Monday, March 4, 2013

"Modeling" for Success

Thinking back to your childhood, you probably remember those special people who occupied “Hero Status” in your mind.  My personal favorites were usually Marvel Comics’ characters such as Spiderman and Iron Man. Undoubtedly, you had yours.  As you got older, you found those certain people that you looked up to as Role Models. Perhaps you patterned your dress, speech, habits and ethics after these people.  This in its simplest form is what is known as “Modeling.”
How can Modeling help someone in the jewelry industry?  Modeling comes from the neurolinguistic field which borrows somewhat from hypnosis.  It says that if you can pattern after your hero as a young person, then you can Model the habits of people, companies or industries now. 
Maybe you’re a bit like me - a people watcher at heart.  You see, I often study the habits of successful jewelers and the companies they operate.  Yes, success most definitely leaves clues and it’s up to you and me to find and Model it!
I would suggest that as sales people we look to the example set by other sales people and follow it.  In my career, Ralph Timmerman of Camelot Bridal has been a great Model of success for me and is one “Sharp Cat” I often try to emulate in my sales approach.
As companies go, you and I probably started our own retail jewelry stores because we wanted the degree of freedom afforded one who owns their own company, plus all of the other perks that go along with it.  That being said, I think it’s time each of us independents take a look at the marketing operations and methods of such jewelry chains as Kay’s & Zales. Don’t have a cow!!!  I’m not suggesting you lose your Independent Jeweler identity and start copying what the majors are doing, but at least take a look at them and see if there is something you could learn and Model.
Yes, the major jewelry chains drive demand and styles in our industry, and in a way, I’m very thankful to them for it.  How many of you have piggybacked items in your own inventory that the major players have made popular? How many of you have made lots of money because of the trends formed and pushed by these major players? 
Amazingly, for all their faults, the major chains have a great many things we could learn from and Model.  They got to be major chains for a reason didn’t they?  Here’s a list of suggestions for you to consider, Model and implement in your jewelry store:
  • Go to one or many of the major chain’s websites and sign up for their weekly/daily e-mails.  Watch how they market to you. They’re pretty sharp, and I’m sure you’ll find more than one idea you can use in your e-mail marketing!  (You do e-mail your customers, right?)
  • Visit a successful independent jeweler in a different area and see if they’ll let you look over their shoulder a bit. Model the good ideas you find.
  • Join a mastermind group to find new and fresh ideas to Model.  I’m currently a member of five groups, three of which are jewelry specific and the other two include retailers of all types.  Often I’ve discovered the best ideas in groups such as these, and best of all, these groups are dedicated to the success of their members.
  • Lastly, visit one of the chain stores to see how they price point their jewelry and how their counter displays look.  You might also want to take a look at store layout. The big boys spend lots of money studying this and it wouldn’t hurt to Model this for ever increasing benefit in your store.
So there you have it!  Think about the things written above and let them sink in.  Then pay a visit either online or in person to a few places and see what ideas you can Model in your store today!
"til next time,
Bill Warren, DDJM (Doctor of Dynamic Jewelry Marketing)