2013: Top Ten Tips

1. From The Ground Floor Up: It’s all about your people and their passion. Make sure your sales team is as educated, informed and passionate about the product they’re selling as you are. It’s up to you to make sure they have the tools, information and insight about each and every item offered. Schedule regular meetings to update your sales force about new product, market trends and upcoming initiatives, but also make sure you get feedback as well. Your staff is speaking with your clients every day, find out if they’re noticing any trends in consumer queries or what information or tools would help them to close sales.

2. Stand-Out: Are your customers all the same? Of course not. Make sure you have a series of programs that enables the customer to express their style. From a must-have customization program, to on-the-spot engraving. From charms and collectibles to gemstone options. Make sure each and every consumer feels that their selection is all about them.

3. Present Your Case: Make sure collections are themed from start to finish. If you have a collection of pieces inspired by art-deco motifs, carry this through from display to final sale. Feature art-deco themed accessories in the showcase that highlight the era. Visual investments can pay back great dividends to the bottom-line.

4. More For Less: Of all the styles that are set to dominate 2013, there’s one mega-trend that can’t be ignored, ‘bang for the buck’. A big look at a not so big price. Large gemstones (albeit lower-priced ones) – large ornate settings (in cost-conscious metals) – splashy color combinations with negative spacing. Make the ‘wow’ in the style – not the price.

5. Giving them what they never knew they wanted: Consumers tend to look for what they know. Spend time to understand what they like and suggest gems, settings, colors and styles they haven’t previously considered. If they like pearls, show them some color pearls. If they’re a diamond type – suggest a fancy color stone that keeps within their budget. If they say no, find out what they don’t like about it and use that to move on from there. Is it price, is it color or is it just that they’re nervous about stepping out of their jewelry box?

6. Review Your Online Window: You change your window displays regularly, what about your online window. Is it really how you want to customers to perceive you? We’re not talking about a major overhaul; a few cosmetic tweaks can make all the difference. Are you promoting your most popular items right when they enter your site? Is all of the contact information up to date? Take the time to refresh information as regularly as possible and make sure any event, in-store sale or arrival of new collections is prominently featured.

7. Curate A Social Media Collection: From Facebook to Pinterest. Now OpenSky to Thefancy, and don’t forget Google Plus and Twitter, just which, when, why and how can they help your business? Unless you have significant manpower to help keep your presence prominent on them all, we wouldn’t recommend you spending every minute trawling these sites to promote your product, pin your pieces and tweet about your tourmalines. Be specific, choose the sites that your target audience is most likely to frequent and tailor your involvement to specific collections and offerings.

8. The Sweet Spots: Make sure your inventory is price pitch perfect. Between $200 to $400 is the mark with consumers when it comes to fashion items. Oxidized silver encrusted with a sprinkling of diamonds, large gemstone pendants and lightweight cuffs with intricate detailing and alternate metals are set to be the bigger sellers in this range. When it comes to gold, look at items retailing between $1,000-$5,000. To achieve a statement look in this price range, designers are incorporating open areas and even mixing metals to achieve a significant look that is complementary to most merchandising mixes.

9. Never Say Goodbye: Make sure your post-sale follow-ups are thorough and targeted. A thank you note or even an email. A few months later follow up and make sure the buyer knows you’re still thinking of them. For high-value purchases, contact the consumer offering a complimentary cleaning of the piece. If they’ve bought a brand-name piece, let them know when new designs arrive. If the item they’ve purchased is part of a set, send them a reminder that there are matching pieces.

10. And last, but by no means least, all of us at the Plumb Club wish you and yours a happy, peaceful and ‘sparkling’ 2013.

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