How to respond to price objectives in repairs, or…
The difference between selling Beer & Jewelry
In the 1940’s or so, Claude Hopkins, a now famous advertising
creator, was asked to help take Schlitz beer from their #5 ranking in
the beer industry to a higher number.
At that time most advertising was print-newspaper and magazine. Most
all beer advertisements were “Our beer is pure”, relating to
pureness of the water used. “Pure” was so over used-Schlitz had done
double full page ads touting “pure”. Claude was invited to visit the
Schlitz plant and this is what he saw.
Hopkins looked through plate-glass rooms where beer was dripping
over pipes. He was told the room was filled with filtered air so
there would be no impurities in their precious beer.
Even at this time, Lake Michigan was a clean lake; Schlitz instead
dug two 4000 foot artesian deep wells to obtain fresh spring water
for their beer.
They only used the finest hops for brewing beer when they brewed
their golden mixture. He was shown in a lab the "mother yeast cell"
that was a product of 1,200 experiments to bring out the robust
flavor. And he was told all the yeast used in making Schlitz beer was
developed from that original yeast cell.
The beer was brewed in containers so huge; you could stand a car
inside the chamber headlights up! When the brew was drained, doors
were opened and two men went inside the container with a mop and
bucket and scrubbed every square inch of the container to be
spotlessly clean for the next batch.
At that time there were no cans, all beer was placed into glass
bottles. Every bottle went through a belt system where each bottle
was washed and rinsed with boiling hot water four times before beer
ever entered the bottle.
Schlitz was meticulous about their procedures.
When Mr. Hopkins saw the procedure for making beer he was amazed:
“This is fantastic, why don’t you share this procedure with the
American public?” was his question.
“It’s really no big deal, this is how every beer company makes
beer.” They responded.
Claude Hopkins knew the importance of the procedure and said “We’ll
advertise this to America right away.”
So they advertised using full page ads showing the stages that
Schlitz went through to make beer. Each ad showcases one procedure.
One ad might have a picture of the conveyor belt washing and rinsing
the bottles, with a tagline “Schlitz beer bottles - Washed with live
The Schlitz executives hated the campaign but Hopkins pressed on and
won their doubting approval.
Using the ads showing how Schlitz made their beer took them from 5th
place to 1st place in beer sales in America in less than 6months!
Now what does this have to do with jewelry repair you ask?
Everything. It really isn’t much different. Most jewelers think
customers will buy a repair in their store based upon either prices
(we’re less expensive) or maybe because “all work is done on the
Nothing could be farther from the truth.
While jewelers and their sales staff thinks it’s all about price,
customers have different emotions about having their repairs handled
Using the same idea, see how you might respond to this explanation
if you were the customer.
Let’s say you advise your customer that to size her 14kt yellow gold
anniversary band smaller that also contains 9 round channel set
diamonds will be $48 and she says
“Gee, that sounds a little high. Isn’t this just a simple
Your answer might sound like this:
"Mrs. Jones, you’re right, sizing a ring is a semi-simple procedure,
it is one of the first things we train our jeweler to do. But you
don’t want a poor ring sizing job. A poor job is when the jeweler
thins the ring shank at the bottom thinner than when you brought it
in. Our jewelers are trained so that your ring shank will be the same
thickness as when you brought it in.
In addition if the jeweler doesn’t use the highest quality solder
joining the ring when sized, it could pop open in as little as six
months. We only use the highest quality, highest temperature solder
when we size our customer’s rings.
The jeweler will also check and tighten each every diamond in your
ring after sizing, making sure they are all tight when you pick up
your ring. Furthermore, we stand behind his work and will guarantee
for a full year if they get loose we will tighten them at no charge
and if any fall out we will also replace them at no cost to you. We
believe in his expertise just that much.
Once sized he will then polish your ring, removing any scratches and
making it just as beautiful as the day your husband gave it to you.
It will shine like the top of the Chrysler building!
But lastly, here at our store, we can’t hire 80% of the jewelers
applying for a job here. They just can’t cut it. Many who didn’t make
the grade work for other stores around us, but not here at ABC
Jewelers. In fact the fellow who will size your ring just set a
$5,000 emerald for me just this morning and you do want that kind of
expertise, don’t you?"
Now, did I lie, fib, make anything up? Nope. I just told the
customer what we will do to her ring.
Want to have some ammunition for your staff? Ask your jeweler just
two questions today:
“How long have you been doing jewelry work?”
What is the most expensive item you’ve ever worked on in your
If you had this and used the paragraph above, how much more
credibility would you have if you finished up with:
“.and our jeweler John has been doing jewelry repair and design for
over16 years and has worked on pieces valued as much as $80,000! You
do want this kind of expertise, don’t you?”
And it’s all true. Try it, it will cement your sales and also make
you feel better about the prices you should be charging.
Director of Repair Profits