During the 2015 Holiday Season, designer Nina Nguyen offered a Holiday Sales Incentive program for sales associates across all stores. Prizes ranged from gifts of Nina Nguyen Designs jewelry to one grand prize of a Belize & Cozumel cruise and airfare for 2. The sales incentive program was a great success, with tremendous participation by sales associates throughout the United States, but when the contest closed, there could only be one winner, and for 2015, it was Melinda Ricketts, sales associate for Murphey the Jeweler, in Tyler, Texas.
Melinda’s passion for the jewelry industry, for Nina Nguyen Designs jewelry in particular, earned her the #1 spot in the Holiday Sales Incentive program, as well as a balcony room Belize & Cozumel cruise for 2. Her enthusiasm and sales savvy for a product she loves combine to make her a unique brand ambassador for the growing collection of Nina Nguyen Designs.
Recently, Nina Nguyen Designs caught up with Melinda, and asked her to share some of her story, and tips for other sales associates who are interested in developing stronger relationships between their customers, and the instore brands they carry.
1) How did you get into jewelry sales?
I started part time 12 years ago at Murphey the Jeweler to supplement my income. I had just moved back to Tyler from the Dallas/Fort Worth area where I was working as a veterinary practice manager. Unfortunately, there weren’t any jobs in Tyler equivalent to the position I had in Dallas, so I took a job at a veterinary practice that turned out not to be a great fit for me.
Around Christmas time I heard that Murphey the Jeweler was hiring and I thought it would be fun to work in a jewelry store. My love for gemstones started when I was a child, and would collect rocks and geodes. After a few months working part time at the jewelry store, I decided to leave the Veterinary Practice all together and work full time at Murphey the Jeweler. It turned out to be the best decision I could have made! I have a love for gemstones and it makes learning and working in the industry so much fun. I even pursued my GG certification from the Gemological Institute of America to further my education.
2) What do you like best about selling jewlery?
The environment is always changing and there is always something new to learn, share and sell. I have really enjoyed taking part in the buying process because I find that I tend to buy what I love and, for me, the easiest pieces to sell are the ones that I love.
3) What is your favorite thing about selling Nina Nguyen Jewelry?
I love Nina Nguyen Jewelry because so much of it can be layered and mixed in different ways to create totally different looks. There is truly a look for everyone, every outfit, and for every occasion.
4) Why do you think people love Nina Nguyen Jewelry?
Nina Nguyen is constantly creating new trends with her jewelry. Her pieces are versatile and can be worn alone or layered with other pieces. A great example of the versatility of her jewelry is how so many of the necklaces can also be worn to create a fantastic layered bracelet look. I personally love mixing all the different textures and colors.
5) You are one of the top selling jewelry sales associates in the United States when it comes to selling Nina Nguyen Designs jewelry. What tips can you share about selling Nina Nguyen Designs collections? How can other jewelry sales associates develop a loyal customer base such as yours when it comes to selling the Nina Nguyen Designs collection?
The first step I take after I have gone through the pick box is to get on the phone and personally invite customers who have purchased pieces in the past in to look at the new designs. I use that phone call to suggest or recommend a particular piece that I know will be coming in, which would compliment a piece they already have. For me it is all about communicating information on new, fresh jewelry designs, and explaining to my customers how these new designs can be utilized and coordinated to enhance their current collection.
It is extremely important to know what your customers have purchased in the past, so that you, as the sales associate, can make honest and personalized recommendations for them. I also love to utilize the marketing materials that Nina Nguyen Designs supplies, such as the mailers for special events and holidays like Valentine's Day and Mother’s Day. It is also very helpful to me that Nina Nguyen Designs has such a strong social media presence, as that allows me to present photos of new products to my customers via text, email and our own, in-house social media. In addition, we have presented new Nina Nguyen Designs collections on our local television station. We use television to talk about upcoming special Nina Nguyen Designs events, as well as present new products we are showcasing on a seasonal basis.
6) What do you think keeps your customer loyal to the NND brand?
What works for me is consistently "working my client base.” People can't buy what they don't know exists. You have to inform them about new collections and keep them excited about the brand. Nina Nguyen Jewelry is so unique that it is a very easy sell. You just have to keep putting it in front of people and pointing out all of the versatile looks and ideas that are possible with each collection. Another great selling point for me and my customers is that the price point is fantastic, which helps both customers who are looking to buy something for themselves, or for a special gift. When one of my customers gives a piece from Nina Nguyen Designs as a gift, that automatically means a new customer is gained for me. It’s great!
7) Final thoughts?
I personally am able to sell Nina Nguyen everywhere I go. I have been in the industry long enough that people often know who I am and who I work for, so I am a walking billboard for the designs and designers I wear. I get asked about my jewelry at the grocery store, the doctor’s office, just about any place I go. The incentive programs that Nina Nguyen has put it place have made it possible for me to build my own personal and impressive collection of Nina Nguyen jewelry, which means that I am always wearing it, talking about how great the company is, and continually fostering new and existing customer relations.
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