Wednesday, 10 September 2014


It's a big leap from credible to "incredible."

The English language is full of words where prefixes and suffixes can adjust the meaning 180 degrees, turn it sideways, hyperspace it into superlativity (I made that one up!) or completely change the intent.  “Hospitable” and “inhospitable” are opposites, but what about “credible” and  “incredible?”

In the jewellery business credibility is a huge asset.  How will consumers buy something so easily fudged from us without trust?  We want to be perceived as “credible.”  So do cruise ship jewellers, Caribbean port shops, internet retailers, home shopping channels, chain stores and the dishonest jeweller right down the street from you.  They all want to make sales, and they all know that credibility, or the appearance thereof is the key.

What do our competitors do to build credibility?  Cruise ships spend time educating passengers about jewellery while building rapport.  Port shops bribe port lecturers,  boast of their New York head office and international warranties.  Internet retailers build credibility through transparency of information and no hassle return policies.  The chain stores take advantage of their long histories to leverage lifetime trade-ups and long-lasting warranties.  The television vendors have extensive “risk reversal” policies to assert “we’re so sure you’ll love it, we’ll pay double the return postage if you’re not happy.”  The dishonest guy down the street peddles half-truths and lacklustre promises.

I still visit perfectly honest retailers who have no BBB, Chamber of Commerce nor CJA stickers on their doors.  Their hand-written signs behind the counter that say “NO REFUNDS, EXCHANGE ONLY,” make me think that numerous clients have desired refunds for suspicious reasons.  When asked about warranties, trade-ups and exchange policies there’s no document to clearly state the expectations.  “We’ll take care of you,” sometimes will lose to the chain store’s clearly stated documentation.  I love to see cork-boards full of thank-you notes and wedding photos of happy couples.  They confidently assert “others have tried us and appreciated the service, so you should too.”

Here’s the thing.  If your customer comes to you and says, “Peoples will give me my original cost towards something of double the value…” you might choose to match that deal in order to gain the sale, and the trade-in of something that might actually have some value to you.  If your customer says, “I think this was a manufacturer’s defect,” you often give them the benefit of the doubt and cover it anyway.  For ALL of those benefits you give to your clients after the fact, you could formalize them (to protect you against abuse) and use them as a selling feature to make more sales.

You need to prove your credibility in your long-term actions, but you also need to be able to articulate your credibility in a short sales presentation.  If you A) have credibility, B) clearly communicate how you back-up your claims of  credibility, and C) live it and prove it every day of your life, then you will surely achieve the status of “incredible.”

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