selling fine jewelry
finding influencers
finding influencers

The Fine Art of Selling Fine Jewelry

Dear Lilian,


I’ve recently encountered a client who spent five hours over the course of a few weeks, committing verbally to purchasing a pair of earrings she loved. When I sent her the invoice to collect payment prior to shipping, I didn’t hear from her. I followed up, and no response. Similarly, another client was going to send me payment prior to shipping and then, last minute, decided to put a hold on the purchase. It’s frustrating when they don’t value my time and the sale is no longer there. Are there some tactics for them to keep their word and purchase what they committed to?


I also feel clients love to engage, they love to hear my story, for me to show them the collections and then they leave. In general, I despise selling, I’m not good at it. But I feel I need to learn, as a female solo business owner to place value on my time and efforts. I am sure I can improve on selling.


What’s some tips on closing a jewelry deal?


Jilted at the Checkout Alter

Dear Jilted,

You’ve experienced the insidious tire kicker, the bane of my existence in selling fine jewelry when I was once  a top seller at Tourneau, now Bucherer.

The Tire Kicker: An energy vampire who makes you feel like you’re about to close the sale of a lifetime as you perform for their pleasure your best rendition of Chicago’s “When You’re Good to Mama”  — “Mama” being your gorgeous designs, and “being good” meaning handing over a credit card.  You hit that final crescendo, belting out “Mama’s good to you!” while confidently extending your hand for their Amex — only for them to say they need to think about it and quickly dash off.

Disgusted and ready to encore with  “Cell Block Tango”, you’ve instead, sadly, become “Mister Cellophane.”

Ahem, if you’ve never seen the movie Chicago, do so immediately! Best musical to movie adaptation ever!

Now, how do you close a deal with these people?

You can’t. All your Razzle Dazzle won’t help. They were never going to buy.

You say you hate selling? So do I!

When I launched my agency 20 years ago, I failed miserably at selling myself.  I’d get asked “what can you do for me?” and like a bumbling idiot, I’d rattle off everything I was good at, only to be told, “well, I don’t need any of that.” And off I’d go feeling rejected.

Now? All I Care About is love!

And by “love,” I mean creating emotional responses in my clients by talking to them about their deepest desires and All That Jazz.

Ok, I think I’ve exhausted my Chicago references!

The Art of Selling Fine Jewelry

Jilted, my Jeweler, you’ve been selling fine jewelry based on how YOU feel about your jewelry.  But your feelings don’t matter!

Too harsh? It’s the truth.  Your feelings aren’t going to pay for your next vacation to Bora Bora. But your customer’s feelings will!

Let’s run through a scenario where a woman stops by to see that exquisite Peacock Fancy Sapphire ring I fell in love with on your website. As you take the ring from the case, begin wiping away any real or imaginary fingerprints with a cloth.  

Make her wait. She may become irritated, impatient.  That’s the point. You’re creating her first emotional response, one that puts you in a position of power – the power to turn her irritation into pleasure when you finally hand her the ring.

No! You’re not going to hand over an object of your blood, sweat and tears to just anyone, and you’re certainly not going to offer up this masterpiece covered in (imaginary or real) dust and fingerprints! By making her wait, you’re implying there’s magic to your jewelry, and if she wants to experience this magic, she must savor the anticipation.

 “You have excellent taste,” you’ll say as you clean. “This is one of my favorites.  Tell me, what drew you to it?”

If she were me, she’d say, “I love colored stones.”

Respond with a big smile and say, “So do I!  They allow me to be highly creative in a way white diamonds can’t” – or whatever your reason for using colored stones.

Now, hand her the ring. And get her talking.

Conversation as the Secret Weapon in Selling Fine Jewelry

Point out a certain feature, such as how the ring is designed for each petal to twirl and ask what she thinks of it.  When she responds, give your reasoning for adding the feature.

Throw in the story of how your first time encountering a peacock was at The Royal Alcázar in Sevilla, Spain and how your Andalusian adventure led to the creation of this spectacular spectacle. Ask, “Have you been to Spain?”

Fun fact: The Alcázar was The PR Advisor’s first time face-to-face with a peacock.

You’re now having a conversation. It no longer feels like selling fine jewelry, does it?

