Independents

Squirrel Spotting: Who Needs Jewelry?

IndependentsOct 22, 2018

Squirrel Spotting: Who Needs Jewelry?

No one really but, luckily for us, people shop with their hearts, not their heads, Peter Smith writes.

2016-Peter_Smith.jpg
Peter Smith has more than 30 years of experience building wholesale and retail sales teams. He currently is president of Vibhor Gems.

Buying jewelry makes absolutely no sense on a rational level. Even if customers had better transparency about why things cost what they cost, the idea that they pay thousands of dollars for jewelry just boggles the mind. Or does it?

Why do people buy jewelry? For that matter, why do they buy timepieces or quality writing instruments? Is it to signal that they are “in a relationship?” To “tell time?” To “write their grocery list?” Of course not.

We buy jewelry because the act of shopping itself ignites a neurological reward system in our brains that makes us feel good. Really good. Chocolate good.

Those neurological pathways have nothing to do with facts, figures or rationality, but don’t ever construe lack of rationality with a lack of need. The need is real. It is emotive, and it is often subconscious.

In “The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google,” Scott Galloway wrote: “The heart is a vast market. Why? Because most of our actions, including purchases, are driven by emotion. It’s easier, and more fun, than to turn to the killjoy brain for a predictable cost-benefit analysis, where the answer to ‘Should I buy this?’ is usually ‘No.’”

When a customer walks into your jewelry store, they have a need.

It might not be a readily identifiable occasion, such as a marriage, birthday or anniversary, but it is no less a need. In fact, I might suggest that a “no occasion” visit is filled with just as much possibility as one of the aforementioned milestones.

“Overloading customers on meaningless information is not a recipe for sales success. In fact, it’s probably the single biggest detriment to engaging customers.” — Peter Smith
When we anticipate rewards—owning and wearing something beautiful, something that our friends and family will notice, something that will set us apart—we get a dopamine rush in our brains that supersedes any menu of details and product information offered by many salespeople

If you have ever found yourself wondering how a specific salesperson is so successful despite not being a product expert, the answer lies in that rush of dopamine.

Those salespeople are successful because they consistently tap into the emotional reasons that people make buying decisions. They don’t waste time tripping over meaningless product details and rationalizations.

That does not mean that a salesperson should not have a functional knowledge of the products they are selling, but it does mean
that overloading customers on meaningless information is not a recipe for sales success. In fact, it’s probably the single biggest detriment to engaging customers.

I used to work with a guy who liked to challenge the idea of making assumptions. He would frequently admonish that to “assume” is to make an ass of you and me. Get it … ass-u-me.

With respect, here’s my take: Always assume that a customer will buy when he or she visits your store. No exceptions.

Believing that customers visit your store to kick tires is unforgivable. The customer might not be able to immediately articulate why she or he is there but make no mistake, there is a very powerful reason.

It’s our job to make that emotional connection and to inspire them to reward themselves with a beautiful piece of jewelry.

Peter Smith is president of Vibhor, a public speaker and author of “Sell Something” and “Hiring Squirrels.” He spent 30 years building sales teams in retail and wholesale and he can be contacted at dublinsmith@yahoo.com, peter@vibhorgems.com, or on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
Peter Smithis an industry consultant, speaker, and sales trainer, and author of three books, “Hiring Squirrels,” “Sell Something,” and “The Sales Minute.”

The Latest

Jewelers of America advocacy trip DC 2024
Policies & IssuesJun 18, 2024
JA, Industry Leaders Take Russian Diamond Import Concerns to D.C.

The group met with lawmakers to raise awareness about the financial, operational, and supply chain harms posed by an EU proposal.

Louis Comfort Tiffany 1900 gold and opal necklace
Events & AwardsJun 18, 2024
Driehaus Museum Displaying Rare Jewels From Chicago Collections

The museum also will host jewelry heist-themed movie nights throughout the run of “Chicago Collects: Jewelry in Perspective.”

Models wearing Pomellato’s “The Dualism of Milan” collection
CollectionsJun 18, 2024
Pomellato’s New High Jewelry Collection Celebrates Milan

“The Dualism of Milan” collection features two chapters representing the monochromatic and colorful spirit of the city.

Untitled design.jpg
Brought to you by
The End of an Era? Lab-Grown Diamonds' Journey Towards Price Stability

As the demand for lab-grown diamond jewelry may still be increasing, the most notable change we are likely to see is price stabilization.

Dorian Webb, Kealeboga and Ursula Pule
CollectionsJun 18, 2024
Zales Adds Dorian Webb, Nungu Diamonds to Designer Edit

The Designer Edit, launched earlier this year, highlights up-and-coming jewelry designers.

