21 sales tips for the holidays
December 10, 2013
New York--The holiday shopping season is almost halfway over, but there’s still time to make sure the store’s staff and setup is doing everything possible to maximize sales.
National Jeweler compiled this list of sales tips using input from the Jeweler’s Resource Bureau’s Cindy Edelstein, Matthew Tratner and Amanda Gizzi of Jewelers of America, Kate Peterson of Performance Concepts, Jen Cullen Williams of Luxury Brand Group, Elizabeth Anne Bonanno of The EAB Project, Janet Goldman of Fragments Showroom, and retailers Randy Cole of Diamond Vault of Troy in Michigan, Christina Gandia Gambale of Greenwich Jewelers in New York and Corina Madilian of Single Stone on Mission Street in California.
1. Understand your customer. The more you learn and understand about their taste, the more likely they are to come back. Give them the time and service that they deserve, and make the sales process more personal. They should be walking out with the piece that matches exactly what they wanted, whether a product from the case or a custom-made piece.
2. Be prepared for objections. Knowing that arguments such as “I have to think about it” and “I’m still looking” will likely come your way at some point, be prepared with methods to overcome them. Sales teams can role play overcoming objections during down time or set-up.
3. Team sell. A client shouldn’t leave the store before talking to two sales people. If a staff member is struggling to connect with a client or find the perfect piece or close the deal, call another sales person in before letting the client leave.
4. Get the customers’ attention. Now that holiday selections have been made, it’s time to put focus on how they are being merchandised. With such a short window of time to get shoppers’ attention, displays need to have immediate impact. Too many pieces can make them feel overwhelmed; fewer pieces tightly displayed can be just the ticket.
5. Highlight the trends. Shopping, especially during the holidays, can make everyone a little frantic and stressed. Talking up the trendiest items offered can help customers feel sure that their gift will hit the mark. Creating a special place for on-trend pieces in the store makes for quick and easy options.
6. Keep signs current. Make sure holiday signs are updated, fresh and bright. Consumers are used to seeing a lot of material and have trained themselves to look away from standard and boring signage, so creative, colorful signs can really catch their attention. The holiday signs should also be featured on all social media platforms.
7. Pay attention to the windows. Knowing that the store window is the first impression on a potential customer, make sure that the display in the store’s windows are telling the right story and impressing them.
8. Provide inspiration. Creating an inspiration board with lookbooks and images of best-selling brands can give customers something more to look at while they’re waiting or browsing. A good way to do this can be to make a digital board and play it on an iPad or TV monitor. Giving them ideas of how they can wear the jewelry will help them feel more secure about making a new, and possibly expensive, purchase.
9. Create a comfortable atmosphere. Make sure that clients are walking into a warm and welcoming environment during a hectic season. Offering refreshments such as hot cider or hot chocolate, which have warm connotations, will slow them down, create a positive connection and encourage them to stay longer.
10. Crisp and clean is best. The inside of the store should look immaculate. Be sure to hide tags, clean counters, put papers and books away and straighten up after clients leave. It can help keep a calm atmosphere inside.
11. Dress for the occasion. This time of the year is very special to most people. Look the part and be a model for the luxury, beauty and quality of fine jewelry.
12. Go for the add-ons. Customers may come in looking for a gift for one person on their list, but be sure to ask if there are any other people on their list for which the store can help them find a gift.
13. Money matters. Be sure that the store is promoting an entry-level priced item to pull people in. Additionally, make sure customers know their payment options--it can turn a possible sale into a definite sale or a small purchase into a big purchase.
14. Don’t forget the cards. Offerings gift cards or gift certificates can be a big plus. Selling one means that you have doubled your customer base, from the person who bought it to the customer that will be redeeming soon after.
15. Take care of staff. There’s a lot going on, and it can be easy for staff to get stressed and on edge. Be sure that employees are being taken care of, encourage them and praise them as much as possible. They’re the front line for customers and need to be feeling their best to give the best customer service.
16. Follow through. Don’t let the trunk shows and events you’ve planned for the season fall through the cracks. Being organized and efficient can help, as does team support. Make sure staff is on top of taking messages, answering emails and communicating with everyone about orders and purchases.
17. Social media is key. You’ve probably heard it before, and for good reason. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter are all great tools to keep clients engaged in and excited about what’s happening at the store every day. You can also keep track of what your peers are doing.
18. Try flash sales. Consider daily or weekly “flash sales” for merchandise that needs to move but is still on-trend and desirable. This could be an in-store and/or a website promotion to slash the price for a short time only. There should be a dedicated showcase, signage and social media to promote each flash item.
19. Let them try it on. For any stores that carry jewelry that can be merchandised out of the cases, consider an area or station with a dedicated sales associate to help them try on merchandise. Even if jewelry can’t be sitting out of cases, make sure that clients have the opportunity to establish a connection with the pieces.
20. Grant holiday wishes. Keep a wish list on hand with updated information on what a client may want to receive. Email images and ideas of complementary items on a regular basis to keep the lines of communication open.
21. Have faith. Let go of the idea that people are not spending. Consumers, especially at the luxury level, are buying, they’re just more demanding. Have a positive and confident approach to every interaction with a customer.
This is the third in an occasional series of holiday-themed lists National Jeweler is providing for its readers, following a story that covered general holiday suggestions in September, including how to handle social media and collect customer information, and a list of security tips for the holidays in October.