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Kathleen Cutler

How the Right Note-Taking System Can Turn Engagement Ring Clients into Lifelong Collectors

It’s called the “FLIP” system.




WHILE THE QUESTION of long-term commitment is obviously in the air for partners on the brink of a proposal, there’s an unspoken potential for an ongoing relationship between jewelers and their engagement ring buying clients.

These encounters are one of the best opportunities to show up as a trusted advisor and genuine friend by getting to know your clients on a personal level and establishing a pattern of warm communication and celebration of life’s milestones and precious moments.

Networking experts have long praised the virtues of starting meaningful conversations with the FORD method where one asks about the Family, Occupation, Recreation, and Dreams of another. While this is a helpful framework for anyone to follow, jewelers especially could benefit from having a system of their own that’s reflective of our industry. And so, my team and I set out to FLIP the jewelry industry’s approach to taking client notes on its head.


F – Family

Especially when selling an engagement ring, we as jewelers have an incredible opportunity to understand our clients’ family connections and build bonds well beyond this one sale. Take down the names of key family members and relationships, as well as any notable dynamics of a client’s family that can strengthen rapport and cater to their collective needs (such as anniversaries or important holidays).

L – Location

Beyond their address, knowing where your clients live and work unlocks valuable insights into their lifestyle and buying habits. Take note of the cities they live and work in, as well as places they may frequently travel to; this enables you to understand their daily routines, community involvement, and potential social circles, which will help you curate selections that harmonize with your clients’ lifestyles.

I – Interests

Recording your clients’ hobbies and interests establishes a strong foundation for building genuine connections. By understanding their passions and pastimes, jewelers can engage in meaningful conversations and forge common ground.


P – Preferences

Tracking clients’ metal, stone, and style preferences is vital in creating tailored experiences and providing thoughtful recommendations that lead to repeat business.

While it might seem counterintuitive, some of the jewelers and sales staff that we’ve privately mentored have grown their business by six figures or more from meeting their clients “where they’re at,” whether that’s an art gallery, a VIP wine tasting, a local yoga class, or even virtually.

With a comprehensive approach to client relationships and a consistent system like the FLIP model, any jeweler can turn a one-time purchase like an engagement ring into a lifelong relationship.

Kathleen Cutler, profit expert for high-end jewelry brands, focuses on helping jewelers understand how to convince younger, affluent audiences to buy, combining modern tech with retro-style relationship building. Kathleen has a degree from GIA and has coached 100-plus jewelers. Reach her at



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Newton’s Jewelers in Fort Smith, Ark., was a true institution. But after being at the helm for most of his life, owner (and descendent of the original founder) Kelly Newton decided it was time to retire. He chose Wilkerson to handle the sale. “I’ve known the owners of Wilkerson for a long, long time. I felt at home with them,” he says. The final retirement sale was just a “blast” and the Wilkerson sales team made it so very simple and straightforward, says Newton. Would he recommend Wilkerson to others? Absolutely. “They’ve done incredible work,” says Newton. “They feel like family.”

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