Jewelry customers expect to be informed and educated. What is the difference? We are all bombarded daily with lots of points of information. The information we do not find valuable we call clutter and filter out. We try our best to retain interesting and valuable information. The key point about information is that it does not necessarily motivate us to change our behavior. However, a proper education can bring about a change in behavior (because it has the capacity to change our beliefs, attitudes, opinions, etc.). Properly educated jewelry shoppers can become more confident jewelry buyers.
Many jewelry purchases are made by consumers who are highly involved in the transaction. This may be due to the ticket price being higher than their average purchases. Highly involved shoppers are looking for detailed information and appreciate being educated. Many jewelry customers openly acknowledge that they feel they don’t have the necessary knowledge to properly evaluate the quality of jewelry items and therefore rely highly on jewelry companies to provide product information. Traditionally, most jewelry information was delivered in face-to-face, in-store presentations with sales associates. Now through self-service features on websites, many customers are taking advantage of educational information posted online.
Here is a fun management exercise to use with sales associates: Offer a reward for the two top sales presentations that are the most informative and helpful in getting a customer to better understand a specific piece of jewelry. They should incorporate more than GG comments about the stones, etc. Expect to hear some “romancing” of the product, too. People buy jewelry emotionally and justify the purchase rationally. That’s why the information regarding quality, design, style, and materials used are very important to help the customer justify the purchase decision. Award and acknowledge the top two sales associates for their presentations. And be sure to record each presentation.
Next, have the top two sales associates repeat the exact same presentation with the same enthusiasm and excitement. Record this presentation, too. Take your time and note what important facts and “romancing points” were included and which ones were not included. Note how the descriptions changed and help the sales associates decide on the most effective ways to make each statement. Then reward the sales associate who was most consistent in making the same presentation a second time.
The bottom line is salespeople are only human and they are up against machines that never have a bad day and never forget to include important selling points. There are a growing number of jewelry customers who feel they can receive superior product education online. That does not bode well for jewelry stores that depend on in-store traffic and in-store purchases.
Lastly, help each sales associate improve their diction (clearly speaking each word) and points of emphasis (selling points) in their delivery. Confidence breeds confidence. Jewelry customers demand to hear confidence in a sales associate’s voice. Shoppers become buyers when they feel they are confident that they have the necessary information (through education) to make the proposed purchase.
To recap, here are the take home messages for converting shoppers into buyers:
- Work with sales associates so they can hear how they sound to others. Shoppers must hear a voice with confidence that is easily understood.
- Help sales associates develop more informative and exciting sales presentations that focus on educating shoppers and romancing the proposed jewelry.
- Help sales associates better outline and document their product presentations so they don’t leave out any important information.
- Always find new ways to acknowledge (extremely important to all sales associates) the good things each sales associate is doing during their sales presentations.
- Reward top performing sales associates with special acknowledgement and SPIFs (sales person incentive funds).
- Don’t assume that every sales associate has all of the required talent, skill, and experience necessary to provide all the information and education necessary to sell customers. Provide more scripted presentation content and then encourage each sales associate to “put it in their own words” without leaving out any of the key points or selling words.