Saturday, 24 March 2012
Saturday Story Time - Are you a J.P.?
Today’s story takes place back in the days when I sold jewellery out of a 10th floor suite in a run-down Downtown Edmonton office building. I was concluding the sale of some jewellery to a customer who was fast becoming a loyal client. Obviously pleased with her new purchase, she told me, “you’re not so much of a jeweller as you are my jewellery practitioner.”
I’d never thought of myself as a J.P. before, but I guess the way we did business lent itself well to that description. You see, like a medical practitioner, we didn’t advertise, we had a little waiting room, we only saw people by appointment, and we really did seek to help our narrow list of clients (patients?) develop healthy long-term jewellery wardrobes.
Like a doctor, you and I know secret things that a client is unlikely to have accurate knowledge of. We know about synthetic diamonds, HTHP treatments, fracture filling, diamong grading, the lost-wax casting process, the culturing of pearls, variations in gold alloys, jewellery design, the varieties of gemstones, and on and on.
Point #1: It’s up to us to have the bedside manner to deliver this information simply and appropriately when relevant to our “patient’s” condition.
Point #2: Don’t ever give-up trying to defeat the internet for accurate information. Our clients can get a lot of material on the internet, but it isn’t always 100% accurate, and they may not apply it appropriately to their circumstance. If you are a jewellery practitioner, you not only know the true information, you can apply it appropriately.
One of the most effective direct marketing strategies is scaring someone into thinking that conventional retailers have been pulling-one-over on the market for years. An internet retailer will say, “Here are the 7 dirty little secrets that your jeweller doesn’t want you to know.” Then they give the consumer enough half-truths to make them doubt what you tell them.
We have to take-back that authority. We have to become jewellery practitioners. Who the heck wants to have an internet doctor look down their throat through a web-cam? Nobody I know!
I’ll say it again. If you want to excel in the information age, you’ve got to put the truth down on paper or on an iPad, and be able to show it to the person across the showcase from you. They’ve become so attuned to having that information at their fingertips that seeing it in black and white (or L.E.D. display) adds a lot of weight to your assertions.