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4 Ways to Disarm and Make Comfortable Mr. “Just Looking”

Some customers need space before they need help.




A STAPLE OF THE holidays is Mr. Just Looking. You know the one: He rebuffs any attempt at conversation and will barely look at you. But there’s something you should know about Mr. Just Looking: He’s a big ol’ liar.

The truth is, “just looking” really means “leave me alone so I can find the thing I want to buy and get out of here.” The last thing he wants is some slick sales talk. But he does want to make a purchase; otherwise, he wouldn’t be there in the first place. Before we can show him anything, we have to disarm him and make him feel comfortable.

1. Give a Tour, Quickly

“Great, before I let you look, let me just give you the lay of the land.” Point out departments, not specific items in cases. That’s it, just a brief layout, but if he asks questions, that’s your opportunity to take it further.


2. Leave Him Alone

This is going to sound crazy, but give him space. Mr. JL is not going to be the type of profile that likes having pieces pushed on him right away. The secret to the tour is that you’ve told him where everything is, so he’s going to go where he hopes to find what he’s after. Let him take a moment to digest. While he’s digesting, you should be coming up with ideas to show him. Keep a close enough eye on him that he can’t just make a lap and walk out. Based on where he starts, you should position yourself in his path, ready to show something.

3. Show Your Favorite

After his first go-through, grab your favorite piece from that section to show him. “I noticed you looking at our diamond fashion case, and I just have to show you this piece a little closer, it’s a real favorite of mine.” You’re just trying to draw out a reaction, something that leads you closer to the right piece. If he brushes it off, don’t sweat it; ask open-ended questions that get at the root of what he’s looking for.

4. Ask Questions to Narrow the Choices

“Were you thinking a necklace or a pair of earrings?” “Does she wear more white gold or yellow gold?” At this point, we can be a little more forward than at the beginning, because now it’s up to us to streamline the process. I might even throw in a lead-in along the lines of “this time of year, we get in new pieces every day; I just have some questions that will help me narrow down the field a little for you.” What someone doesn’t like tells you as much as what they do like. From here on out, it’s process of elimination until his answers lead you to the right solution.

It’s easy to be intimidated by Mr. JL, but remember: More than we want the sale, he wants the solution to his problem. Respect his space at first, make him feel comfortable, and remember that “just looking” means “as soon as I find what I’m looking for, I’m going to buy it.”


Peter Hannes IV is the sales manager of Craig Husar Fine Diamonds & Jewelry Designs. Peter has earned Accredited Jewelry Professional and Diamonds Graduate certificates from the GIA and has 10-plus years of experience in the industry. Reach him at



Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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