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To Beat Online Sellers, Build A Relationship With Your Customer. Here’s How.

It comes down to imparting confidence and knowledge.

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ACCORDING TO GOOGLE, 53 percent of shoppers say they always do research online before buying. And The Knot tells us that one in four millennials buy their ring online. So how do we compete with online retailers?

To answer that question, let’s start with a story. Imagine that a young man walks into your showroom and says he is looking for a 1-carat round diamond, G color, and SI1 clarity. Your gut probably tells you to run to the safe and find your best 1-carat, G color, SI1 clarity diamond. That is what he asked for, right? But wait: the truth is that he did not come in to buy a 1 carat, G color, and SI1 clarity diamond … he came in for a relationship.

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Can you imagine how many options he has online to buy this exact type of diamond? But instead, he came to you. So instead of running to the safe, start by saying, “Wow, we love customers who have done their homework! So how did you find our store?” Building rapport by learning and listening will help you find common ground, it will comfort your client to know that you care, and it will reinforce that the most important thing is not selling a diamond, but rather building a relationship.

After learning more about the client, ask if he has seen a G color SI1 clarity diamond in person. If he has seen one online, ask him to show you the specific diamond so that you can see all the details, such as the weight, millimeters, how the clarity looks, etc. You will now know how to educate him.

When you begin the education process, remember that the customer does not have a jewelry background. He may not interrupt you because he doesn’t want to feel ignorant, but it’s your job to put yourself in the client’s shoes.

When talking about color, my first recommendation to the client is to never buy a diamond based on the alphabet. As we all know, the grade of a diamond is someone’s opinion, and every set of eyes can see something different. Show the customer two G color diamonds next to each other. Ask him, “Notice when comparing two G color diamonds next to each other, one will always appear more bright, white, and sparkle more? That’s because every diamond is different.”

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You can now use this same tool when educating the client on clarity. Try to use only positive words (instead of saying “yellow,” say “warmer,” and instead of “imperfections,” say “birthmarks”). Showing the customer two SI2 clarity diamonds will help him see that some have more birthmarks than others, some are visible to the naked eye, and the birthmarks could be black or white. It is important to show two SI2 diamonds that have a large range in price to show the client that the more birthmarks, the lower the price.

Build a relationship with the client, get to know him, and find ways to educate him that will make him feel like he understands what he is purchasing. This is how you convince today’s customer to forget about buying jewelry online and buy from you instead.

Megan Crabtree is the founder and CEO of Crabtree Consulting. Before founding Crabtree Consulting, Megan had a successful professional career in the jewelry industry, which culminated with high-level positions at several of the top leading firms in the retail and manufacturing sectors. Reach her at [email protected]

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