Jewelry Marketing Articles by David Weiman

On this page you’ll find a number of interesting articles by psychologist and internationally-known expert on marketing and selling handmade artisan jewelry, David Weiman.

The Art of Upselling Artisan Jewelry
What you don’t know (how to handle customer complaints)
Five steps for Handling Indecisive Customers 
How to Learn more about your Handcrafted Jewelry Buyers
Time to Rhyme
Give it Away (It Comes Back)

The Art of “Upselling” Artisan Jewelry

© by Dr. David Weiman. All rights reserved.

Upselling is suggesting related items that a customer might want to order along with what they initially requested. And it’s done at the time of purchase.

book coverIf you have ever ordered from a fast food restaurant, you have first-hand experience with it: You order a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and a Diet Coke at McDonald’s and they say, “Would you like to add fries to that and get the Extra Value Meal?” Or they say, “Would you like an apple pie for dessert?”

If you’re like me, you can find that technique presumptuous and irritating.

I usually know what I want, and that’s why I ordered it that way. But people often don’t know their own minds very well. Which is why upselling works so well.

And that reason – that people often don’t know exactly what they want in advance, especially in terms of handcrafted jewelry – is why I recommend upselling other items along with the item the person is intending to purchase.

Think about it this way: People who buy jewelry are typically browsing when they buy. They don’t necessarily know what they want because they aren’t looking for something specific. They have an open attitude. They do have general preferences, such as liking silver better than gold, or amethysts over other colored stones.

But aside from those general preferences, when they are looking at jewelry as they browse booths at a show, for example, there may not be rhyme or reason behind why they stop at a specific booth to admire the jewelry.

And if that jewelry is yours, and they pick a piece they like and are ready to buy it, you will be ready to sell them other pieces. As the jewelry maker, you have reasons why you made each piece, and you understand very well why certain pieces look well together.

Upselling is simply sharing that knowledge with the buyer. Not pushy. Not manipulative. Just helpful and engaging.

For example, let’s say you made several beaded necklaces, pairs of earrings and bracelets that match in terms of style and materials. Someone picks out the necklace and gets ready to buy it. You might say, “Do you like each piece you wear to be unique? Or do you like when a few pieces coordinate?”

If they like when they coordinate, simply show them the other items that you made to go with the one they selected. You can tell them a little about what your inspiration was for creating that line. Or explain a little about the materials so that they are better educated about what they’re buying from you.

When you see upselling as a way of better informing the customer about the options they have in buying from you, it will come more and more easily to you over time. That’s because it will become second nature to engage the prospective buyer more completely in a discussion about your jewelry.

To test it out, try upselling the next time you are selling face-to-face. Remember, you’re informing, not trying to push something onto the prospect. Rehearse in advance what you’d like to say. Then offer related items to the next 20 people you sell to … and track what happens!

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What You Don’t Know … (how to handle customer complaints)

© by Dr. David Weiman. All rights reserved.

You’ve heard that old saying, “What you don’t know can’t hurt you.” I guess the person who said that was never in business, where the opposite seems true: What you don’t know can hurt you.

A case in point — the other day I was walking through the parking lot of one of those small suburban shopping centers. You know the type … there’s usually an independent pharmacy there, a shoe repair shop (does anyone take their shoes to be repaired anymore?) a pizza place and a barber.

As I walked toward the stores, I overheard two women talking as they were getting book coverinto their cars to leave.

“I’ll never eat at Angelo’s again!” the first one said, referring to the pizza place.

“Why not?” asked her friend.

“This kid had a dog in there, and the dog was eating food that had been left on one of the tables, and I told someone behind the counter and they didn’t wipe off the table!” “That’s disgusting!” the friend said, “I’m not going in there either!”

They say that when someone has a bad experience with a business, they tell many times more people than when they have a good experience. One of the reasons is psychological: Bad experiences usually make more of an impact on customers than good experiences. And one way of processing bad experiences – particularly when the business doesn’t seem to care – is telling friends.

Unfortunately, every time someone re-tells the story, it reinforces the bad experience as well as spreading it around to more and more people.

Tne slip up involving just one customer, like not responding when she complained about a dog eating off a table in a pizza place, could eventually be told to dozens and dozens of people who weren’t there, but who are impacted by the story and decide to stop eating there.

Although in this case, the woman wasn’t reluctant to tell someone about the dog, no one appeared to be listening. Many people won’t even speak up when they’re bothered by something.

That’s because business owners often appear not to care, seem rushed, or aren’t even around to see the event occur. That means that a lot of valuable information about your company could be out there on the street spreading to current and prospective customers, and you don’t even know it!

Here are some things you can do to make sure that you’re open to good news as well as bad in your handcrafted jewelry business:

First, make sure that listening to customers carefully is a value that both you and your staff prize very much.

