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Even Store Owners Aren’t Perfect. Here Are the Biggest Mistakes Our Brain Squad Makes on the Sales Floor

Jewelers share their biggest business weaknesses.




Even Store Owners Aren’t Perfect. Here Are the Biggest Mistakes Our Brain Squad Makes on the Sales Floor

Nobody’s perfect — even store owners. Here, the Brain Squad admits its collective failings when it comes to selling jewelry.

  • Talking toooo much! I was that person that had the piece sold, and then before I knew it, they were there so long they started to talk themselves out of it. I learned later to start walking toward the cash register to finish the sale. — Rita Wade, Wade Designs Jewelry, Rocky Mount, NC
  • Talking too long. I need to remember that not everyone wants a crash course in antique jewelry. — James Doggett, Doggett Jewelry, Kingston, NH
  • I sometimes get too overconfident and figure that “why shouldn’t they buy from my store?” Sometimes I need a kick in the head. — David Mann Cyrkin, David Mann Jewelers, Geneseo, NY
  • Not adding on to the sale and not suggesting an idea for a future sale. — Gene Poole, Hudson-Poole Jewelers, Tuscaloosa, AL
  • I get too easily irritated at stupid customer comments. — Peter Tims, White Mountain Jewelers, Show Low, AZ
  • I am not on the floor much, but the most recent mistake I made was clerking a customer. I helped her with what she came in for then I headed to the computer to ring her up. She said, “Before I pay, could you show me this ring?” Duh. — Kristin Cornwell, Cornwell Jewelers, Athens, OH
  • Dropping stuff. (Quite embarrassing!) — Marta Jones-Couch, Elements Ltd., Des Moines, IA
  • Assuming everyone is on a tight budget. I was trained never to pre-judge and always show big and then narrow down, but I have a tendency to assume they’re looking for the least expensive option. — Kas Jacquot, Kas A Designs, Jefferson City, MO
  • Showing too much; confusing the customer with too many choices. — Jim Greenfield, Spritz Jewelers, Champaign, IL
  • Hurrying the customer along. And not taking the time to bring up more ideas and thoughts on what we can do. — Meg Rankin, J. Rankin Jewellers, Edmonds, WA
  • Too often, if we don’t have exactly what a customer wants, we offer to order or make it instead of selling a similar stock item. — Jill Hornik, Jae’s Jewelers, Coral Gables, FL
  • I tend to go over the facts instead of appealing to the emotional side. I have a bad habit of assuming my engagement ring customer wants to know every spec.  Ashton Yates-Woolley, Yates & Co Jewelers, Modesto, CA
  • Saying “how may we help you?”— old habits die hard! — Jane Johnson, RM Johnson & Sons, Salem, VA
  • Calling GIA Lab Reports “certs” or “certificates”. That is a deceptive trade practice and, if advertised, false advertising. Now, at our company, it is a fireable offense. — Chuck Kuba, Iowa Diamond, West Des Moines, IA
  • Saying the word “stones”. So hard to remove it from the vocabulary. — David Scott, David Scott Fine Jewelry, Panama City, FL
  • Forgetting a good customer’s name. — Michael Rumanoff, Rumanoff’s Fine Jewelry and Design, Hamden, CT
  • Not allowing my team to work it out on their own. Your good employees need room to grow, develop and unfortunately make mistakes. If I am on the floor with them, I often jump into their transaction and sometimes this is a mistake. — Mark Snyder, Snyder Jewelers, Weymouth, MA
  • Not talking with a customer waiting for a battery to be changed in their watch. — Cindi Haddad-Drew, Cindi’s Diamond & Jewelry Gallery, Foxboro, MA
  • Leaving stock in customers’ hands. — Shahraz Kassam, Shamin Jewellers, Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada
  • Picking up or organizing while waiting on the customer. — Jeremy Shea Leech, J. Shea Jewelers, Abilene, TX
  • I forget to shut up and listen. — Erin McMichael Hess, Extinctions, Lancaster, PA
  • Less talk, more listen. I’m a talker and I get excited. I develop a close relationship with a lot of my customers. Many times, we will go off subject of a diamond and end up talking about cooking, hunting or the Game of Thrones! Eventually we get back to the diamonds, LOL! — Mary Jo Chanski, Hannoush Jewelers, Rutland, VT
  • Personally, I don’t ask for the sale often enough. We just had a customer shopping for a large stone and they both loved it; however, I did not close the sale because I did not ask for it. This is now my personal goal to get better at asking for sales. — Erica Lorenz, Michael & Sons, Reno, NV
  • Letting a customer walk. — Chris Wattsson, Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers, Marquette, MI
  • One of the most common mistakes made is over-educating the customer from the perspective of the gemologist. It doesn’t happen often, but you can tell when it does by the looks on the customer’s face. — Morgan Bartel, Susann’s Custom Jewelers, Corpus Christi, TX
  • I still have to aggressively refrain from speeding through a sales transaction when there is someone waiting to buy something. — J. Dennis Petimezas, Watchmaker’s Diamonds & Jewelry, Johnstown, PA
  • Not acknowledging another customer if you are busy with another one. — Glyn Jolly, G.J. Enterprise, Victoria, TX
  • Misplacing my keys. — Andrea Riso, Talisman Collection, El Dorado Hills, CA
  • Not engaging a customer quickly enough. — Michael Halem, Halem & Co. de Sonoma, Sonoma, CA
  • Forgetting to offer water or soft drinks. — Mark Neumann, Ross Designs, Highland Park, IL
  • Trying too hard. — Scott Lefcourt, Scottsdale Fine Jewelers, Scottsdale, AZ
  • Failing to have fun. — Brenda Newman, The Jewelry Source, El Segundo, CA
  • Trying to sell everyone. The reality is we will NOT make every sale and I’m disappointed when we don’t close a sale I thought we would. — Gary Youngberg, Ames Silversmithing, Ames, IA
  • Sometimes not able to engage with younger clients. — Buddy Bear, Buddy Bear Jewelers, Merion , PA
  • Worrying about all the other stuff that needs to get done and not being fully engaged with the client. — Nicholas Pronko, Steve Pronko Diamonds, Dickson City, PA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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