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Shane Decker

Four Sales Tips to Make It Your Best Christmas Yet

To deliver an unforgettable holiday experience, you have to be on top of your sales game.

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There are four areas you’ll need to focus on this holiday season to be successful: store floor awareness, add-on sales, “wowing” clients, and shopping environment.

1) Store floor awareness: Based on closing ratios I’ve tracked over the years, your team’s closing ratio can go up 70-80 percent during the holidays. No client is “just looking”; they’re looking to buy. Clerk sales and impulse buys skyrocket. If you haven’t increased your sales staff or prepared for the rush, you will lose sales.

We all know that some clients will walk out if they’re not waited on immediately. Some come in only during the holidays, and if they don’t feel we meet their expectations, they will become clients of our competitors.

Store floor awareness deals with everything that is happening on your floor. Is the “sweet spot” covered and is everyone greeted within five seconds? If everyone is helping someone, clients need to be greeted by someone who isn’t about to close the sale.

Don’t let busy work get in the way of helping a customer — nor apathy or fear. When clients say they’re “just looking,” too many salespeople reply, “OK, look around and if you find something you want, let us know.” That’s a sale killer. If you’re not present, they’ll walk and give another salesperson in another store your money.

During the holidays, your sales teammates’ needs become very important. Don’t leave anyone stranded. They may need help closing or team-selling (an assist can raise the closing ratio by 50 percent). Never be too busy to help.

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2) Add-on sales: During this time of year, the average Christmas buyer buys 15-20 gifts. The average jewelry salesperson sells them only one. Then the client goes to several other stores and buys the remaining 14-19 gifts. When a client has chosen the item they’re looking for, instead of walking to the cash register, use a lead-in line and say, “How many others are on your list?” He may say, “I have a 12 year-old daughter.” Then you reply, “You know, her first set of diamond studs should come from her dad. We have great studs for your young lady right over here.”

“Wow” your clients: Get a high-ticket item in each client’s hand before they leave. You can change it based on the client, your inventory, “wowing” smart and visual observation. Most clients have never had the opportunity to have an awesome item in their hand before they walk out.

Sometimes they buy it. Remember: it’s Christmastime, the time for giving. Not to mention, this will separate you from your competition.

4) Shopping environment: Make sure the store looks, smells and feels like Christmas. Offer coffee, cinnamon rolls, cookies, mulled cider, whatever a client may want. The longer they stay, the higher the closing ratio. Remember that the experience is even more important than the product they will purchase.

Lastly, show every client respect, patience and a great attitude. Tell them you were so glad to see them and wish them a merry Christmas with a smile. Small and large sales are all important. Gather information so that you can follow up, and remember not to mail thank-you cards until Jan. 15; you don’t want to blow the surprise!

Shane Decker has provided sales training to more than 3,000 jewelry stores. Shane cut his teeth in jewelry sales in Garden City, KS, and sold over 100 1-carat diamonds four years in a row. Contact him at sdecker@ex-sell-ence.com.

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Shane Decker

Ask Your Clients These Questions to Find Out What They Think of Your Store

Make it easy for customers to tell you how they feel about your store.

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One of the best ways to get an honest opinion about how your team is doing is to send out a survey to your best 1,000 clients. Tell them they don’t need to identify themselves in their response — it should be anonymous.  Send them a stamped, self-addressed envelope to make it really easy.  In fact, it may be worth your while to offer an incentive: a $100 gift certificate, free jewelry “tune-up,” free repair, whatever you feel is best!

Here are the questions you should ask:

1. Is our store clean, neat and organized?

2. Are you being greeted in a professional and timely fashion?

3. Do you feel our sales team is knowledgeable?

4. How do you feel about our present dress code?

5. Is our parking lot clean, and can you always find parking?

6. Is our signage outside adequate? Are we easy to find? 

7. Do you feel we have the right price points?

8. Are there brands that we should acquire or certain items you’d like us to have?

9. Is our sales team polite? Have you ever felt pre-judged when you came in?

10. When you want big-ticket items, do you feel you can come to us or do you feel you have to go to another jewelry store?

11. Is our location still working for you?

12. How is our packaging?

13. Do you bring your repairs to us?

14. Are our repairs done on time?

15. Have you had to bring repairs back because they were done incorrectly?

16. How do you feel about the length of time it takes to have your repairs or watch services done?

17. Do you feel our repair prices are fair?

18. How often do you come in?

19. What do you feel needs to change about the experience when you come in?

20. Do you see us for special occasions or are we more of a repair store in your mind?

21. How good is our team at follow-up with purchases and calling when your repair is ready to be picked up?

22. Do you send us referrals, and if not, why not?

23. Do you use our website?

24. Is our website easy to use?

25. Did you research us the first time you came in? Were you referred?

26. What do you think about our advertising?

27. Where do you see us the most?

28. Would you like us to have e-commerce capability to make it easier for you to shop?

29. Are there services you’d like us to have that we don’t offer?

30. Do we have an associate we need to talk to or fire?

31. Have you ever had a bad experience with anyone on our team? If so, what happened? Did we professionally take care of it? 

