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Get Personal with Clienteling

Tailor your messages to the recipient for best results.

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KNOW WHAT’S GREAT? Receiving a text message from a business that sounds genuine and specifically written to me. Know what’s not great? A canned, cut, and pasted attempt to “connect.”

Getting business done during a pandemic meant jewelers had to turn the innovation switch on to stay alive. And retailers got in line accordingly by setting up virtual presentations and promoting personal appointments. The industry learned a lot about keeping doors open since last March, well beyond mask requirements and plexiglass.

However, in a world where old-school one-to-one marketing is having its day in the sun, in our new school, technology-driven world, there are a few things you should keep in mind before you send out that next text message or personalized email.

1. There’s nothing worse than receiving a personalized email with ____________, We Think You’ll Love This! as the subject line. A one-to-one effort should not be attempted through a mass email avenue, like Constant Contact, for just this reason. Why show you care enough to send out a personalized email and then neglect to either add a name or remove the personalization field? It just looks careless and amateur. Emailing through Constant Contact or MailChimp and SMS campaigns are great ways to send out information about your upcoming sale or trunk show to the masses, but personal follow-ups should be sent through your personal work accounts or a service like Podium instead.

2. A text message or personalized email that would likely get a response from me would read something like this: “Hi Angie, we know Elise is graduating this year. We have diamond stud earrings on sale right now that would make the perfect gift to celebrate the occasion. Here’s a photo of the sizes available and their prices. Let me know if you’d like us to set some aside for you. I can set up a FaceTime to show them to you if that’s more convenient.” One I would pass up would be this example: “Graduation is coming up and diamond stud earrings are on sale this week. Come on in and check them out!” See what I mean? The first example acknowledges an upcoming event, an important person in my life, an excellent opportunity to buy a gift that I’ll need to purchase anyway, and an offer to reserve them for me to review at my convenience. The second example is just an FYI and it’s up to me to correlate the sale with relevance to my situation. Both are simple to execute, but it’s easy to see which one could inspire action on my part.

3. Don’t overdo it. My husband got Valentine’s Day gift texts from a local jeweler no less than twelve times, and one of them was while we were eating dinner. More than one follow-up was fine, but eventually, the barrage felt like the proverbial annoying fly bombing a romantic picnic. Set a limit of times to reach out for that sale so you don’t cross the irritation line and irk your customer in the process.

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There’s no doubt that clienteling techniques are effective and needed to close sales. And not just in times of COVID, but in the future as well. It’s personal shopping at its best when it’s done the right way!

Angie Ash is executive vice-president of Fruchtman Marketing, a full-service agency specializing in the jewelry industry. Reach her at [email protected].

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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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