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.

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