Weekly QuizJun 13, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these questions.
Take the Quiz
National Association of Jewelry Appraisers Logo
Events & AwardsJun 18, 2024
NAJA Announces Its Mid-Year ‘Ace It’ Conference

The conference will focus on the “practical ‘how to’ of appraising gems and jewelry,” said NAJA Executive Director Gail Brett Levine.

De Beers CEO Al Cook
EditorsJun 17, 2024
Q&A: Al Cook on the Future of De Beers

The De Beers CEO discussed the Anglo American situation, natural diamond marketing, and why the future of lab-grown diamonds is technology.

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Bernd Munsteiner
SourcingJun 17, 2024
Fantasy Cut Inventor Bernd Munsteiner Dies at 81

Known to many as the “Picasso of gems" who modernized the gem cutting field, he is remembered by his family as going through life with open eyes.

Instore and Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference Logos
Events & AwardsJun 17, 2024
Instore Show, Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference to Co-Locate

The partnership, now in its second year, allows CRJC attendees to register for a free Instore show badge.

Stock image of a gavel
CrimeJun 14, 2024
2 Men Sentenced to Life in 2022 Murder of Detroit-Area Jeweler

In court, Daniel Hutchinson’s loved ones remembered the jeweler as a giver, a role model, and a leader.

Billie Bangle
CollectionsJun 14, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Trau’s ‘Billie’ Bangle

Take a walk along this bangle’s diamond “cobblestone” made from round-, pear-, and marquise-cut diamonds.

Graphic with headshots for My Next Question 2024 Las Vegas webinar
Recorded WebinarsJun 14, 2024
Watch: What Happened in Vegas in 2024

The National Jeweler editors discuss the hot topics, best jewels, and current trends that stood out during Jewelry Market Week.

Vera Wang Love True lab-grown diamond engagement ring
FinancialsJun 13, 2024
Signet Awaits Engagement Recovery as Q1 Sales Sink 9%

The company is expecting to see a 5 to 10 percent increase in engagements this year.

QVC HSN logo
MajorsJun 13, 2024
HSN, QVC Parent Company Faces Delisting

Qurate Retail is in the middle of a turnaround plan as it battles declining sales.

45.07-carat step cut fancy vivid yellow diamond
AuctionsJun 13, 2024
45-Carat Yellow Diamond Withdrawn from Phillips Auction

Signed jewels and period pieces stood out at the sale.

Marie Lichtenberg Scapular necklace
TrendsJun 13, 2024
Amanda’s Style File: For the Fathers

Showcase your dad’s personal style with a piece of fine jewelry for Father’s Day.

The Eden Rose Diamond
AuctionsJun 12, 2024
10-Carat Pink Diamond Sells for $13M at Christie’s

“The Eden Rose” is a fancy intense pink diamond that was appearing at auction for the first time.

Charles & Colvard moissanite ring
GradingJun 12, 2024
IGI to Grade Charles & Colvard Moissanite

The partnership follows the launch of the jewelry company’s B2B moissanite platform.

Bruce Cleaver
SourcingJun 12, 2024
Bruce Cleaver Is Gemfields’ New Chair

The former De Beers CEO will step into the role next month.

Rose cut arch cabochons Columbia Gem House
SourcingJun 12, 2024
State of Colored Stones: Why the Market Is More Colorful Than Ever

As prices of “The Big Three” skyrocket, supply dwindles, and focus on sustainability grows, an age of open-mindedness is dawning.

Greenwich St jewelers pride raffle
IndependentsJun 11, 2024
Greenwich St. Jewelers Is Hosting a Pride Month Raffle

Tickets to win a ring are for sale until June 13, with proceeds going to a trans care nonprofit.

National Jeweler columnist Peter Smith
ColumnistsJun 11, 2024
Vegas Musings: Equal Parts Noise and Inspiration

Fresh off Jewelry Market Week 2024, Peter Smith separates the positive—retail and product innovation—from the positively annoying.

Katherine Jetter CASE Award winning ring
Events & AwardsJun 11, 2024
The 2024 CASE Awards Are Open for Entries

Submissions will be accepted now through July 17.

Swarovski New York City flagship
IndependentsJun 10, 2024
State of Retail: 4 Retail Design Trends for 2024

From lighter color palettes to the integration of AR, experts offer inspiration for jewelers in need of an aesthetic refresh.

Van Cleef & Arpels 1929 tie necklace
AuctionsJun 10, 2024
Van Cleef & Arpels Necklace From 1929 Sells for $3.6M at Auction

The rare piece went home with a Sotheby’s executive.

Woman shopping
SurveysJun 10, 2024
Consumer Confidence Rises in May Despite Anxiety About the Future

Expectations of a recession rose for the second consecutive month.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy