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Shane Decker

27 Inspiring Diamond Facts to Include in Sales Presentations

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When your client truly understands just what makes a diamond special, she won’t leave without one.

If you’re in the diamond-selling business, it pays to appreciate what makes diamonds so extraordinarily special. Here are some facts that you would do well to learn and incorporate into your presentations.

1. The word “diamond” comes from the Greek word “adamas,” which means “unconquerable.”

2. Diamonds are the only product where it says right on TV that they are forever. They are estimated by scientists to be 3.4 billion years old.

3. A diamond is worn for decades by its first recipient and then passed down to the next generation. They can wear it for decades more, and the diamond will still look exactly like it did the day it was purchased.

4. The ancients believed that diamonds were splinters that fell off of stars or that they were tears that fell from God’s eyes.

5. Diamonds became the traditional symbol of love in ancient Greece. Kings have worn diamonds through the ages as a symbol of strength, courage, invincibility and power.

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6. In 1477, the archduke Maximilian of Austria personally gave a diamond ring to Mary of Burgundy, and that is when the tradition of the diamond engagement ring was started.

7. Diamonds are very rare. They come from Africa, Russia, Australia, Canada and other places. De Beers says they have to mine 250 tons of diamond ore to produce 1 carat weight of gem-quality polished diamond.

8. Each diamond is cut by a master with highly-skilled hands and years of required training before he or she is allowed to work with large crystals.

9. Diamonds are the epitome of both nature and the craftsmanship of man.

10. Diamonds are the universal symbol of love and wealth.

11. Diamonds are a very small form of transportable, negotiable wealth.

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12. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. We men just get dogs.  

13. A diamond on the 10th or 20th anniversary tells her you would marry her all over again. 

14. Diamonds are the most sought-after gemstone of all. 

15. Diamonds inhale light and breathe fire.

16. A diamond is Mother Nature’s love affair with light.

17. Diamonds can do their best work in dimly-lit places.

18. Diamonds are the doghouse key getter-outer.

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19. When diamonds are cut to triple-zero or triple-X, they set the standards that all others are judged by.

20. Diamonds are the only known substance whose beauty is unaffected by age.

21. Diamonds have a sentimental journey. The longer they are worn and passed down, the more priceless they become.

22. A diamond is not expensive if you keep it forever — it costs only cents per day.

23. I’ve never seen a lab report make a diamond dance. Light does.

24. Every diamond is like a snowflake or a fingerprint — no two are alike. They all have internal characteristics strategically placed by Mother Nature.

25. Diamond is a symbol of purity, and it forms only under tremendous heat and pressure.

26. Diamonds are always in style and they go with anything.

27. When we sell diamonds, we are actually selling life, forever, timeless, family, tradition, achievement, memories, heirlooms, love, forgive me, a lifetime, engagement, anniversary, babies, happiness, just because. We really don’t sell diamonds; we sell feelings and emotions.

Shane Decker has provided sales training for more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Contact him at ( 719) 488-4077 or ex-sell-ence.com.


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

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Shane Decker

For Successful Retailers, Failure is Not an Option, Says Shane Decker

Sales trainer says too many owners give up too quickly.

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A WORD THAT IS NOT in my vocabulary and should not be in yours is “failure.” Failure can almost always be avoided and is almost always human-designed.

Failure generally happens because of lack of planning. Owners and managers say, “I’ll try it!” and they try it one time, then they say it didn’t work. That’s because most don’t want to put in the effort to truly change. They stay with their old bad habits instead of formulating new habits.

If you don’t like change, you’re going to hate extinction.

So don’t try it — do it. And keep doing it right until you get it done correctly and successfully. Here is a list of things that will set you up for failure if you don’t change your ways.

1. Not closing. Outside of bridal clients, 80 percent of people buy the day they shop. People don’t have time to shop tomorrow if they’re shopping today. 60-70 percent of shoppers who say they’ll be back buy within two hours of leaving your location.
2. Not handling objections or knowing how to team sell, add on, wow, sell company benefits or use value-added statements. Many salespeople don’t know the anatomy of a clerk sale or a created one. They also don’t understand how to convert repair clients into sales.
3. GIA is the Harvard of our industry, but most salespeople don’t take Diamonds 1 and 2. A lot of young customers know more than the salespeople do.
4. Lack of store floor awareness.
5. Negotiating to close the sale and thereby losing profits. Salespeople use negotiating price as a cop-out because they either don’t know any better or are too lazy to do better.
6. Keeping your inventory too long. After two years, it’s dead money.
7. Bad marketing.
8. Not setting sales and business goals.
9. Not marking merchandise up enough, especially diamonds.
10. Not having enough events to increase traffic.
11. Not tracking your sales closing ratio to measure how your team is doing.
12. Not having enough high-end inventory and large diamonds. More and more clients are buying higher-dollar items, but you have to have it before they can.
13. Selling from a poverty-level mentality (selling out of your own pocket).
14. Bad location.
15. Crappy websites designed by Fred Flintstone.
16. Not remodeling old stores.
17. Being closed on Mondays. It’s becoming a big shopping day again.
18. Proper signage not visible. Clients walk into stores all the time and say, “I didn’t know there was a jewelry store here!”
19. Lack of services like appraisals, repairs, CAD/CAM. Work done poorly or not on time.
20. Overpromising and underdelivering.

