How To Make Your Retail Jewelry Store More Profitable: 7 Tips
By Bob Phibbs
I’ve spoken to several jewelry and luxury retailers lately and I’ve also been commenting about luxury sales and how things need to change for these retailers.
I’ve condensed several points into this post with my seven tips to make your jewelry store more profitable.
Approach with fresh eyes.
It’s great if your parents founded your business in 1950 – but if it still looks that way, you’ve got a problem. And if it smells sort of like 1950 you have a bigger problem. Staid may work in England but luxury needs to speak to today’s customers with updated lighting, new floor coverings, current colors and on-trend display fixtures.
Raise the counters.
Does anyone want to look at something at the level of their crotch? No. The sweet spot in any display is the area between the bellybutton and the eyes. You want to highlight your best products at eye level. Stooping over, especially for older consumers, isn’t their preferred way to do many things. Raise your display counters to 42”instead of 32” so customers can have an up-close relationship with the products they’re browsing.
Pay more for a smiling security guard.
Does having to be buzzed in by a security guard make a passerby want to browse your jewelry store? While they may be a fact of life in certain areas, more often than not the guards look bored, with an unwelcoming attitude. That sets the stage for more of the same inside the guarded doors. Interview your security guards as you would an employee and pay more for those who have social skills like smiling and a welcoming attitude.
Goose your employees.
How passive are your employees? If they are only responding to customer’s requests, you need to fix that. Train them to actively get the luxury watch, ring or necklace on as many customers’ wrists, fingers or necks as possible. My online retail sales training SalesRX.com can help you do that easily with a high ROI.
Cut the Cs.
Are you still pitching the color, clarity, cut, and caret of your diamonds as THE compelling investment strategy? It’s 2015, customers can find all of that online – and probably have. The only value your store adds to the purchase process is when you focus on why this customer, on this day, walked into your store. Why did she drive past dozens of competitors, ignore thousands of online competitors and go through the traffic and trouble of finding a parking spot to shop with you? It’s about how that brilliant gem makes her feel, not think.
Cut the ABCs.
“ABC. Always be closing” is something commissioned salespeople often quote and laugh about from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross because it is so tired and overused. Yes the goal is to get the sale, of course; but your customers will appreciate being guided, not goaded. Luxury goods are a want and not a time-sensitive need. Luxury by nature means giving people space – in your displays, in your approach and in your close. When you’ve used something like my five parts to a successful sale, all of the time has been spent having a unique interaction with each customer and the close comes naturally. If your salespeople use the same generic sales process more suited for tin siding or used cars, I would suggest you spend some serious time developing their rapport skills.
Train the technology.
Associates need to approach customers with an open heart looking to make a unique, positive impression. They need to be able to vicariously appreciate the customer’s excitement at finding that one perfect watch or exquisite diamond ring. It’s great to have an iPad with product videos but that never should take the place of human contact. Small screens draw attention down and masks the viewer’s eyes.
Even if you’re not a jewelry store, here are your takeaways from this post:
Your store’s age adds nothing to the shopping experience; new sells.
Raise up your counters.
Lose the features-based selling.
As you add technology keep a laser focus on the humanity.
Most of these tips involve removing barriers between the salespeople and the customers; the humanity has to be the focal point over the fixtures.
You’ve probably noticed how bank lobbies are being transformed from utilitarian, cold places where customers line up, into welcoming and warm waiting areas. You’ve probably also noticed registration desks at hotels transformed from massive walls of marble, stone and wood into desks at a more human scale.
The spirit of retail is changing to embrace customers and away from than this-is-the-way-we’ve-always-done-it. Use these seven tips to attract customers and encourage them to return more often to your retail jewelry store or other luxury shop.
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