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Monday, February 20, 2012

Your Most Remarkable Emotional Tool: Surprise

This is one of a series of articles by Mónica Arias, "Excellence Expert" specialized in sales and customer service for luxury brands based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. These articles will focus on ways that sales and marketing professionals in the jewelry and luxury industries can improve their techniques.

If you are a good, experienced salesperson, chances are you love to continue your sales education. In fact, I believe that reading more and attending seminars and courses improves the quality of your customer service. However, it is not enough. Today, you need to learn more strategies. The main reason why you will be remembered by customers is what I call the emotional tool of surprise.

What do I mean? I will answer this question with some questions (after all, you already know of my passion for making them). How would you feel if you got something unexpected from a salesperson? Wouldn´t you agree that in such occasion your mind would probably make an effort to go back through its files and find the memory attached to the person who sent the surprise? Wouldn´t this simple act of being surprised make your day a happier? And because of that, wouldn´t you immediately attach this gesture with excellent service? Absolutely, is my answer.

Let me clarify. To send a surprise to your customers does not mean counting on a huge budget to do it. Nor does it mean hiring a detective to find out what each of your customers prefer (Once more questions are your best allies when it comes to learning about them).

Essentially, customers love surprises, and surprises can be strategically crafted for each of them. The more you know about them, the closer you will be to send the right surprise.

For example, years ago I used to have a client who loved dogs. She was single, lived on her own, and had two lovely dogs she bragged about all the time as if they were her own kids.

A few weeks after one of her purchases—and after having sent her my email acknowledgement to express gratitude for her acquisition—I decided to surprise her with something that would emotionally ring a bell in her brain and heart: I sent her two dog toys for both her “babies.”

Her response was amazing: She called me immediately to thank me for the presents, expressing her joy at watching her little pets playing around the house. She became one of my best customers for many years ever since. Budget? I believe I spent around 20 dollars for both toys (maybe less). Result? Outstanding: I managed to offer her my help for many years as a salesperson, closed fantastic sales, and build a strong and trusting long-term relationship that she still honors today.

Your surprises can also include beautiful crafted letters of acknowledgement you can enclose into lovely envelopes the color your customer adore, nicely arranged bunch of season flowers sent to office or home and useful desk accessories.

If you are the shop owner, your gifts will have to reflect this. Do not send 20 dollar gifts if you wish to make an emotional impact to your customers. I have met jewelry owners who did this (reputable, very well known ones, mind you) only to get logical, horrible responses from clients. I would suggest for example an original accessory like a fine pen—the one-of-a-kind- like that people adore—with your company´s logo and, if possible, the name of your customer engraved on it.

Love your customers. Make them feel they are special for you with surprises here and there and enjoy long-term happy clients and great results.

Mónica M. Arias
Excellence Expert: Helping you discover how to reach your next level through excellence.
Copyright 2012