Are you as talented as a Dentist?
I was getting hot under the collar today after finishing up at the
dentist today. I was getting mad at him and YOU! Yes Y-O-U! Here’s
why. It’s two fold and you’ll probably see yourself in this email.
My wife Renie and I run our company JewelerProfit as a two person
company. 401k plan and health insurance. But because of the insurance
costs with Blue Cross/Blue Shield, we opted to "self insure"
ourselves on dental, it’s a lot of money and we pretty much don’t
have that much done. Today I went into my dentist office and in the
waiting area was a Plasma T.V. with CNN running. Cool. Then when I
went into the chair for my cleaning, each chair had a smaller Plasma
TV hanging from the ceiling and your own remote control. I had 168
channels to choose from. I said “Hmmmm, I bet I’m paying for this.”
Last year I had a crown installed at about $895, of which my company
paid for. This month I needed a “Veneer”. This is a small sheet panel
that goes over the front of a tooth. Movie stars get them to make
perfect teeth, I needed on for a toot having a gap at the gum. The
procedure is much simpler than having a new crown done. This is not
much different that making a matching wedding band. In my mind, rate
of difficulty is:
Thing to do Difficulty in our industry Crown Hand carving a wax for
an engagement ring, laid out for any stones Shadow plain wedding
band Veneer on the tooth
I typed in Google “Veneers-teeth” and a site came up all about the
difference in a Veneer and a crown: In comparison to a dental crown,
the classic porcelain veneer is a wafer thin shell of ceramic that is
bonded onto the front side of a tooth. Whereas a dental crown covers
over and encases the entire tooth, a porcelain veneer just covers
over the side of the tooth that shows when the person smiles. Dental
crowns and porcelain veneers also differ by way of their relative
thickness. The classic porcelain veneer will measure 1 millimeter in
thickness or less, as opposed to a dental crown that typically
measures 2 millimeters or more. The Veneer was $1195 and I got a 10%
discount for cash. At checkout I said “Are you sure this is right? My
crown last year was only $895. This is easier.” “Our prices went up,
the crowns are now $995. The Veneers are more difficult to do” she
said. “I’m sorry, I make a living with labor. The dentist did less
work on me for the veneer.” “It takes more work for the lab to do the
Veneer.” "I disagree. I think you’re charging me for the T.V.'s “No
sir, it just, well, uh.” (She didn’t have a good answer. That’s poor
training) “You know, I think you’re just charging more because you
can.” She just slightly smiled. They offered to break up the thousand
dollars into 2 payment, but I paid in full.
As soon as I walked out the door I thought of you and the rest of
your fellow jeweler friends. Would I change my dentist? Not likely. I
like him, he does good work and one time I had a problem, he felt
like it might have been his fault and he didn’t charge for the fix.
It’s a TRUST issue, isn’t it? What about you jewelers? You have no
idea how many times I get crap from jewelers “I can’t charge that
price in my area.” “How do you know?” “I just do. I’ll EASE my way
up.” Of course what they are saying is "I’m too chicken to even TRY
IT. Heck if 30-40% of customers told you just where to go, you could
lower your repair and custom design prices. But
noooooooooooooooooooooooooo, you won’t even try. Over 90% of folks who
use my book and TRY the prices (yes many are higher than you charge.
I know something you don’t) get the prices over 90% of the time.
That’s a great batting average.
I just get so ticked at folks who won’t TRY some or all of the
prices. But you’ll always use KEYSTONE, don’t you? What do I mean? In
2001 a chain # 4657gh7 in 14kt yellow gold cost you $100. You tagged
it, asked for and sold it for $200.00. In 2007 that chain costs $200.
You tagged it, asked for and sold it for $400. Without batting an
eye. You didn’t say “Maybe people will complain, I’ll just markup the
chain 50% to $300 rather than $400.” But go from $85 for a half shank
to $138, Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!
Merchandise is price sensitive my friends. Repairs are trusts
sensitive, just like the dentist. And you probably spend 3 times
longer making a $1000 ring than my dentist will do on my “Veneer”.
Just do it. Charge more, you’ll get so few complaints and you’ll
make more money. I know my prices are going to go up! Who do you
think pays the dental bills to begin with?
Just do it.
Director of Profit