It’s easy to fail, but it takes dedication, time and wisdom to succeed. If you improve in these areas and work toward success, promote professionalism and have the best-trained staff front and back, you will have a long life in this industry.

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Shane Decker

Here’s the Most Important Area To Invest In As a Jewelry Store Owner

You’re only as good as your people.

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RETAIL STORE OWNERS ARE having a difficult time holding onto their people. Right now, about half of all sales teams change every three years, and every seven years there is a total team change (with the exception of one or two “loyalists” in each store).

What’s the solution? Training. When salespeople have more knowledge, they close more sales and make more money. And as long as they’re making money, they’re far less likely to leave you.

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Training involves several areas, but one of the most fundamental is product knowledge. Your customers are more educated than ever before — and millennials are taking this to a whole new level. They do more research and know more about the product they’re purchasing than most salespeople do.

That’s why all salespeople, especially in bridal and diamonds, should take GIA Diamonds 1 and 2 and Diamond Grading. To some of you, this seems elementary, but I see so many salespeople who haven’t done this.

Salespeople who don’t have product knowledge talk too much to make up for their lack of knowledge. When you talk too much, you can talk right past the closing opportunity. Talking too much also takes the client’s attention away from the item being sold, and it takes attention away from the reason he or she came into your store in the first place.

Product knowledge gives you self-confidence and empowers you. When you have self-confidence, the client will have confidence in you. They won’t have as many objections. Your closing ratio will go up because clients can tell that you know what you’re talking about. They will trust you to help them make a decision.

Owners and managers: hold a one-hour sales meeting each week. Spend 20 minutes on product knowledge, 20 minutes on salesmanship, and 20 minutes on role-playing. When your sales team is well-trained, you’ll have more time to work on your business and you’ll be interrupted less often to help people close sales.

You’re only as good as the people you train. Your team controls how much money you make. And it’s amazing how many salespeople in jewelry stores do not know what they’re doing.

When salespeople are empowered with knowledge, they’re happier and more successful. Teamwork is better because they trust each other’s sales skills.

If you want a higher inventory turn, a higher closing ratio, and more net profit, start training your team. The more knowledgeable they are, the more valuable they feel and the longer they will stay. You invest money in buildings and marketing — start investing in your most valuable asset: your people.

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Shane Decker

How to Avoid 3 Security and Sales Risks

Secure sales techniques not only keep your jewelry safer, they make your clients happier, writes Shane Decker.

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THROUGHOUT THE YEAR, I’m in jewelry stores all over the country, and one thing I’ve noticed is that many stores are packing up their jewelry and timepieces before they close. They start packing up at 5:30 when they close at 6. What if a client comes in at 5:50 because that’s the only time he can make it, and everything is put away? You’ve just told him you don’t want to wait on him. He’ll go somewhere else and become a client there.

I’ve heard salespeople tell such a client, “Tell us what you want and we’ll go get it out.” But by that point, it’s already too late. The client feels like he is being a bother or that your plans are more important than he is. (Not only is the practice of packing up early a sale killer, but your insurance carrier may have a problem with it as well. You’ve got your jewelry all boxed up and sitting on top of the counters for the bad guys to come in and take it out very easily.)

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Some stores try to avoid killing the sale by packing up areas where they don’t think the client is looking. But this is silently telling the client, “Hurry up and get out so that we can finish packing up the area you’re looking at.”

Clients hate feeling rushed. They chose your store to purchase jewelry. If you’re in that big of a hurry to get home every night, go get another job! Quit killing the client’s experience.

Another problem I see often is what I call “over-showing.” It’s when salespeople have too many items out on the counter pad. This only confuses the client. It also makes it easier for someone to grab your inventory and run out the door. If you ask enough selling-specific questions, you can dial in quickly on what the client wants and concentrate on one or at most two items. Never have more than three items at once on the pad. But always put the item that interests the client in their hand. It shows trust and gives them ownership.

One final security risk that I see is salespeople walking away from their clients. If you leave the merchandise out in front of them, you make them feel nervous. But if you take it with you, you’re showing them that you don’t trust them. This is a sale killer. Always have someone to assist you to avoid either of these bad options.

Be sales-minded, but also be security minded. Practice store floor awareness. Be aware of other sales associates’ needs. This will make your store more secure, and equally importantly, make your clients much happier with their experience.

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