Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Don’t Forget Design!

I can’t wait to watch every monthly video-blog that Mel Moss puts out.  Seriously.  He’s a crusader, who fights hard for integrity in our industry.  If you haven’t seen his April video, click HERE to watch it.  In this installment, the King of Diamonds talks about a retailer so frustrated at losing sales to misrepresented diamonds that he simply stopped selling diamonds.

Are branded bridal programs the answer?  Mel says that they allow the consumer to compare Brand-X Model #1234 on the internet; where for even a small discount the consumer is showing an increased willingness to sidestep their local jeweller for a virtual one.

Will a more professional and knowledgeable approach help build your store as a credible brand?  Yes.  Uncle Mel and I agree on this issue.  Listening intently to your client’s “story,” holding their hand while you help them try-on a fantastic diamond and directly responding to their questions and concerns is something that scammers and online retailers can’t do.  Unscrupulous jewellers can schmooze too, but sincerity and honesty can’t be bought nor faked.

Now, to the big problemo… consumers are doing nothing different than many retailers.  Retailers want to buy their diamonds for as little as possible by aggressive sourcing, or by buying badly overstated diamonds with false savings.  Branded semi-mount programs are feeding this paradigm by encouraging clients to choose a loose diamond and setting separately.

What if we were really good at selling a fully-set designs on the merits of their uniqueness, beauty and the strong quality of the diamonds selected by the designer?  Oh, what a wonderful world it would be!  Then those who carry the most beautiful designs would achieve the highest sales.  I feel very blessed to be working for manufacturers who are not involved in the race-to-the-price-basement.  Representing the product I do leads to working closely with retailers who not only appreciate style, but work with their clients to consider design and quality before price.  Note I said BEFORE PRICE.  I’m not so naïve to think that price is unimportant, but if we prioritize price-per-size, it will inevitably be so for the consumer.

If you spend your entire life trying to compare diamond qualities and certificates, you’ll eventually do one of three things.  You’ll give-up like the jeweller Mel alluded to, you’ll start compromising your integrity (if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em) or you’ll become a galvanized crusader like Mel .  Maybe a fourth option is to prove yourself as a trusted source of unique designs with outstanding knowledge and impeccably honest service.  You’ll earn higher margins and more than your share of business.

Keep your eyes out for “Smart-Show Snippets”.  I’m on my way to Chicago and can’t wait to experience InStore Magazine’s Smart Show.

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