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On Customer Service: Ensure Event Success

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On Customer Service: Ensure Event Success

Planning involves more than what’s on the menu

BY PETER CANNELLA

Published in the March 2013 issue.

The key to a successful trunk show goes beyond the basics of decorations and catering. For yours to really succeed, you have to put in the hard work beforehand to ensure people will come, be ready for them with the right merchandise when they do and, of course, be prepared for them to buy.

Here are a few ways to get you working well before the balloons, streamers and canapés come out:

First, set a sales goal and determine how many customers you will need to achieve it. An easy way to estimate this is the 50 percent rule, which goes like this: 50 percent of those clients who express interest will make an appointment; 50 percent of those who do actually will show up; and 50 percent of those who show up will buy.

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You can work backwards to determine how many confirmed appointments you will need to achieve your desired goal. If your average sale is $1,200 and you want to have a $15,000 show, you will need 12.5 people to buy: 15,000 ÷ 1,200 = 12.5. So, you’ll need 25 people to walk in your door and you need 50 confirmed appointments from 100 customers.

When a customer makes an appointment with you, does it occur to you that she is doing so simply to get you to stop talking? She tells you, “yes,” you write her name on the appointment sheet, you give her your card with the time and date, she leaves, and proceeds to throw away the card. Anything to escape!

To help ensure this doesn’t happen, send her a note thanking her for making the appointment. Also include a pocket calendar with your event marked along with the RETAILER PETER CANNELLA On customer service Peter Cannella is a 27-year veteran in the jewelry industry. He is currently the fine jewelry manager at Belk’s in Atlanta, GA. time you expect her.

If you have the resources, schedule the customer to be picked up and driven to and from the store. This is a very nice touch and ups the chance the customer will follow through on her commitment.

When a customer makes an appointment with you, does it occur to you that she is doing so simply to get you to stop talking?

Ensure the vendor coming to your store has exactly what your client is interested in. If she is interested in buying a 2-carat round natural pink diamond, you had best have at least two or three for her to see, along with workable mountings per the customer’s specifications. Additionally, this customer needs to be prequalified on price, and you likely should have financing arranged to make it easier for her to buy.

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Flowers are a nice touch. Give a rose to every woman who keeps her appointment when she walks in the door. Introduce her to your vendor representative, but leave some time for chit-chat before diving into the sale.

At an event I planned years ago, I brought in a piano player. Soft background music creates professionally intimate surroundings.

At this event, a husband and wife impromptu requested “their song” be played. We had a video camera and we encouraged them to dance. We sent the videotape of them dancing to their home a few days later, along with a thank you letter and a gift certificate for them to use at a nice local restaurant.

I know you are thinking: All of this costs money. Yes, it does, but more important, it works!


Peter Cannella is a 27-year veteran in the jewelry industry having held positions in sales, store and district management. He is currently the fine jewelry manager at Belk’s in Atlanta, GA.

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