JCK Show: Position yourself as the romance advisor

The differences between men and women are vast, but with the right strategy, a jeweler can serve as the bridge between the sexes and, in the meantime, boost sales, says consultant Dave Richardson.

“Men desperately want to be romantic, but we don’t know how. Who is going to teach us?” he said during a conference program presentation on Wednesday. His answer: “The jeweler is, because, remember, this business is all about romance.”

The romance aspect is especially prevalent in the bridal business, where the divide between men and women is magnified. Men, Richardson says, do not realize how important the proposal is to the women. They do not understand the significance of this occasion. The jeweler who can convey that to the customer will profit from it.

“What he is buying with an engagement ring is not a piece of jewelry; it’s that moment when he’s down on his knee and he doesn’t know how important that moment is,” he said. “If you can tell him how important it is, he spends more than he plans, but he has a smile on his face.”

Jewelers who are doing this, he said, are selling more; they’re selling diamonds with higher price point and fewer hassles.

Richardson suggests that jewelers promote the romance factor by having resources on hand for customers. Richardson, for example, is co-author of the book, Twenty Ways to Pop the Question, which outlines ideas on proposing marriage or presenting jewelry for a myriad of romantic occasions. Having a book like this on hand, he said, helps customers get into the romantic mindset and establishes the jeweler as the romance advisor.

“Find the romance in the stone only after you find the romance in the customer’s heart,” he said.

As competition in the jewelry industry grows more intense, establishing a niche is vital. Being the romance advisor in a community is a strong one, Richardson said. A good way to establish that reputation is to sponsor a contest that solicits romantic marriage proposal stories from the public. These special promotions usually generate not only customer interest but also local publicity and press coverage.

Romance is a theme that must be carried beyond bridal, he said. For any male gift-giving purchaser, remember what Richardson calls the six magic words: “One thing women really like is.”

Remember to follow that up with romance, not the technicalities of diamonds.

“Tell a man, `What a woman really wants is a man who honors and respects her enough to create a very special moment. The way to a woman’s heart is an unexpected gift at an unexpected time.’ “