Second, respond to customer complaints as quickly as possible, and confirm that they are satisfied with the results.

Finally, be very direct with customers that you want to know about what is not going well with their experience with you, as well as is.

When you’re the first one who knows that something went wrong, it may still hurt, but not as much as it will if you find out from everyone else.

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5 Steps for Handling Indecisive Customers

© by Dr. David Weiman. All rights reserved.

If you’ve ever bought something you didn’t really need, you’re familiar with what I call “the moment.” It’s that few seconds during which you try to convince yourself that – book coveralthough you don’t “need” that pink sweater with the little boxer dog designs on it – you really want it. So you buy it.

There’s a lot going on in your head during “the moment.” And for most people, it resolves itself quickly into a “buy” or “don’t buy” choice. For others, however, “the moment” doesn’t end in a few seconds. It can take a few minutes or even longer for them to decide whether or not to buy something. And when that person is your prospective customer, it can be frustrating to wait.

So what should you do when you have an indecisive prospect in front of you? I’ll get to that in a moment, but first, it’s helpful to understand what’s happening in a person’s mind when they’re making a decision.

Decisions, Decisions

Decision making usually involves the following stages:

  1. identifying what the choice is (to buy or not to buy, for example);
  2. thinking of alternatives (buy now, buy later, don’t buy);
  3. weighing the pros and cons of each alternative;
  4. picking the best choice;
  5. enacting the choice

As you know, most people don’t consciously or mechanically go through these steps when they’re making a choice. But when indecision is present, it often means the buyer is “stuck” in one of these stages.

For example, someone who’s overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices available can stall in their thinking. The person can’t make up his mind because there are too many options to consider. People in that mode can’t process all of the options. In fact, in studies of decision making, many people – when given too many options – will make no decision at all, because it’s easier than trying to process all of the information needed to choose one.

Customers can also get stuck when there aren’t clear pros and cons to the alternatives they’re considering. This can happen, for example, when they’re looking at two very similar pieces of jewelry at a similar price, with no clear advantage to buying one over the other. Although it’s natural to think of jewelry buying as a subjective (and therefore non-rational) purchase, I’ve heard many people go through a very rational analysis as they’re trying to make up their minds about whether or not to buy.

Finally, a prospect may have decided what to do, but then get anxious about taking the action needed to complete the purchase. For example, Joyce decides she likes the purple necklace, but she always gets a little anxious and feels somewhat guilty right before she buys something for herself. She then hesitates to take out her credit card.

Common Mistakes

One common mistake that jewelry sellers make when a prospect seems indecisive is to try to read the prospect’s mind. We jump to conclusions about why they’re hesitating. And then, without asking them why they are undecided, we start talking to fill the void, hoping that something that we say will help them decide.

Another mistake is to offer more choices. We think that if we keep showing them more options, we’ll eventually show them something they like. As you now know, providing more options can confuse the indecisive prospect by giving them too much information to process.

Finally, we often make the mistake of leaving the prospect alone, believing that with enough time, they’ll figure out the right choice. I don’t disagree with giving people time to think about their decision. But learning what they’re undecided about is important, too, and that requires talking with them.

Helping People Decide

When you sell handcrafted jewelry, you aren’t just selling a product. You’re also providing a service, through your knowledge and expertise as an artist and a jewelry maker.

Helping prospective clients make good choices will foster a cordial relationship that can turn someone who’s just browsing into a longtime customer. So, it’s important to adopt a helping attitude when you’re working with an undecided prospect. Even if their indecision is resolved by deciding not to buy something from you now, they may value your decision-making help. And the trust that results from that help may turn into a sale later.

Five Steps You Can Take to Help Indecisive Customers

  1. Acknowledge the indecision. It often helps an undecided person to have the indecision acknowledged or noticed. Usually they indicate their indecision through body language. That includes things like looking back and forth at two pieces, picking up a piece and putting it down several times, scratching their head, putting their finger to their lips or other obvious signs. To acknowledge that, simply say, “It seems as though you’re thinking this over,” or “Is there something you’re not sure about?” You will not only help them start resolving the indecision by acknowledging it, but their agreement puts the two of you on the same page.
  2. Try to learn what they’re telling themselves about the purchase.

    Thinking involves talking to ourselves. And the best way for you to learn what that prospect is saying to himself or herself is to ask. To do that (after you’ve confirmed that there’s some internal conflict going on), just ask: “What are you thinking right now?” or “Tell me a little about what you’re thinking.” The purpose of this step is to learn more about what part of the decision is keeping them stuck.

