The diamond industry is clearly in a state of flux as each of us try and find our niche to carve out business. Fortunately, the diamond industry has the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) which, apart from dealing with complex issues often behind the scenes, has created the World Diamond Mark (WDM) to help drive diamond promotion and awareness.
On a grass roots level, the diamond and jewellery industry often does not appreciate the difference between product knowledge and professional presentation skills.
Note: I don’t call presentation “selling skills.” I don’t believe that in the context of selling a diamond ring you are in fact selling, but rather they are buying from you.
Retailers of diamonds often have limited knowledge of how diamonds are actually formed, mined and faceted, and in particular the technology which is employed today, other than in most cases a very superficial understanding. Yes, some have extended their knowledge with diamond grading courses and better yet have made it their mission to read and ask experts copious questions to further their knowledge.
Professionals will tell you: it’s knowing this information that enables you to exude confidence about diamonds without having to show off your knowledge to the customer. Needless to say, a great way to kill any diamond sale is drowning the client with facts. The ABC of jewellery retail tells us they want to go on a romantic journey, not back to school to understand geography and rock formations.
The generic marketing arm of the WFDB, the World Diamond Mark recognized the need for an educational programme for retailing diamonds – developed in conjunction with others such as HRD Antwerp.
To the diamond retailers who may read this, I pose the following questions:
- Does your store have its own diamond training programme for your sales team?
- Do you annually update it?
- Does it include information on how to search the web and which websites to look at if they were a consumer?
When we stop making the effort to improve and learn, we are going backwards. There is no such thing as “too much information“ or too much education. Information and knowledge are the pillars on which we stand; these foundations allow us to grow with confidence… we are in the business of providing our customers with mementos which capture a point in time.
Combine information, knowledge and storytelling and our businesses will surely grow.