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The Fastest Way to Bring Your Business Online During the COVID-19 Pandemic

If you're willing to move out of your comfort zone, you could be selling almost immediately.

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WITH THE COVID-19 outbreak cutting into many jewelers’ ability to conduct business person-to-person, getting comfortable selling virtually is critical to keeping your store open and continuing to care for your customers.

Selling jewelry has always been about so much more than a simple transaction: It’s about seeing, hearing and acknowledging your clients in moments of celebration (engagements, holidays, graduations, anniversaries, new babies) and we need that now more than ever.

In any economy, the money is in the relationships, and right now your relationships are about to be put to the test.

So how can you maintain your relationships when “business as usual” has been canceled?

1. Keep in touch with your best clients and customers.

Create a list of your top 20% of clients and put your effort into reaching out to them first. Texting is great for this, but email works as well. Write them a personal message checking in on their wellbeing.

Remember, this is not about sales. This is about creating a much-needed human connection.

2. Get comfortable being on camera (and using one!)

Download Zoom — a free video-conferencing service — and set it up on your phone or laptop, then do a test run before going live with any clients or customers.

Keep your laptop on a flat surface or use a selfie stick to keep your video from wiggling and clear the background of any clutter.

Check your sound carefully and get an extra mic if you need one (this goes for cameras, too, if your picture quality is poor).

And lastly, dress up as if you planned to be greeting customers in your store. A little grooming will go a long way in your confidence.

3. Start taking virtual private appointments.

Set up a time to meet with clients and customers via Zoom and be sure to send a reminder email with instructions on how they can download Zoom on their phone or computer.

During your appointment, walk them through your sales protocol and take their credit card payment during the appointment. Don’t forget to follow up with an emailed receipt and shipping details.

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4. Host a virtual trunk show.

This can be done on Zoom and streamed to Facebook for even more participation.

Get 10-12 pieces together across your range of price points (a few higher-priced items to anchor your presentation, some mid-price bestsellers, and a handful of more affordable impulse buys).

Watch QVC to get some inspiration on how you can talk about and present each item, then do a practice run before going live with your clients and customers.

During your virtual trunk show, give each piece a number and when someone claims that number in the comments, send them a link to buy or make plans to collect their payment immediately.

Just like your virtual private appointments, you will want to follow up with an emailed receipt and shipping details.

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5. Look for advice from digital business experts.

Just by reading this article, you’re already off to a great start! Stay safe, stay well, and together we will get through this.

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 [email protected]

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