Cover Focus | 60+
Intimate, one-on-one communication is the way to promote to older customers
By Jim Ackerman and Wink Jones
Todays seasoned citizens are not as old as their parents and grandparents were at the same age. Oh, the years are the same, but they are physically in better shape and certainly arent giving up on life.
Seniors today are remaining active and fashionable, but that doesnt mean they arent benefiting from their years and experience. They want to be treated with the respect theyve come to deserve.
Here are a couple of promotional ideas to strike gold with your senior clients.
Just Call Me
Telemarketing for high-quality jewelry? You bet. Calling customers on the phone will bring them into your store faster than anything else. This is especially viable with older, more influential clients who like the personal touch.
Allocate five minutes for each call. For the first two to three minutes, just talk. How are you? Your significant other? The kids? Are you having a good year? If your client doesnt ask about jewelry during that time, just say how nice it is to have a few minutes to visit and then say good-bye.
If a client does mention needing something, shift the conversation to that need. Often the client will say something like, We dont need anything right now. You should reply, Thats fine. Im just touching base with my friends and clients.
Rarely should you ask clients about jewelry because they know perfectly well who you are, what you do and why youre calling. If you dont ask, it relieves your client of the responsibility of telling you no.
One unintended consequence of doing this is referrals. Many clients will tell you theyre doing something else this year such as travel instead of buying jewelry, then a week or two later youll get a call from one of their friends saying youve been recommended as a great jeweler.
Your clients appreciate the check-up, especially if you keep it short and upbeat. Even the ones who tell you theyre not buying jewelry this year may show up because youre now top of mind.
Party it Up
Many of your more mature clients belong to dinner groups or engage in regular activities with close friends. Ask them if theyre part of such a group. Suggest that the next time theyre together, you could provide some nifty entertainment in the form of a little jewelry fashion show. Promise you wont hard-sell their friends, but that youll come with some remarkable jewelry and educate them on how to buy gems and jewelry the smart way.
Make sure you bring some pieces that are out of the park in price, but have real show-off value. Also be sure that you bring designs for men and women.
Occasionally, youll get a keep up with the Joneses group that wants to buy on the spot. But dont force the issue. Simply take notes on personal preferences, get contact information and then make a special offer for anyone who comes in the store and buys something in the next 30 days.
This type of upscale presentation with low-key sales techniques will make your core clients even more loyal and more likely to recommend you to friends.
|Elegant older customers appreciate seeing the latest jewelry designs. Consider a jewelry fashion show for this age group. Photo is courtesy of AARP The Magazine.
||Keep up with your older customers in a friendly way you may be able to sell them on romantic gifts. Consider a senior discount because it might bring you additional business.
Jim Ackerman is president of Ascend Marketing Inc. He works with small to midsized jewelers and other clients nationwide. He is a speaker, author and publisher of The Marketing Wizards Alliance Newsletter. Contact Ackerman at (800) 584-7585, firstname.lastname@example.org. Wink Jones is the owner of Winfields, a store in Boise, ID. He has studied marketing and worked with Ackerman to develop strategies for jewelers. Together theyve produced a six-CD audio program on the topic.