Have a structured training program for new staff?

Yes: 32%

  • Along with our customer service commandments, our training program requires six weeks of full-time shadowing before hands-on customer service is allowed. People always say, “Oh, it won’t take me that long.” Baloney! It will if you want to do it perfectly, the first time, no matter what facet of service you are requested to provide! — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • We always start with an orientation of the jewelry artists we carry with a detailed description of who, what, where, and how about their work.  — Betsy Barron, Love & Luxe, San Francisco, CA
  • Just purchased newest Harry Friedman selling program, use Stuller’s stone catalog for general information on stones, metals and diamonds. Have them shadow my best people. — Cathy Graves, Ellis Jewelers, Frankfort, IN
  • We follow a training binder that includes a range of topics: security, product knowledge, common repairs, sales techniques and vendor/brand information. Most of the information is written in-house, and we use industry statistics and articles (i.e., INSTORE articles or security statistics) to reinforce and explain particular topics. — Allison Leitzel-Williams, Leitzel’s Jewelry, Myerstown, PA
  • The founder shares with them stories of his heritage and culture. We also do a 10-day Level of Understanding book that we developed that familiarizes them with terms, processes, procedures, POS and many other things. We also get them on track with GIA to do the Jewelry Essentials training. Then we hook them up with a mentor and continually train them for the next three months. — Doug Meadows, David Douglas Diamonds & Jewelry, Marietta, GA
  • Our training is a six-month course, involving much of the staff. We train on gemology expertise, logistics, sales techniques, and lots of role-play scenarios. We figure it costs $40,000 to train a new salesperson, but is well worth it. — Richard Wilson, Wilson Diamonds, Provo, UT

No: 68%

  • We don’t have a structured training program because every client, situation, and occasion is different. Training them like a machine to react only to particular stimuli (instead of teaching them to think on their feet) results in a robotic experience for the client. — Deric Metzger, DeMer Jewelry, Oceanside, CA
  • Too many other things on my plate; train them as I go, kinda like throwing a kid in the pool to make them swim. — Josh Rider, Dylan Rings, Montgomery, AL
  • Most sales staff who seek us out are already highly trained. They learn our basics and then are free to build their/our business. — David Kammeraad, Preusser Jewelers, Grand Rapids, MI
  • We like to guide our new employees and make sure they are gaining the knowledge they need but also to let them be themselves and find their own path.  Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX

This article originally appeared in the December 2017 edition of INSTORE. 

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