When is the wedding season in the UK? Is there a bridal month when most couples get married? I was surprised to find there is no single month that is the most popular in the UK. The latest figures from the Wedding Secret, rounded out to the nearest 1,000, are from 2014. They surprised me. June, the most popular month in the US came in 3rd in the UK with 32,000 weddings, July and August were tied for first with 40,000, and September was second with 35,000 brides. In the latest year that statistics are available, 2013, there was a total of 301,000 brides. The point I am trying to make is, are you getting your share of these bridal purchases? What about their anniversaries?
The answer to these questions is, it all depends on how the prospective brides and grooms were sold to. Did the salesperson do any of the following?
- Introduce themselves before showing a diamond ring and using their name selectively during the sale and remember it at the end, or prefer staying anonymous
- Allow the couple to talk more then them, or talk more then the couple, asking question after question
- Talk about the wedding, the memories they will remember and their first anniversary, or the four C’s
- Had the couple try on both wedding rings, or did they close the sale after selling the engagement ring and not even walk them to the door
- Remember their names when they come back to your store or greet them with a blank stare
For those of you whose salespeople did the former instead of the latter, you are on the right course and getting way more then you share of the brides, repeat customers and diamond anniversaries. For those of you whose salespeople do the latter, you must wonder why your sales are so low, or do not increase at least 10% a year.
If you think that is unrealistic, think again. You jewellers who are going after the bridal and anniversary business are taking it away each year from those who are not. This means this is a golden opportunity for you to get started. The timing is perfect, one month before July and August.
“But wait!” some of you may be thinking. “What about those bridal fairs I have been running that bring in all that business?” Keep running them, but you are spinning your wheels if your salespeople are not taking advantage of that increased traffic by being proactive, using these sales techniques I recommend. I will go over each one explaining the logic.
The majority of salespeople do not understand the emotional power of jewellery. It is the most powerful of all items a person possesses. Most women can tell you what their husband said when he gave her the diamond ring, the day he gave it to her and what he said, but not of anything else. Ask any lawyer what the heirs want the most. It’s the jewellery. Why would they want to return to a salesperson who only introduced themselves at the end of the sale implying, “Now that you finally bought something from me I will tell you who I am? Here is my card.”
Talk less, listen more
At every seminar I ask the salespeople: “Who talks the most, you or your customer?” They unanimously answer: “We do.” Then I ask: “Who should talk the most?” Their answer is always: “The customer.” Salespeople are notorious over-talkers and most are not aware of it. Listen to them and you will hear them cutting off their customers as they are finishing their sentences and cutting in whenever the customer pauses, not letting them continue. How to cure this habit? Do just the opposite. Talk so that you are easily interruptible by pausing and letting them.
How important is it? It is important and your salespeople should have this knowledge. However, if it is so important then why are these salespeople always outsold by those who have that smile and enthusiasm? Why can I always tell the leading salesperson in any jewellery store this way? It is because that is what connects to their customer’s emotions. Look around your store and see if anyone is smiling at their customers as they would a good friend? Maybe it’s time to start.
The wedding rings
I never quite understood why most owners are happy with their salespeople only selling the engagement ring and not ever showing the wedding rings that are compulsory items that have to be purchased before the wedding. The answer I hear from salespeople is: “I want them to put most of their money into the diamond ring. They will come back for the wedding rings.” Yes they will. In their dreams. The girl was disappointed she never got to try on her wedding ring nor saw him try on his. Why should she return?
Remembering customers’ names
This is where you can easily apply the Golden Rule of Selling. Ask your salespeople how they would like it they came back to get their diamond ring from being sized and the salesperson did not remember their name. What if they returned to get some other gifts and were not recognised? How would they feel? Then have them listen to you owners who should be setting these good examples when you say to one of your customers: “Hi Bob & Mary, I have your rings ready for you and bet you cannot wait to try them on.”
Show this article to your salespeople and let them discuss it with you. Set a good example by using these skills yourself and they will follow. Stay with it until everyone starts selling this way and you will see an increase in your bridal sales year after year.