Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Based on a True Story

Last night a friend and I enjoyed our weekly “cheap Tuesday” movie outing.  We chose “Unbroken,” which is an inspirational story based on Olympian, Louis Zamperini, who survived some harrowing ordeals as a soldier in World War II.  I highly recommend the movie, so I won’t spoil it for you.  Like many movies based on true stories, the ending of the film involves telling the “story-after-the-story.”  Pictures of the real Louis Zamperini, were captioned by facts that show the enduring effects of his bravery and character.

The film was beautifully directed by Angelina Jolie (whom my wife Jana hates – probably because Angelina and her Collagen-inflated lips edged her out for a most beautiful woman in the Universe award – but I digress).  The cinematography was epic, the characters very well developed and the viewer could easily slip into the illusion that they were really crash-landing into the Pacific or seeing through the cracks at Louis in the dark depths of a detention camp.  The “story-after-the-story” jolted me out of the cinemagraphic dream I’d been lost in.  The reality of the actual life and impact of Louis Zamperini hit me like a ton of bricks.  It moved me so much that I couldn’t tell Jana about the movie the next morning without a few tears leaking from my puffy eyes.

It was a very enjoyable movie, but I’m writing to explain to you the revelation I had about how this movie was produced.  The first 2 hours and 15 minutes was impressively crafted, but it was all just a precursor to final 2 minutes: the truth about of one man’s life.  In your business, you can have a million dollar construction budget to create an amazing store with a coffee-bar to make Starbucks jealous, kids play area, luxurious well-lit showcases, and d├ęcor that is the envy of the town.  You can spend tens of thousands of dollars training your staff to provide professional white-glove service.  You can create advertising that moves people to tears and have them giddy with positive expectations when they come into your store.

If you spend 2 hours and 15 minutes with a client, treating them to the best shopping experience they’ve ever had, the last two minutes will still be the most crucial.  Will they walk away with something that inspires referrals for a lifetime, or will they end-up with jewellery that forever leaves a bad taste in their mouth.  The quantity of jewellery you sell this month will help pay the bills.  The quality of jewellery you sell this month will help you build a dynasty of clientele.

Selling anything is hard enough.  If you think that selling is trying to solve a mystery as to which item in your showcase will tick all of the boxes and get them to say yes, you’re not thinking big enough.  Selling the right product to the right person to maximize their long-term enjoyment of jewellery and reverence for the business and the person who sold it to them is even better. Some guys have two boxes to check: A) it’s got to look like it cost $1,000 and B) I want it to cost less than $500.  It doesn’t take two-and-a-quarter hours to make that sale, but what if you asked a few questions, listened to his story and then gave him a few more boxes to check.  He might end-up with something much more valuable, and something she’ll get 10 times the enjoyment out of.  If that happens, do you think they will tell their friends about your store?


Create a fantastic client experience, and then ensure that you make every effort to promote the best you have.  Sure, they might still choose the easy-to-sell trendy cheapo that’s not built to last.  But they just might make an inspired choice that will set you up as a hero, and inspire generations of jewellery shoppers to return to your store.

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