The Trip of a Lifetime—and Holiday Sales Tips— With Nina Nguyen

As the clock keeps counting down—Hanukkah starts in nine days! Christmas Eve is in 11!—your shoppers are ever more urgently trying to cross off their holiday gift lists (and, if they’re anything like me, picking up a thing or two for themselves along the way).

This is a big time of year for retailers—and for the brands they stock in their stores, too. It’s an opportunity to make some excellent sales, establish a new customer base and cement current ones with an extra dusting of goodwill and gratitude.

This end-of-year sales season is an ideal time to show appreciation to your staff. A Christmas bonus, a few extra days off, a special gift. The same goes for the brands and designers carried in-store: They want to thank those who work hard to help them sell their creations and honor business relationships both new and old.

Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (image courtesy of Nina Nguyen)

For Nina Nguyen, that token of appreciation comes in the form of a trip of a lifetime—a 10-day vacation to Vietnam.

Awarded to one lucky (and talented) sales associate this year, Nyugen will play host as the winner experiences the designer’s home country, traveling to Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Da Nang, and Hanoi. The trip, which will take place in March 2020, features an enviable itinerary filled with food, sightseeing, and plenty of beach time.

“I wanted to share this part of my heritage and a place that continues to be very inspiring and special to me with one of our top-performing associates,” says Nguyen. “Plus, I figured after the holidays, they’re really going to need a relaxing, fun-filled vacation!”

This incentive has me wondering if I might take a chance behind the counter of my local jeweler this month. I’ve got a leg up that I’m happy to share this time of year: tips for selling jewelry from Nguyen herself. No one emits more enthusiasm for a design than its creator, right? So, Nina Nguyen sales associates, this one is for you. And for everyone else working to make jewelry dreams come true this holiday season, perhaps there’s a thing or two to help your sales, too.

Nina Nguyen Angel Wings earrings
Angel Wings collection earrings in 18k yellow gold with 18 cts. t.w. moonstone and 1.18 cts. t.w. diamonds, $2,310

On selling Nguyen’s jewelry (and all jewelry!): “Always ask an engaging question! Do not tell the customer, rather, let them tell you—open-ended questions may help them make the decision to purchase.”

She adds: “Romanticize the experience. Buying jewelry for a lot of us is fun, exciting, and emotionally ecstatic.” Contribute to the experience by joining in on the fun.

Make it an interactive experience. “ ‘Have you seen the coolest earrings from our line? Let me show you how it works.’ ‘Would you like to try it on? Jewelry always looks better on than in the display case.’ In the process, talk about the color of the stone. My line is colorful and color triggers emotions—once they try it on, more often than not, they fall in love.”

On how retailers can best engage with their customers this holiday season: “Events work really well for us. We have six differently themed events for our partners, including the Epic Earring Event, which gives away a free pair of earrings in exchange for a social shout-out by the customer at our retail partner stores—this concept earns us a lot of social media exposure. The New Collection Launch, which includes a gift with purchase and a percentage discount on our new collection, ensures the most exposure for new products early on. Cheers, Charcuterie, & Charity is our new theme this year, where we partner with our retailer to donate proceeds from the event to a local charity. This is a great one during the holiday season and for [the just-passed] Giving Tuesday.”

With highly collectible items comes repeat business. “Our unique, engaging, colorful, and versatile product always earns incredible repeat business from the consumers. They will need more earring charms to add to their collection!”

On in-store versus online sales for brick-and-mortar stores: “Having an active store online is very time-consuming and financially demanding. The sell-through is not going to justify the amount of time and resources pouring into it. However, the consumer does a lot of research online, so you want to have an informative website for them to see what you are selling and to get a feel for your store. Having great Google reviews will bring you more business than a fancy e-commerce website.”

But should you sell through social media?

“Absolutely! A social media presence lets customers find you and learn about who you are. You can invite them to your store, but also let them know that you actually have products to sell,” Nguyen says.

Happy selling, good luck, and happy holidays!

Top: Patent-pending interchangeable necklace and earrings by Nina Nguyen

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