Saturday, 17 March 2012
Saturday Story Time – A Sad Confession
As a neophyte jewellery store clerk, I was approached by an East Indian lady inquiring about buying a diamond nose-stud. This was an unusual request at that time, as the whole body-piercing craze had yet to reach the mainstream. A senior salesperson came to my side and with a glint in her eye said to me, “oh, she’s looking for a diamond for up her nose.” It was meant to get me off my game and to see if I could hold myself together. She thought it was quite hilarious. She repeated the phrase “up her nose” a couple of times, and it had the desired effect. I unsuccessfully tried to keep a straight face while attempting to assist her.
I’m ashamed to say that our level of professionalism that day was about nil. We were having a little bit of fun, but it was at the expense of a potential client. We weren’t able to earn this lady’s business and I imagine she probably never entered our store again. Looking back, I can imagine the indignity that she must have felt. I can only conclude that this salesperson I worked with believed this potential client to be too dumb to notice, or she wasn’t worth giving our best effort.
I wish I could go back and get to know that lady, and turn her from a prospect into a client. It’s hard enough to get people to come into your store for the first time. When they do, don’t waste the opportunity I did that day on a lark. The lifetime value of a jewellery client can range from several thousand dollars to tens of thousands. Their very first contact with you, whether it’s for a watch battery, a silver bead, a diamond ring or a nose stud; is HUGE in determining whether they want to make you their jeweller for life.