Craig Nann, of Gemstones Unveiled (Newport, Rhode Island) and his wife provide custom-designed gemstone jewelry to their clients, at great prices. Integrity, pride and diligent service have built them a thriving home-based business.
They’ve helped me formulate these 7 tips for entrepreneurs:
- Know your product; more importantly, understand its value. You need to convey why your customers should spend their hard-earned money or invest their precious time in hearing about what you’re selling.
- But don’t sell. Consider yourself an educator. Give your customers an education in truth and you’ll empower them to make the right decision for themselves.
- Listen to your customers–they’ll tell you what they need. When listening, it’s your job to discern what is the best thing for your customer. This assumes you are an honestly caring person!
- Then offer to provide that best thing, with integrity. Don’t fake it–give them exactly what they need! And be honest if you’re not the person who can provide what they’re seeking.
- Respect and honor your customers’ values and desires–above all, respect their budget. If you sincerely respect them, they’ll value your relationship.
- Act with integrity, always, always, always. Always. Integrity builds customer loyalty and referrals, through trust. Longevity is possible only in a relationship based on earned trust.
- In all sales opportunities, you make or break an honest connection with people (you form a positive or negative relationship) in a short time. This too depends upon the depth of your integrity–the way you behave, day and night, alone, with family, and in public. Your integrity, or lack of it, is the bone-structure that shapes your business and determines every move you make. While compliments and flattery might be false (and people can generally see through them), integrity can never be faked.
Gemstones Unveiled has a mission to be matchmakers. They seek to pair a gemstone of the client’s preferred color, cut and price-range, to an occasion. From this pairing, a story is born.
A woman tells her granddaughter, Your grandfather bought this 3-carrat sky blue topaz pendant for me on our tenth wedding anniversary.
The jewelry, and the story, will be be passed on to descendants as an inheritance and heirloom.
On her granddaughter’s wedding day, the woman gives the pendant to the young bride, saying, I hope your marriage will be as long and as happy as ours has been.
Therefore Craig and his wife see their mission as almost-sacred. The gemstone they provide MUST be worth the price; it must be an authentic mined stone (not simulated) and it must have value. Their investment in truth and integrity has built them a loyal, growing customer base. And their integrity encourages me to dream of a wonderful world, in which the delivery of truth and authentic value becomes the mission of every entrepreneur.
What’s your product (maybe it’s your blog)? How might you apply, or how have you already applied, any of Craig’s tips to your enterprise?
23 thoughts on “7 Tips for entrepreneurs: how to communicate integrity, from the founder of Gemstones Unveiled”
Love this – great post!
Thanks, Diana. You, of course, knew (and live by) all these tips already–but I appreciate the affirmation.
Great tips for any business! Great postTracy!
Thank you, Lisa–it’s lovely to “see” you again.
Great list! Do you think it would be inappropriate to pass this out to the contractors who’ve been coming to our house to do repairs after a pipe burst…some of them could learn from this. 🙂
Maybe not appropriate, but fun.
I’d wait until they were leaving, for good and forever, though. 😀
At this point, it feels as though they’ll never leave… 🙂
Like a bad dream you can’t wake up from… I feel for you–we came home from vacation once to a falling down ceiling (burst pipes). That was enough of a drama; and we didn’t have to deal with shady workers because my husband was a contractor (an honest and ethical one; too bad there aren’t more of that kind).
I hope the nightmare is over very soon. (They will leave, I promise…)
Thanks, Tracy! We got lucky today and found an honest plumber. 🙂
Great points and advice! I think my blog is my ‘product’ and while I’m not sure I always act with integrity, I’m pretty darn honest and never fake it! 🙂
I don’t think that sassiness and wild-spiritedness are signs of low integrity, dear. They’re signs of youth.
I think you have deep-rooted integrity. And honesty. And charm. And sometimes a rowdy-mouth. We get to hear your spill because. as you said, you never fake it.
I love you! Thanks for the compliments and for the new description of my “rowdy mouth” that I am totally going to use from this point forward! You rock my world, Mama!
And you rock mine. 🙂
So wonderful to read about integrity, honesty and respect. Still so important even by today’s slipping standards.
When my son broke up with his girlfriend recently, as you know, I really praised him for taking the high road and for keeping his integrity. He could have said and done so much but he chose not to and I couldn’t be prouder of him right now.
For me, it would have to be my blog, as I feel that my blog is my ‘calling card’ and my ‘business’ as it reflects my values, even if that does mean I feel the need for teh odd rant or two! I also know I’m far from perfect 😉
Great post Tracy, as always, thank you 🙂
That’s a great way to phrase it, Sherri, that a blog is a “calling card.” I’m going to remember that…
And yours definitely reflects your values–and your personality.
Thanks Tracy 🙂
Great post, Tracy! Very educational! I guess my product is my knowledge about my country and its culinary tradition as well as my integrity in the reviews. I would never recommend something that I haven’t tried and liked 100%. That’s why I have been rejected many requests to put ads in Flora’s Table so far. I really treasure the trust of my readers. 🙂
I think you’re awareness of what your “product” is, comes through very clearly in all your posts, Francesca–and that’s one of the many reasons that I always look forward to finding a new post from you in my reader.
And, I tend to click out of sites that have a bunch of ads. I just realized that my “free” wordpress site is not posting ads because I have more readers. I’ll be looking into how to turn that off (because I don’t have anything to do with the ads showing up, and I don’t even know who the advertisers are…)
Sadly, it’s one more task to add to my busy schedule…. not sure how long it will take me to figure it out…
A really interesting thought Tracy – I hadn’t really considered my blog my product before but it does make me think about how I recognise the ‘value’ of it.
Fantastic post on one of my favourite subjects (integrity) which opens up many questions. I like your comparison of complements & flattery vs true integrity. This is not always easy to differentiate. I know of people who go out of their way to be gushing with their flattery; and yet that is as far as it goes. One can get caught if ever one thinks of them as a true friend!
In regard to applying this to entrepreneurs, your advice is sound, especially the educational aspect. To be given the reason of WHY is fundamental.
You’re right (as usual) Elizabeth. It’s not always easy to recognize gushing flattery for what it is. It’s an empty promise–the hearer thinks there’s something behind it (friendship, admiration, sincerity) but it’s really only a reflexive behavior that serves the flatterer’s purpose.
It became easier for me to recognize as I got older. I’ve been thinking lately, about how much wisdom has been lost in the present age, because of the way the culture idolizes youth (forgetting that youth is often terribly foolish).
But that’s a whole ‘nother topic…
Ah yes, the older / younger split in our society. I follow this blog about the issue of the older generation by a lady who is quite adamant that the word “older” should never be used. Off topic a bit as it focusses on the wisdom of the old rather than the foolishness of the young. However, you may want to have a peek.