  3. Clarify the source of the indecision. You can help the indecisive prospect by identifying the source of their indecision. Let’s say that the prospect is undecided because, although she likes a piece of yours, she just bought another piece of jewelry earlier in the week and can’t decide if she should spend more money on jewelry. A good clarification is a simple re-statement of the core of the issue: “I see … on the one hand you just bought a piece of jewelry the other day, and on the other hand, you’d like to have this one, too.”

    Although a good clarification seems natural, it can take a great deal of patience and practice to accurately reflect back to someone what the source of their indecision is. Since indecision is a fact of life, you can practice with yourself! The next time you’re undecided about something, try to narrow down what the options are and then say them out loud. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be helping someone else clarify the source of their own indecision. 

  4. Identify the barriers to the decision. By this point in the conversation with the undecided prospect, you’ve confirmed that they’re undecided, they’ve shared with you some of their internal dialogue about the indecision, and you’ve clarified with them what the source of the indecision is.

    Now you want to learn, as specifically as possible, what the barrier is to the decision. To learn that, you’ll need the prospect to focus not on the options, but on what’s preventing them from making a choice. So, using the example above, you might say, “It sounds like you feel you might be spending too much on yourself … ” The prospect will either agree with your comment, or clarify it in some way. The key here is to make sure you understand the barrier to the decision.

    Remember, the correct decision isn’t necessarily to buy from you. And you’re trying to be helpful. So, as long as you help them resolve the indecision, you’ll be forming an effective relationship with them that will pay off now and later.

  5. Eliminate the barriers. Once you’ve identified what the real barrier to the decision is, your skill in sales will help you remove it. There are a number of ways of eliminating barriers, and they all have to do with offering solutions to the problem the prospect is trying to solve.

    For example, in the situation above, let’s say the prospect agrees that they feel a little guilty about spending so much on herself in one week. You can eliminate that barrier by saying, “You can use a credit card to buy it, and that way you can actually pay for it later.” Or, “You can use a credit card to buy it, and I can ship the item to you” or some other solution that recognizes that the buyer is having a tough time justifying the total she’s spent.

    Another option is to say, “I want you to feel completely comfortable with buying this today … completely guilt-free. You can take it with you now, and if you decide at some later point that you want to return it, your money will be refunded.”

    By offering this kind of guarantee (and I’m not suggesting you do this with everyone), you’re reversing the “risk” this prospect feels as a result of buying the piece. In other words, you’re taking on the burden of the “guilt” so that she can buy it and be happy! If she’s not happy in a few days, she can return it with no questions asked.

    Yet another option is to ask the prospect to imagine that the barrier doesn’t exist. Often, when you tell someone to “imagine” something, their mind bypasses any obstacles and goes right to the solution or goal. So, you might say (again, using our example above), “Can you imagine feeling good about being able to buy something for yourself that you really like?” This has the effect of removing the guilt the prospect originally felt … that they didn’t deserve the additional purchase.

Helping indecisive customers deal with their indecision is an essential jewelry selling skill. And like anything you want to do well, it will take a lot of practice and repetition to do it well. But if you commit yourself to improving your skills in this area, you’ll achieve a greater sense of competence, and along with that competence, a greater sense of confidence about your ability to help connect prospects with the jewelry you work so hard to create.

Very soon, you’ll help prospects turn that “moment” of indecision into the pleasure of owning a beautiful piece of your jewelry for a long, long time.

Sign up for David’s free “Jewelry Seller” e-newsletter here

How to Learn More about Your Handcrafted Jewelry Buyers

© by Dr. David Weiman. All rights reserved.

Successful handcrafted jewelry sellers understanding how a buyers’ values and motivations lead to strong and long-term connections. And current customers are the best source of new business through leads and referrals!book covers

You can develop profitable, long-term relationships with clients, too, if you’re not already enjoying them. Here are some questions you can ask your current clients to get a better sense of what they value in their experience with you:

1. Why did you buy from me?

Some people feel silly asking this question. I don’t. I ask my clients this all the time, and I have never had someone refuse to answer. 

2. What did you like most about the exchange we had? 

Asking them what they liked “most” results in them prioritizing what was most critical in the exchange. It’s the one thing they valued the most about the interaction.

3. Was there one thing that made more of a difference than any other in your decision to buy?

For example, was it expertise you have, or a design quality? What was the one thing that seemed to make the biggest difference? The answers will help you understand the “logical” side of their choice.

Bonus Question: If you know the person referred other clients to you, you should ask what he or she said to that referred buyer. Knowing how current clients get others to buy from you is critical to learning how to market yourself.

I’ve learned a lot from asking this question of clients who have referred others to me. In fact, it has changed how I market myself in some areas, because the referring client’s words were so powerful and effective.

Learn more about the motivation and values of your customers, and why they enjoy buying from you. Keep asking and keep learning. When you apply what you know, your business will keep growing. And you will, too.