By asking what she likes about the piece, she’s now selling the ring to herself. Your job is to reinforce her perceptions of what she finds most alluring about the ring by adding intimate details of your creative process.

If she hands the ring back, ask, “Is there something missing from the ring keeping you from taking it home?”

Never say “keeping you from buying it!”  This isn’t a transaction!

Even though it is.

No, you’re not selling fine jewelry. You’re attempting to fulfill her most glamourous desires.

Most people will give some silly excuse to avoid a confrontation. Don’t allow it. Say immediately, “Please be honest! As a designer, I’m often left alone with just my ideas. I prefer making things people want. Your honest feedback will help me refine my designs.”

Who doesn’t love to help? She’ll share her reason. If you have something else that fits what she wants, show her.

Setting the Strategy for Your Follow Up

If her reticence is because she’s not ready to buy, hand back the ring and insist she take a picture of it on her finger. She doesn’t want to forget how spectacular the ring looked on her now, does she?

Now ask if you could take a picture for yourself. The ring just looks amazing on her! Then get her contact information.

I know. You have a sent messages folder full of tire kickers.

But I’m guessing your follow up has been focused on getting payment instead of reinforcing how the potential customer felt in the presence of your piece.

Jilted, honey-muffin, now and forevermore, I insist your follow up must go something like this:

“Dear Smart Person with exquisite taste,” you’ll write, attaching the picture you took. “I’m doing a trunk show next week and this ring was specifically requested by the host. Whenever I look at this picture, though, it feels like the ring was meant for you. I’ve reserved it for as long as I can, but if you don’t want it, do you mind if I sell it to someone else?”

Your follow up is a reminder of her desire. You want to fulfill her desire, but someone else has the same desire. One of them must act fast. You want it to be her, but you can’t deny the other person without payment. Out of respect, you’re seeking her permission to sell to someone else something that rightfully should be hers.

If she’s serious, she’ll send you her credit card information.  If not, add her to your newsletter and await further instructions in my upcoming column on creating newsletters, when we return to meet our superhero, Consideration, in our continued tour of The Customer Journey.

I can’t stress enough eliminating the mindset you’re selling. You’re not. You’re fulfilling desires evoked by interest in your creation. If you look at things this way, you’ll never sell a day in your life, but you will have hundreds of happy customers.

Now, off to practice tap dancing simultaneously with Richard Gere  in the privacy of my living room as a rewatch Chicago for the 8,986th time!

Our customer journey superhero, Awareness, has patiently been awaiting our return. We’ll reconvene with them in the next column, unless, of course, you have a pressing question that must be answered immediately!


  1. Identify Tire Kickers: Recognize the signs of a tire kicker when you’re selling fine jewelry, someone who shows great interest without the intention to buy, and learn to navigate these interactions without wasting time.
  2. Shift Your Selling Mindset: Transition from the traditional sales mindset to focusing on creating emotional connections and fulfilling the deep-seated desires of your clients. Shift the mindset from “selling fine jewelry” to “fulfilling desires.” You’re meeting clients’ deeper needs rather than pushing a transaction.
  3. Engage Through Storytelling: Use storytelling to enhance the emotional impact of your pieces. Share personal inspirations and the creative journey behind your jewelry to engage potential buyers on a deeper level. Generate anticipation by engaging clients in conversations about what they value most in your creations, and share the unique story behind each piece.
  4. Create Emotional Responses: Strategically create initial emotional responses by showcasing the exclusivity and care in your craftsmanship, turning client irritation into anticipation and pleasure. Let clients take pictures with your pieces to extend the connection and solidify their desire to own something that made them feel special.
  5. Encourage Client Self-Selling: Guide the conversation to allow clients to sell the jewelry to themselves by discussing features they find appealing and reinforcing these with your creative insights. Invite honest feedback from clients to understand their preferences and refine your designs. This builds trust and enhances future sales. If a client hesitates on one piece, be prepared to show similar items that align with their tastes and fulfill their unique needs.
  6. Follow Up with Purpose: Craft personalized follow-up messages that remind clients of the emotions and excitement they felt while considering your product. Implement a follow-up strategy that reminds the client of their initial desire and introduces a sense of urgency, without making the interaction feel like a mere transaction.
  7. Maintain Client Engagement: Add hesitant buyers to your newsletter to keep them informed and interested in your brand, increasing the chances of future purchases.

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