Trade shows give us insight into how the industry has looked for ages. While some of the elements of mastering these sales processes have stayed the same, others in the world of digital marketing have changed. New entrants into the marketplace may benefit from learning about well established best practices in the industry, whereas more experienced individuals may need to catch up with some of the ways it has changed. Read on to learn some of the tips expert jewelers use to maximize their sales at jewelry conventions!
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In what ways are jewelry shows traditional? For starters, they involve person-to-person contact. While so many sales take place online, trust remains a colossal factor in the jewelry industry. When large quantities are being bought, it’s totally worth a store owner visiting to see the jewelry in person.
Occasionally, appointments are required or encouraged, particularly at the higher-end of fanciness or rarity. Be sure that visitors know how to find your registry. The experienced ones should know where to find it. However, you can slightly increase turnout if you remind them to register and give specific links to the site, because this makes it easier for the visitor.
Generally, you will want to maintain an email list of your customers. It helps not only to have their addresses, but to have them categorized by region. That way, you can notify all your current major clients within visiting distance of the convention. You may include in this prospective clients in the region whose emails you’ve captured on the website. You may want to set up a pre-screening process to approve appointments.
Although keep in mind that this can alienate prospective clients who are not approved. Only truly in-demand jewelers can afford to do this. When it does happen, it should always be done congenially. Not only is it inherently better to treat underqualified buyers with respect. They could grow their jewelry retail organization one day into one that is qualified.
Everyone there has come specifically to see jewelry, and some individuals have come to see and meet one or more jewelers in particular. They allow buyers to see the jewelry, which is almost always required for purchases of many items or those that are very expensive, in must cases.
They facilitate the relaying of a ‘story’ or a ‘narrative’ around the jewelry being sold. They also allow for a company’s in-person marketing efforts to show, i.e. the banner and general presentation of a jewelry booth.
Jewelry trade shows for some are the most profitable times of the year. They are also increasing in frequency, which translates to considerably more opportunity for retailers who are fond of being on the road. While trade shows are not all that eager to guarantee profit, they make no secret of the fact that vendors who are skilled at presenting their jewelry at trade shows can make out extraordinarily better than they would on an average sales day.
Here are some tips for starting out with your trade show.
Traffic & Location
Usually, trade shows charge based on the size of the booth you get, but not based on location. However, two booths that are priced the same will get you very different sales numbers depending on how well they are located. When looking over the map of the convention floor, try to book a booth that is in a location that will have a lot of traffic. Generally, these booths will be those that are near the entrances and on paths between locations that a lot of visitors are likely to frequent. Most of the people you’ll be speaking to at the convention are pre-qualified customers, so to speak. This means that they have a serious interest in purchasing jewelry, more so than many potential customers that might walk into your jewelry shop’s doors.
Attention & Engagement
People tend to focus their attention on things of value. You don’t want your booth to get lost and to get unnoticed among all the others, so it often needs to have something about it that stands out. Just about the worst thing you could do would be to set up an essentially blank booth (without any marketing materials). One partner of ours rented a Ferrari that he donned with a banner that had the name of his company. He parked it right near the conference’s entrance, creating a buzz around his stall that lasted the whole conference. This definitely made the difference in his sales that weekend.
The convention-goers who stop by your booth but don’t end up buying anything that day, still might be prospective buyers in the future. A friendly chat or a business card can lay the seed of a relationship that could require time to nurture and eventually become profitable. Customers are not attending the event for jewelry sellers to extract value from them. They’re often there to find a genuinely excellent fitment for their selection. If they don’t immediately find what they’re looking for in your showcase, what you’re offering is not a good fit for their store. The fact that your product may be differentiated enough to alienate some customers also likely means that it may be perfect for others.
To briefly digress, choosing the right product is sometimes a personal/professional identity or brand identity question. It’s important to avoid being wishy washy when it comes to following trends, because this could harm the longevity of your brand. But it’s also a bad idea to refuse to adapt when the market gives clear signals that it may be ‘time.’ While prioritizing individuals who show clear interest and have the financial ability to make larger deals happen, also acknowledge and interact positively with those just browsing around to help build those longer-term relationships as well.
What Not to Do!
Here are some things to avoid doing at your jewelry stall. Don’t sit behind your showcase toying with your phone. Owners and managers are less likely to get bored, especially if they’re footing the bill for the convention. Also, don’t be the guy (or gal) gets too wasted! Convention-goers on both sides like to go out and party after the event. Starting to consume alcohol too early could be off-putting to some of your prospective buyers. Late nights out can also lead to late starts in the workday and lackluster sales performance. It’s perfectly fine to enjoy yourself, and in some could even be profitable, if you’re networking leads to future sales.
Santa Prisca Silver is a participant in the local Taxco silver market. We work mostly with retail partners in the United States. Wholesale 925 sterling silver jewelry is best when it’s handmade.
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We provide content that helps folks who are new to the market understand the differences in sterling silver vs. pure silver. We’re also interested in the history of the region, including past industry standard practices, like vintage Taxco silver marks.