Sign up for David’s free “Jewelry Seller” e-newsletter here

Time to Rhyme

© by Dr. David Weiman. All rights reserved.

If I ask you what year Columbus arrived in America, many of you will recall a rhyme you learned in grade school: “In fourteen-ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.”

You probably haven’t thought of that in years, so how did you recall it so easily? David WeimanAccording to memory experts, information presented in a meaningful format is more memorable than information that isn’t.

To prove the point, two groups of people were given the same list of words to memorize in a study. One group was given no extra help, but the other group was told to try to form the words into a sentence.

Which group did better?

The one that used sentence-forming recalled four times as many words as the other group! That’s because the words formed a “unit” through the sentence structure. There was now a meaningful connection among the words.

Rhyming makes information even more memorable because it restricts the number of possible matches at the end of the rhyme. For example, the word TWO in the Columbus poem limits the colors that rhyme, such as BLUE.

The rhythm of rhymed phrases helps cement the information into long-term memory even more effectively. My father’s jewelry store used a rhyme in the store’s name: Weiman’s for Diamonds. People remembered the name after hearing it just once.

In an informal survey I conducted myself, people remembered slogans or jingles that they had heard up to 60 years ago. That’s staying power!

For example, a 72-year-old instantly remembered this old rhyme promoting a men’s shaving cream: “She Kissed Her Hairbrush By Mistake, She Thought It Was Her Husband Jake: Use Burma Shave.” An 81-year-old remembered the jingle “Pepsi Cola hits the spot, twelve full ounces, that’s a lot” from decades ago.

In a world where so many messages are competing for a buyer’s attention, sellers can differentiate themselves — and assure that their messages will stick in long-term memory — by using rhymes. The fact that so few companies currently use rhyming slogans will also help these messages stand out.

A few tips for developing a handcrafted jewelry-selling phrase that pays:

1. Decide what aspects of your company you want to register with the customer, and write out a list of key words. Your name and product or services are the most important elements.

2. Hire a professional copywriter (or poet) to help you form a rhyme that will stick.

3. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, get a “rhyming dictionary” to find rhyming words.

4. Test the rhyme. Present it to friends, customers and others along with phrases that don’t rhyme, asking them later to recall as many as they can. If the memory research mentioned above holds true, the rhyming phrase should be the easiest to remember.

5. Once you’ve selected your slogan, make sure it appears wherever your company name and logo are shown or mentioned.

Try rhyming as part of your handcrafted jewelry-marketing strategy. You just might create a really sticky slogan!

Sign up for David’s free “Jewelry Seller” e-newsletter here

Give it Away (It Comes Back)

© by Dr. David Weiman. All rights reserved.

Back when I was the marketing director for all of the Wendy’s restaurants in Southern New Jersey, we ran a ‘crew incentive’ one month.

Everyone on the staff was given a stack of coded coupons that were good for a dollar off a meal. They handed these coupons out to their friends, family, the mailman, strangers, etc. The crew member who had the most coupons redeemed won a cover

That was one monster of a month.

And it demonstrated two things. One: People like getting something for free, even if it’s just a dollar. Two: People feel good when they can give something to someone else.

Judy is a friend of mine who uses this same concept in her hair styling salon. She had custom-designed ‘gift certificates’ printed up. The certificates have a $10 value. But she doesn’t sell them: She gives them to her best customers to give as gifts. Why? Because her best customers are the ones most likely to recommend that their friends, family and acquaintances get their hair styled by Judy.

And now they not only get the opportunity to turn someone on to a great hair stylist, but they also feel good when they hand a friend a $10 gift certificate to be used on their first visit to Judy.

Think about it. Which would you be more excited about … going to a business a friend recommended, or going to a business a friend recommended with someone else’s money to spend?

There are a few subtleties to this marketing technique. First, you have to recognize that your customers are essential to helping you market. You must see them as your partners.

Second, you should accept that although there are some people who enjoy referring business to you because it makes them look like an expert, there are others who would recommend you, but they need a nudge.

Finally, because you’re probably introducing a new concept to them, you have to explain what you’re doing, and what they should do, the way a professor would.

For example, after a good customer has made a purchase, you chat with them to learn how they feel about dealing with you.

If their feelings are positive, you tell them that you appreciate their business.

Then you tell them that you’d like them to have two gift certificates they can give to friends who they think might like shopping with you, too.

Then you smile.

Then they smile.

It’s a beautiful thing.

Leave a space on the gift certificate for them to write the name of the recipient, and a space for them to sign their own name.

Then get a larger bag to take deposits to the bank. You’re going to need it.

About the Author: Dr. David Weiman, “the Jewelry Marketing Doctor,” is a psychologist and internationally-known expert on marketing and selling handmade artisan jewelry. He is also the marketing director for Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist,Step by Step Beads, and Step by Step Wire Jewelry