales staff thinks it’s all about price, customers have different emotions about having their repairs handled by you.

Using the same idea, see how you might respond to this explanation if you were the customer.

Let’s say you advise your customer that to size her 14K-yellow-gold and diamond anniversary band it will be $48 and she says, “Gee, that sounds a little high. Isn’t this just a simple procedure?”


You might answer:

“Mrs. Jones, you’re right, sizing a ring is a semi-simple procedure. It is one of the first things we train our jeweler to do. But you don’t want a poor ring-sizing job. A poor job is when the jeweler thins the ring shank at the bottom thinner than when you brought it in. Our jewelers are trained so that your ring shank will be the same thickness as when you brought it in.

“In addition, if the jeweler doesn’t use the highest quality solder joining the ring when sized, it could pop open in as little as six months. We only use the highest quality, highest temperature solder when we size our customer’s rings.

While jewelers and their sales staff thinks it’s all about price, customers have different emotions about having their repairs handled by you. “The jeweler will also check and tighten each diamond in your ring after sizing, making sure they are all tight when you pick up your ring. Furthermore, we stand behind his work and will guarantee for a full year that if they get loose we will tighten them at no charge, and if any fall out we will replace them at no cost to you. We believe in his expertise that much.

“Once sized he will then polish your ring, removing any scratches and making it just as beautiful as the day your husband gave it to you. It will shine like the top of the Chrysler building!

“But lastly, here at our store, we can’t hire 80 percent of the jewelers applying for a job. They just can’t cut it. Many who didn’t make the grade working are for other stores around us, but not here at ABC Jewelers. In fact, the fellow who will size your ring set a $5,000 emerald for me just this morning. You do want that kind of expertise, don’t you?”


Now, did I lie, fib or make anything up? Nope. I just told the customer what we will do to her ring.

Want to have some ammunition for your staff? Ask your jeweler just two questions today:

  1. “How long have you been doing jewelry work?”
  2. “What is the most expensive item you’ve ever worked on in your career?”

If you had this information and used the paragraph above, how much more credibility would you have if you finished up with: “Our jeweler, John, has been doing jewelry repairs and design for over 16 years and has worked on pieces valued as much as $80,000! You do want this kind of expertise, don’t you?”

And it’s all true. Try it. It will cement your sales and make you feel better about the prices you should be charging.

This story is from the August 2007 edition of INSTORE.

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