Rubber? Meet Road.
By Ellen Fruchtman, President
Hear me out. Whenever I speak to a new prospect (or even existing clients), I always ask what’s their point of differentiation. Let’s face it. Unless you are carrying a brand no one else has in your city and is specifically being sought out, you all carry much of the same. Don’t take it the wrong way. The same is true for marketing and advertising firms. When we started specializing in the jewelry industry, that was a point of differentiation. There aren’t a lot of us. But we do have competitors. What makes us different than one of our competitors? This is a question we continuously ask ourselves. This is where the rubber meets the road.
Where does the rubber meet your road?
As we approach what is undeniably your most important sales quarter, this is the question you need to not only ask yourself but dare I say, ask your staff in a productive sales meeting. Don’t simply answer the word “service”, as an example. Is it fantastic service? And, if it’s fantastic, what specifically can you implement that is undeniably the best service in your area?
Here are a few ideas for this upcoming holiday season. And, maybe even beyond. Keep an open mind.
Start at the door.
I’m not suggesting you hire additional employees. So perhaps this is a rotation situation, or if you do want to hire some students, that could suffice. The idea is to surprise and delight them the minute they step in. Never ask “Can I help you?”, because the answer could be “no”. More importantly, what can be done to break the ice, immediately? What if every day you handed out a small jar of jewelry cleaner in a store-branded bag with tissue? Think about your cost of acquisition – what it takes to bring someone through that door. Think about how you would respond if you walked into a store and were greeted with a gift. That’s the start of your fantastic service. This simple gesture will also remove a barrier. It provides an opening for conversation and leads them to where they need to go. It starts the process.
A winter thought.
If you live in a colder weather destination, remember, no one wants to shop while wearing a heavy coat. Consider purchasing a coat rack with sturdy hangers that you can set up in a discreet location. That person at the door handing out the gift cleaner bags? They can point it out or ask if they can help with removing their coat.
Behind the counter.
Consider, in various positions throughout the store, small trays holding individually wrapped store logo cookies from your local bakery. Or a store-branded mug waiting to be filled with tea or coffee. Or better yet, some branded (yes they can be plastic) wine glasses with the offer of a complimentary glass of wine. Again, breaking a barrier. Making that customer feel at ease, and once more, leading to the important conversation of how you can help them.
If a customer intends to self-purchase, or the customer wants to get an idea of how the jewelry piece will look on them, provide a way for them to really see it. Although I’m sure you have mirrors around the store, do you always suggest trying on what they are admiring? Or taking a look in a full-length mirror? If you have the space in the store, it’s a great thing to do. It is fashion after all.
Delivery. Returns. Shipping, etc.
Who are your competitors locally and nationally? Do a competitive analysis of their services. Set up an Excel spreadsheet (we did this with our clients in our planning session) and take a hard look at what you offer versus them. Your service offerings certainly need to be as good as theirs. Preferably better. Here’s the thing about consumers and shopping overall. Yes, they want to have an experience, And you need to give them one. Delivery, returns, shipping, etc. are important as well. Especially during the holidays. But truthfully all year long. I’ve compared many a product on Amazon, which sometimes cost more money. But you can’t beat the delivery and return options they provide. Contrary to some public opinion, it’s not always about price.
After the sale.
This is paramount. Hopefully, you have captured all the data you need for follow-up. Every month (let alone during the holidays) you see new customers. Let me tell you. There is nothing like a handwritten note in this day and age and nothing like an actual note from the owner welcoming them to your jewelry family. And, by the way, you can send them a gift card for a return visit. If the sale was pretty large, remembering them with flowers for the New Year (don’t want to risk blowing anyone’s cover for the holidays), will take it one step further.
Here’s where your rubber meets the road. Time to start that journey.
Looking to start your successful marketing journey? That’s what we do! Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.