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If I Owned: Michael J. Critelli

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[h4]GOOD TO GREAT FOR THE JEWELER WHO ALWAYS MANAGES TO REACH THE TOP[/h4]

AS A RECENTLY RETIRED CHAIRMAN and CEO of a public company, my usual role in regards to jewelry stores has generally been to accompany my wife or daughter to supply an opinion or a credit card.

If I Owned: Michael J. Critelli

As a jewelry store owner, I would draw on lessons from my career in a business-to-business marketing environment. Lesson No. 1: It’s about the customers, not the jewelry. The secret to success is whether what the store offers excites the customer, and finding pieces about which your customers can become passionate. Customers becoming your advocates is the key to your success.

What sets a world-class retailer like Jack Mitchell (owner of Richards of Greenwich, CT, the best clothing and jewelry store I have visited) apart is the attention Jack and his team pay to building relationships with customers through conversations enriched by the information they have collected, and the continuous outreach that makes us realize they care about us. They focus on what they believe in, and know how to sell upscale clothing, but what they try to sell to us matches our preferences.

[blockquote class=orange]Besides understanding what people want, a jeweler must understand WHEN they are most ready to buy. – Michael J. Critelli[/blockquote]

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A marketer could see me as a hopeless prospect because I have only bought one luxury watch. However, my purchasing decision signaled something that should tell a jeweler what else it could sell me. The Cartier Panther watch was an understated gold and stainless steel watch, which signaled that I wanted a classy item, but did not want the watch to draw unusual attention, the way a more expensive gold watch would be noticed. What jewelry store salespeople should ask is: What can I sell to him today that is consistent with his values?

Jewelry stores should hire people skilled at building deeper relationships that yield insights to match products with customers’ passions. Some insight comes from learning what customers have bought before, but more is obtainable from interactions in the store, online, or by phone. Capturing that data is easy to do, but few retailers try. Today, we can learn and utilize more of what we know about customers by embracing technology.

Besides understanding what people want, a jeweler must understand WHEN they are most ready to buy. My wife and I bought her a 4-carat diamond ring when we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary, which coincided with me receiving a promotion at work, although a money-back guarantee certainly made us more comfortable with the purchase. People buy jewelry on celebratory occasions, like engagements,  anniversaries, or graduations, but also on occasions uniquely special to them. The jeweler can learn about these occasions well before they happen, and can begin a dialogue that leads to a sale.

If I owned a jewelry store, I would try to build relationships with customers while they are young. If they move away, I would build a relationship that would survive through online portals, social networking sites, and e-mail and phone calls. With young people, I might hold classes or even get them interested in jewelry through low-cost jewelry gifts or sales. My goal would be to build a lifetime customer.

In short, if I owned a jewelry store, I would create and celebrate life’s happiest occasions with a large and growing group of customers, who would treat me like a family member, since jewelry is associated with the happiest parts of people’s lives.

Ultimately, there are three key success factors for a jewelry store: a customer focus that supplements excellent products and merchandising; a relationship-based focus, instead of a transactional one; and a use of multiple interactive communications channels, instead of a reliance on the in-store experience.

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[smalltext]MICHAEL J. CRITELLI, former CEO of Pitney Bowes, is a sought-after public speaker and blogger. He serves on the board for the Partnership for Prevention and the RAND Health Board of Advisors, the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable for Evidence-Based Medicine, the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Boston University Medical School, and the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center’s Advisory Board. Contact him through www.mikecritelli.com.[/smalltext]

 

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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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If I Owned

If I Owned: Michael J. Critelli

Published

on

[h4]GOOD TO GREAT FOR THE JEWELER WHO ALWAYS MANAGES TO REACH THE TOP[/h4]

AS A RECENTLY RETIRED CHAIRMAN and CEO of a public company, my usual role in regards to jewelry stores has generally been to accompany my wife or daughter to supply an opinion or a credit card.

If I Owned: Michael J. Critelli

As a jewelry store owner, I would draw on lessons from my career in a business-to-business marketing environment. Lesson No. 1: It’s about the customers, not the jewelry. The secret to success is whether what the store offers excites the customer, and finding pieces about which your customers can become passionate. Customers becoming your advocates is the key to your success.

What sets a world-class retailer like Jack Mitchell (owner of Richards of Greenwich, CT, the best clothing and jewelry store I have visited) apart is the attention Jack and his team pay to building relationships with customers through conversations enriched by the information they have collected, and the continuous outreach that makes us realize they care about us. They focus on what they believe in, and know how to sell upscale clothing, but what they try to sell to us matches our preferences.

Advertisement

[blockquote class=orange]Besides understanding what people want, a jeweler must understand WHEN they are most ready to buy. – Michael J. Critelli[/blockquote]

A marketer could see me as a hopeless prospect because I have only bought one luxury watch. However, my purchasing decision signaled something that should tell a jeweler what else it could sell me. The Cartier Panther watch was an understated gold and stainless steel watch, which signaled that I wanted a classy item, but did not want the watch to draw unusual attention, the way a more expensive gold watch would be noticed. What jewelry store salespeople should ask is: What can I sell to him today that is consistent with his values?

Jewelry stores should hire people skilled at building deeper relationships that yield insights to match products with customers’ passions. Some insight comes from learning what customers have bought before, but more is obtainable from interactions in the store, online, or by phone. Capturing that data is easy to do, but few retailers try. Today, we can learn and utilize more of what we know about customers by embracing technology.

Besides understanding what people want, a jeweler must understand WHEN they are most ready to buy. My wife and I bought her a 4-carat diamond ring when we celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary, which coincided with me receiving a promotion at work, although a money-back guarantee certainly made us more comfortable with the purchase. People buy jewelry on celebratory occasions, like engagements,  anniversaries, or graduations, but also on occasions uniquely special to them. The jeweler can learn about these occasions well before they happen, and can begin a dialogue that leads to a sale.

If I owned a jewelry store, I would try to build relationships with customers while they are young. If they move away, I would build a relationship that would survive through online portals, social networking sites, and e-mail and phone calls. With young people, I might hold classes or even get them interested in jewelry through low-cost jewelry gifts or sales. My goal would be to build a lifetime customer.

In short, if I owned a jewelry store, I would create and celebrate life’s happiest occasions with a large and growing group of customers, who would treat me like a family member, since jewelry is associated with the happiest parts of people’s lives.

Advertisement

Ultimately, there are three key success factors for a jewelry store: a customer focus that supplements excellent products and merchandising; a relationship-based focus, instead of a transactional one; and a use of multiple interactive communications channels, instead of a reliance on the in-store experience.

[smalltext]MICHAEL J. CRITELLI, former CEO of Pitney Bowes, is a sought-after public speaker and blogger. He serves on the board for the Partnership for Prevention and the RAND Health Board of Advisors, the Institute of Medicine’s Roundtable for Evidence-Based Medicine, the Dean’s Advisory Board for the Boston University Medical School, and the Boston University Alzheimer’s Disease Center’s Advisory Board. Contact him through www.mikecritelli.com.[/smalltext]

 

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

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.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular