... Do you have any advice to share regarding
attracting such higher end clients?
Pardon my butting in, but Rick has what is known as "location,
location, location". The best way to attract high end customers
is to set up shop in or near a high end neighborhood.
After that's done, you practically give away your first few
pieces, making your customers swear they won't tell anyone what
they paid, and then wait for the word to spread. Hopefully, you
won't starve to death in the meantime.
Seriously, one marketing strategy I have recently used (actually
last week)did involve giving a piece away. There is an annual
fundraiser for the hospital in this area which draws over 2,000
affluent women. I called the organizers and offered to donate
something for their silent auction. They were thrilled to the
point of handing my business cards to everyone who came within
reach of the piece. I donated a handmade sapphire and diamond
slide which I listed as retailing for $840. Less than $200 of
that was material cost, the rest labor. The highest bid they
received was for $500. The woman also paid me $130 for the chain
I had it displayed on. I couldn't have targeted a more precise
market for high end goods if I had spent thousands of dollars in
A number of marketing types have told me direct mailings are
also the way to go, but until I spoke to someone at the NY show,
I had no idea how to get the name and address of the people I
wanted to target, without spending a small fortune for a mailing
list that I would have to sort through and clean up. I knew what
addresses I would like to send advertisements to just by driving
around, but I didn't want to do a mailing to "Resident". I was
told that my local library has what is called the Cross
Directory. If you have a street address, you can find the names
of people living there, assuming that they have a listed phone
number. If you even only hit one or two on a given street, and
invite them to meet you, or offer free consultations in the
comfort of their own home to discuss re-designing that old
jewelry that's just thrown in their jewelry box, they will
probably talk to their neighbors and your name will start to get
I also discovered, at least in this area, that people don't
really read the ads, but they sure do look at the business
section of the local paper. Find ways of getting your name in,
even if it is just little news briefs, saying that you attended a
show somewhere, or took a seminar. Make yourself look like
someone who keeps abreast of their field.
One last word (really!) be prepared to do a lot of plain and
simple things for people as a way to earn their trust. It takes
time to develop a relationship with your clients, so that when
they are looking for that high-end purchase, they will think of
Sorry for the babble, but it's late and I'm tired.
Have a great day.