JCK Talks: A Chat with Becka Johnson Kibby

4 Tips for Increasing Sales and Profits

Becka Johnson Kibby has spent 30 years in the jewelry business as a director of training at companies like Borsheims and Robbins Brothers. Today, she is the director of operations at The Edge Retail Academy, where she counsels hundreds of jewelry retailers on how to build their businesses and increase their profits by better managing areas from inventory to staff. We spoke with Kibby about her upcoming JCK Talks session, Increase Sales & Profits by Changing your Habits. Here’s a sneak peek at four of her top takeaways.

1) Change Your Mindset
The first question Kibby asks retailers when they come to her for advice is, “Are you ready to change your mindset?” Fine jewelers, whose businesses are often passed from generation to generation, can be resistant to change. Open-mindedness is half the battle, she says. If you’re not ready to make real changes, then you’re never going to be able to update other key aspects of your business, she says.

2) Get Up to Speed on Tech
The next item on the to-do list is to familiarize yourself with today’s technology. Many stores Kibby works with still use printed catalogues. “How much nicer would it be to show customers items on a tablet or iPad?” she asks. Investing in technology makes simple tasks easier and, maybe even more important, shows customers you keep up with the times.

3) Create Relationships, Not Sales
Jewelers and sales associates often focus on the sale instead of creating a positive emotional experience for customers, from what Kibby sees. “The key is to be human and not sales-y,” she says. “Think about how you’re going to service this customer and give them an amazing experience. Focus on that feeling. That’s what gets customers to come back. And when they feel good, they tend to buy more. That’s where you will soar as a jewelry store.”

4) Get Away From Discounting
Ask yourself one question: What do customers want? The answer: Value, quality, amazing service, and they want to buy from people they like. Customers rarely frequent a retailer just for discounts, Kibby says. But discounting is like a bad habit. If you’ve always done it, it’s hard to stop. Be aware that “discounting really hurts margins,” Kibby says. To break the habit, start with small improvements. For example, “Learn how to negotiate,” Kibby advises. “Instead of discounting, take away the return policy or add a free appraisal or a lifetime diamond warranty. The customer has to give up something. If you can’t do that, do anything you can to discount less.” Another effective tactic: Discount by odd amounts, perhaps knocking off the price by 13 percent or $11.63, Kibby suggests. “The hardest part is changing your mindset,” she says. “It’s hard and it’s not going to happen overnight. You’re going to have to work at it.”

Find out more
Increase Sales & Profits by Changing your Habits
May 31, 2018 at 2 pm
Tradewinds E/F, Pool Level

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