Hi George and everyone,
George, I didn’t see your original request for feedback about
Designer Jewelry Showcase, but I can see the responses here, so I
thought I’d give you my two cents. I’m a salesperson at DJS, so I
have a few more cents to contribute than most!
You do need to define what you personally would consider a
success…what are your personal goals. We’ve had people who
received 20-30 calls in the first couple of months who are
disappointed and some who received just a few and are very happy.
Many of the designers are very small shops who can’t handle much
volume and they are looking for a managable building effect in
their business. If you’re doing 22K granulated, you probably can’t
handle much volume either.
I can’t give you an average response rate, because it would be
meaningless. I can tell you that we have feedback from a large
percentage of those in our current book and that the majority have
had good results. Many have had excellent results. Sometimes it’s
difficult to see whether a sale came from the book or not, so it’s
not as easy to measure the impact of the book as you might think.
One designer got a $10K order at a show only to find out later that
the customer had come to the show specifically to see them and
place the order, because they’d seen them in Designer Jewelry
It certainly doesn’t take much to at least cover your costs. If
you can turn this year’s sales into next year’s sales too, then
you’re in a very good position. That’s the whole idea. And we have
very consistently heard the same feedback from those who’ve been
in the book for several years running: The response builds from
year to year. Even those who did well the first year will see an
increase the second year, and a further increase the third year.
This demonstrates how important name recognition and familiarity is
to generating sales. I’ve heard that the same thing happens to
designers attending shows…it takes a couple of years to become
completely at home at a show and for your booth to get
All of this means that DJS can only provide the opportunity to put
your work in front of 6,000 potential customers. How you make use
of that opportunity is mainly up to you. We can’t create an
instant reputation for you and we can’t turn those inquiry calls
I can tell you a few factors that will really contribute to your
success with Designer Jewelry Showcase.
First and absolutely most important (behind having nice pieces to
promote ) is the photography. It is absolutely imperative
that you invest in good professional photographs. Good jewelry
photography is extremely difficult. Just because your cousin Bob is
a commercial tabletop photographer doesn’t mean he can do a good
job on your pieces. I was shocked at the poor quality of
photography in an issue of Vogue I was perusing recently, so this
is a constant problem in this business.
Probably the most common mistake in designing pages for DJS is
having too many pieces on the page. This is related to the
photography issue because obviously you can’t come in as closely on
the pieces when there are more of them. As you look through the
book you’ll notice that the pieces that bolt off the page at you
are usually the ones that are pretty close and extremely well-lit.
I know it’s tempting to want to show everything to the potential
buyers. But remember, the purpose of the page is to generate the
phone calls, you can follow-up later with a more extended line, or
different lines, when the buyer has expressed interest.
Which gets to the issue of turning those calls into sales.
As Wendy pointed out, it’s important to have some kind of catalog
to send out when you get calls. The galleries expect it. It’s
only natural that they want to see your full array before making a
choice…any shopper wants to do that. Now the feedback we’ve
gotten is that these catalogs don’t need to be fancy by any means.
Some have a simple black & white sheet with line drawings, a brief
description of size/materials/prices. Many are just using color
xeroxes or computer printer copies. That’s just fine.
IMPORTANT You must follow-up with these galleries a week or
so after you’ve sent them your sheets. These are very busy
retailers and they will forget. You will have to call and remind
them. You can do it nicely…you don’t need to play "salesperson,"
but you will need to get a bit organized and follow up.
Also important…you will have much better success if you really
talk to these people when they call. They may call about a
particular piece they saw on your page and then want to hang up
when the price point isn’t what they had hoped. Don’t let them do
this! Find out what kind of store they have, who their clientele
is, what their price spread is. It’s possible that you have
something else to sell them at the price point they are looking
for. Or you can make up a particular piece in less expensive
materials. If they are looking for consignment only and you don’t
want to do that, perhaps you can strike a compromise…sell them
the smaller pieces and let them have a large piece on consignment
for a specified period of time. It is to your benefit to have the
gallery display your work in a grouping that will catch the
customer’s eye. In the very least, if they sound like good
potential customers for your work, get their name and address and
put them on your mailing list…send them a card every 6 months.
Also in evaluating Designer Jewelry Showcase, and particularly in
regard to the comment that someone felt the quality wasn’t what it
used to be…remember that the gallery is the end-user of this
book and it’s their perception of quality or appropriateness that
matters. The more often they can find what they are looking for,
the more often they will look through the book, and the more often
you have to be noticed. The galleries are thrilled with this
book. Many have told us they keep in on the coffee table in their
home. Many put it on the counter in the store so their customers
can look through and place orders. We’ve been told that a single
gallery will often order from multiple designers in the book.
That’s just a single gallery.
That’s my entire Jewelry Marketing 101 rap for this Saturday
morning. Thanks for listening!
P.S. If you haven’t been receiving literature about participating
in Designer Jewelry Showcase, you can call 1-800-876-6425 X223
(Terry) and she will make sure you are added to our list.
Skye Turell <@Skye_Turell>
ICQ Pager 6797092