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Take a hands-on approach to increasing sales

Take a hands-on approach to increasing sales

People love to watch things. We watch television. We watch birds. We even watch cat videos on the internet. (I’m not judging.) We’re a society of watchers.

That’s not really a bad thing, especially if you can tap into that love for spectatorship. It can be used to strengthen customer relationships, increase exposure, and even build profits.

I’m speaking to those jewelers who offer custom jewelry services, specifically, those with an in-house bench jeweler. Most bench jewelers stay tucked away in the back of the store, which is usually the best place for them to work most of the time.

But think about what would happen if you occasionally put your bench jeweler in the spotlight for a jewelry-making demonstration. Customers would come to watch. Demonstrations draw people in and keep them in. Some large festivals give vendors huge discounts on fees if they offer demonstrations. Watching turns into learning. Learning turns into appreciating, and appreciating often turns into purchasing.

But what if you don’t have an in-house bench jeweler? Well, you could rent one, sort of. Several of our clients host trunk shows, and a few of them bring in the designers for a meet-and-greet customer event. This can be a viable option, with the scale of the event left up to your budget and imagination.

Now what if you offered the option of not just watching, but doing?

The April issue of JCK Magazine featured a story about Jay Whaley, owner of Whaley Studios in San Diego. Whaley started out as a bench jeweler, but after teaching an adult education course in jewelry making, he discovered he had a passion for teaching. Now he combines the two in a wildly successful venture. Whaley Studios offers classes and workshops where customers can make their own jewelry. His “Do-It-Yourself Wedding Rings” workshop is an extremely popular program. Whaley said customers pay a package price based on the metal they want, and then he coaches them through the entire process. He added that he usually has more than 80 students a week learning “old-school metalsmithing.”

If you need more convincing, consider this. A few years ago, I took one free leatherworking class at an area retailer. It’s frightening to think just how much money I’ve spent at that store since that day. Even while researching this article, I caught myself looking at Whaley Studios’ site thinking a few of those jewelry tools might come in handy for my somewhat-out-of-control hobby. (But I can stop anytime I want – not.)

Have I got you thinking? Good. You may not be able to do something on the scale of Whaley Studios, but if you can find something for customers to watch – even better, if you can find something for them to do – they will be highly likely to buy.

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