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Shane Decker

How Can You Maintain Sales Momentum as the Pandemic Recedes? Clienteling.

Professional follow-up is key to referrals and repeat purchases.

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I’M WITH ALL the rest of you hoping that this pandemic will end soon. That said, it’s interesting that our industry seems to have thrived during this time. Almost all of my accounts are up between 30-50 percent from 2019 and 2020. Some are up 100 percent. Closing ratios are up and large-ticket sales have skyrocketed. Wholesalers can’t keep 2- and 3-carat diamonds in stock.

But what happens as the pandemic recedes and consumer spending returns to normal? Travel, vacations, airfare, house remodels, dining out and automobile sales will be on the rise. It could hit you very hard if you’re unprepared. So how do you prepare? Become awesome in two areas: clienteling and referrals.

Believe it or not, most stores do not do any clienteling. When is the last time you shopped somewhere and you got an awesome written thank-you card? Not from Walmart! Where’s the last place you shopped and you felt important? Too many places, you’re forgotten as soon as you leave. If you want to keep all the clients you acquired during the pandemic, now is the time to start professional follow-up.

It starts with believing that everyone who comes into your store is important: every battery client, every repair client, every sale client, no matter how small or big. When you and your team truly believe and act on this principle, you will see raving online reviews come rolling in and customers returning to buy more jewelry.

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That starts before the client even leaves your store. When the sale is done, walk them to the door. Open the door for them if needed. Give them two cards and ask them to give one to a friend. Thank them for coming in. It seems simple, but this one action can result in fantastic online reviews and even get their friends coming in asking for you by name.

Next, send every client a thank-you card. (Who is “every client”? See my list above; every client means every client.)

They will all talk about it: “I got a thank-you card from XY Jewelers.” Don’t pick and choose who gets a card and who doesn’t, because your customers will figure out that one received a card while the other didn’t.
A thank you card should tell your client three things:

  1. They’re important to you and your company.
  2. You care about their purchase.
  3. You’ll contact them again in six months for a clean-and-polish and to make sure their jewelry doesn’t need any other attention.

Do not write this and this only on your card: “Thank you for your purchase.” That has no meaning and stands a good chance of irritating your client.

If you want to keep your client, be loyal to them with professional follow-up. What you do after they leave is more important than what happened to them in your store. Keep your clients and keep your momentum up!

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Shane Decker has provided sales training to more than 3,000 jewelry stores. Shane cut his teeth in jewelry sales in Garden City, KS, and sold over 100 1-carat diamonds four years in a row. Contact him at [email protected].

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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