As an image consultant, in working with a client, I have an advantage over retail jewelers. When I meet with my client, and before I assess her (or his) proportions, best colors, and wardrobe needs, I ask questions about her goals and vision. This information helps me direct the client to the apparel and accessories that will not only best complement her physical features and reflect her personality but also further her short-term goals and her long-term vision.
When a customer walks into your store, you are unlikely to have the opportunity to ask similar soul-searching questions. However, what you can be listening for are hints of what a customer seeks to accomplish with a piece of jewelry. Why is she looking to buy?
Sometimes the answer is a short-term goal – for instance, that she wishes to look good at a particular event, such as a wedding or another special event. She wants to accessorize a particular dress. (Maybe, too, she wants to turn her husband’s ex positively pea-green with envy.) An understanding of compatible styles, repetition of design details, and using the technique of reminiscence of the customer’s features will help guide you and the customer to a beautiful choice. (And as for the envy factor, the bigger the better!)
Sometimes she has a longer-term vision – for instance, she wants to create a professional image at work. She seeks a beautiful watch or necklace or pair of earrings to accomplish that. With an understanding of which pieces of your inventory are business-appropriate, and a quick assessment of the design details of her person, here again you can easily assist your client not only choose a beautiful and flattering piece of jewelry but also help her achieve her personal goals.
Sometimes the answer is the simplest one of all: She loves wearing beautiful things, and you have something in your inventory that speaks to her. Any time a customer really loves a piece, there is almost certain some similarity or connection between the jewelry and her own physical being or personality. The jewelry carries a message that she wants to convey. Whether it’s a shy, demure message or an announcement of serious look-at-me attitude, what you’re observing is an essential part of your customer’s nature.
The more you work with a client and thoughtfully observe her choices, the more you ultimately will come to an understanding of her goals and vision. Armed with that understanding, you can become an effective personal jeweler for that customer and, with ongoing nurturing of the relationship, remain such over the course of her entire life.