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Five Things I Know For Sure About Sales: Shane Corrigan

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Shane Corrigan

Wilson Diamonds

Annual personal sales: Over $1 million

Shane Corrigan was hired at Wilson Diamonds in Provo, UT, 13 years ago, armed with enthusiasm, a finance degree and no sales experience. “We try not to hire people who are career salespeople, because we sell a lot differently than other places,” says Corrigan, now sales manager. Now that owner Richard Wilson is planning his retirement, Corrigan is working toward a new role: store owner. — Eileen McClelland

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This article originally appeared in the May 2016 edition of INSTORE.

1 Be yourself. “We hire for likability, good personality and the ability to make a good first impression. It’s also important to be able to match the customer’s energy level. If they’re mellow, you don’t want to overpower them by being overly spunky.”

2 Focus on the client. “We preach about not talking about how the store does things. I’ll tell them why it’s better for them. For example, I’ll explain that we don’t set center diamonds in mountings for display, because that way they can decide what stone is best for them.”

3 Just ask. “So many young salespeople back themselves into a corner on a sale and ask me what to do. I’ll ask them, ‘What do we know about the girl? What do we know about the budget? Do they need it right away? Do they need financing?’ and they haven’t gotten any information. If you make it a natural conversation, you can easily ask questions. There are a hundred different variables, and the more of those you can figure out, the better able you are to figure out what their need is.”

4 Create urgency, not pressure. “People come in and are standoffish at first because they’ve shopped somewhere else and the salesperson has put too much pressure on them. Pressure comes from something that’s false and feels fake, like ‘You can only get this price if you buy this today.’ Urgency is real, like ‘I need two weeks to do this ring custom, and you said you need it in 2½ weeks.’ So, no artificial pressure, but try to shorten the curve as far as them looking around a million places. Just make sure it’s truthful.”

5 Be ethical. “Referrals just naturally start to come if you’re trying to do what’s right and you feel good about what you’re doing.”

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Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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