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What types of questions you ask a customer


#1

Wondering what types of questions you ask a customer who wants to
re-design a ring but is unsure of what she wants. What is your
designing process.

Thank you in advance.

Looking forward to the different processes.

Laurie


#2

Laurie- If the customer says “I don’t know what I want, but I’ll
know as soon as I see it.” Then run. Run away as fast as you can.
This type will eat up weeks of design and wax carving time. I often
send them away with the advice to look online, go to lots of jewelry
stores and bring me pictures of what they want.

However if they come to you because they love your sense of design
and craftsmanship then that’s another story.

First of all what’s the purpose of the piece? Wedding ring, daily
wear, or special occasion bling?

Then what do they do for a living and for fun. Do you go rock
climbing for fun? Well then an eternity band is not a good idea. Work
in a wood shop or at a desk? How many kids or pets do you have?

This will put them at ease as folks really like to talk about
themselves and I can design a piece that will work with their life
style What color of metal, what color of stones?

What is their budget?

When do they need it?

Take charge of the design process. After all you are the artist.
Draw in black and white right in front of the customer if you can so
they don’t have time for second thoughts. Never ever let them take
your design or a copy of it out of the shop.

Try not to offer more that a couple of sketches. We try to do it in
one sketch with minor adjustments to the customers specs. “Here let
me make something lovely for you.” If I have to do more than one,
I’ll put a tiny splash of color or sexy highlight on the one I really
want to do.

And best of all. my favorite question to ask, how would you like to
pay for that? That should be the time you close the sale and get a
good deposit or payment in full.

Never ever apologize for your prices. If this was easy every one
would do it.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#3

I ask how she uses her hands. Just typing, or gardening, using
tools, ranching… Then, what is her style, sporty, frilly, classic,
preppy, alternative? What about hobbies? This gives some jumping-off
places for discussion. I made a very high-set solitaire for a client
only after having her assure me that she is very demure and never
does any hard labor!

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA


#4

Wether you take on this customer will depend on how busy you are
with other customers.

If you have more than enough work, it sounds like trouble!! When i
have a customer who isnt shure what they want, having looked at my
stock, i send them away suggesting they have a cup of tea and think
about it, when they have decided come back and ill help them.

As usually I have a queue of customers wanting to see my work.


#5

Wether you take on this customer will depend on how busy you are
with other customers.

If you have more than enough work, it sounds like trouble!! When i
have a customer who isnt shure what they want, having looked at my
stock, i send them away suggesting they have a cup of tea and think
about it, when they have decided come back and ill help them.

As usually I have a queue of customers wanting to see my work.


#6

I had a client that her previous jeweller didn’t get right. She
changed her mind too many times on what she wanted.

She came to me & I suggested we should get a cad-photo for a start.
(My same cad-fellow knew of her from this same jeweller) She accused
me in saying “you’re not a designer, so you why do you use a cad
person?” I sent her brief letter in not wanting to proceed further.
She wanted me to spend hours at no $$ to help her. bye-bye!! Gerry
Lewy


#7

Have them tell you what they like, and show them examples of it.
Also show them the size of things so it doesn’t bite you later when
they thought 3 mm was about an inch in size. NEVER NEVER do a job for
your spouses boss.

My hubbies boss, bought some 3mm heart shaped supposed tourmalines
on a cruise. He wanted them set in earrings for his wife. I spent
nearly two months with him not telling when he needed them by, and
slowly pulling bits and pieces of what he expected them to look like.
He didn’t want to spend a lot of money either. He thought about $20
would do it. I quickly told him it wasn’t going to be so low, but
because he was who he was, I would do it at cost.

It came out he wanted post earrings with a simulated diamond like
stone as the top stone and the hearts shaped tourmalines as the
dangle. But the tourmalines were to be the largest part. I showed him
the settings for the heart shaped stones. He said ok. I also found
posts with cz’s with a jump ring to attach the basket settings. I
could have spent the time to make it all, but at that size, and as
cheap as he wanted them, I wasn’t going to spend the time. Then one
day he wanted to pick them up. He hadn’t paid me yet for the
componets as he said he would, and I hadn’t ordered them having let
him know I would when he paid. So it ended up I spent to have
everything next day air. I got them made, and he was in such a hurry
at 11 pm he met my husband at a mall parking lot to get them, so he
could surprise his wife.

When he saw them, he was upset because they were so small. He
thought that the tourmalines were larger and should show up as a
substantial stone. He handed my hubby $20 and left with them. I had
spent nearly $80 between the white gold cost, and the mailing
expenses. Next day the boss told several people at hubbies work, that
I must have switched stones, and other nasty things. Dan even worried
for a couple of weeks about being fired. The CIO stepped in and put
my husband on another team inside the department to end the problems.
As a result, I will not make a thing for any person who works with or
above my hubby.

If the person doesn’t know exactly what they want, get them in
writing to approve parts. Make a rough drawing if you have to before
the final one so they get a sort of idea you will end up sketching.
And make sure they understand size. Evn go so far as to convert the
metric size into what it would be inch wise.

Aggie the old and getting pissyier.


#8

“What’s most important to you?” Everything else follows their
response to that question.

Dave Phelps


#9

I ask do they like straight or curvy. After that answer, if they have
that info but no specifics pull out stuller mountings and go through
either straight or curvy fashion or remount (or equivalent). Then
they will start to reveal clues. Build on that till you find a couple
they like. Go to custom from there cause it’s rare you find just the
right mounting for their gems. Give a quote for your nicely sketched
design. We do $100 for cad design. Non refundable but goes towards
the ring. If they like, then 20 to 50 % down to make the ring. They
can change the design once. Maybe twice if they are pains in the arse
but cincere. Three times of they are smokin hot. (Just kidding). Then
make ring. No returns on custom. If you have to cause they are
screaming at you and there are other people around you keep the 20 to
50 % and get them or of your store.


#10
NEVER NEVER do a job for your spouses boss. 

OMG! You are SO right! When it comes to family, I NEVER charge. I used
to get diamonds for family members at cost (and show them the
invoice) but even that backfired.

I tell my friends who want custom stuff that THEY have to come to my
shop and make it with me, plus they have to pay retail, or I simply
won’t do it! (But you’d be surprised how many take me up on it!) I do
their repairs for free or cost and don’t make 'em work.

Paf Dvorak