32. Are our hours convenient for your shopping needs?

33. Rating us from 1 (worst) to 10 (best), what would our number be and why? 

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Shane Decker

24 Tips for Selling Engagement and Wedding Rings

Two dozen things that help you make that important sale.

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1.Always find out what they like and what they’ve already seen. 

2. Make them feel very special. This is one of the most remembered days in the life of a bride. 

3. Get them to sit; they’ll stay longer. 

4. Privacy is a must. Have your bridal department as far away from other areas as possible (right rear corner if your store will allow it).

5. If your clients are 50 years old or up, it could be a 30th anniversary or a second marriage. He is there for moral support. Make the presentation all about her.

6. If it’s a millennial couple, you must give two presentations at the same time. He buys lab reports, diamond warranties, guarantees and company benefits. She buys style, fashion, sentiment and beauty. 

7. Ask them if they’ve researched their purchase (more than 90 percent have). Remember that too much technical info can kill a sale, while none, if they’ve done research, can also kill a sale. 

8. Don’t have calculators out on the counter. It takes the romance out of the presentation.

9. Use value-added statements to prove the integrity of your price.

10. Give them time to talk privately if needed. This keeps them from leaving.

11. Know how to close all the way through without being pushy.

12. Be able to handle all objections with speed and accuracy.

13. Know how to sell your services: ring sizing, appraisals, setting, clean-and-polishing, rhodium plating. 

14. Know when and how to team-sell.

15. Sell on the same side of the case if possible.

16. Match age groups when possible. When the seller and buyer are close to the same age, the closing ratio goes up because of common experience and vocabulary. 

17. Never talk about sex, religion or politics.

18. Never sell out of your own pocketbook. One-carats are standard and many are buying 2-, 3- and 4-carat centers.

19. Never ask if they’re on a budget. By asking the proper questions, you can find out what they want to spend. 

20. Keep your bridal jewelry steam-cleaned and wiped off at all times. A fingerprint on a diamond is a sign of rejection.

22. Offer to clean and polish the jewelry they’re wearing. It helps keep them in the store longer and shows them how important the jewelry they’re wearing is.

23. Ask to take a photo of the ring on her hand and if you can post it to your store’s social media. Ask if she’d like you to text it to her.

24. Walk them to the door. Get the appropriate information so you can stay in touch and let them know how thankful you are that they came in.

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Shane Decker

22 ‘Sale Killers’ That Every Jeweler Must Avoid

They can derail any sale if you’re not careful.

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I’ve written in the past about the positive things you can do to close sales. But here are the “sale killers” that can derail any sale if you’re not careful. 

1. The client isn’t asked to buy. This is the No. 1 sale killer in our industry. 

2. You leave the client to go get something you need for your presentation. If you take the product with you, you’ve told the client you don’t trust them.  If you leave it, it makes them nervous because they feel like they have to guard it.

3. Interruptions.  You’re in the middle of a presentation and another salesperson walks up and says, “Do you have Mrs. Jones’ appraisal ready?”

4. Doing a price presentation instead of selling the quality of the item or making the presentation about the client.  If you focus on the price, the client thinks you are pre-judging their ability to purchase or that you can’t afford it yourself.

5.  Negotiating when it’s not needed.

6.  Lack of product and gemological knowledge. If the client knows more than you do, that’s a sale killer.

7.  Lack of teamwork.  Whether it’s calling someone in for an assist, someone who has more technical knowledge, someone who’s a runner to help clean and polish jewelry for you, or someone to help close, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

8.  A bad attitude.  If your attitude sucks, stay home.  If you have a great one, bring it to work and share it. 

9.  Being too pushy. You can be professionally aggressive and polite, but not pushy.

10.  Doing a show-and-tell presentation.  You can’t just tell them about it and teach them; you have to know how a sale works and sell.

11. Huddling. Subconsciously, the client feels left out and possibly uncomfortable. Disperse.

12.  Store floor vacancy.  The client comes in and there’s no one to greet them. 

14.  Your inability to handle objections.

15.  Not selling company benefits (reasons to buy from your company).  This gives the client peace of mind and freedom from risk that they’re in the right store. 

 

16.  Not using value-added statements and proving the price on the tag is real.

17.  Doing busy work.  This should never be more important than your clients.

18. Not spending enough time with the client. 

19.  Not recognizing the 30-second window when the client is ready to purchase.

20.  How you handle the jewelry in front of the client.  Show respect.  Wear white gloves; take it out gently, put it back in gently.

21.  Not working well with the “just looking” client.  Too many times, they’re left unattended.

22.  Not asking enough relationship and selling-specific questions.  Always get the client to talk.  Make the presentation about them. 

Solve these issues in your store and you’ll solve the problem of sale killers!

Shane Decker has provided sales training to more than 3,000 jewelry stores. Shane cut his teeth in jewelry sales in Garden City, KS, and sold over 100 1-carat diamonds four years in a row. Contact him at sdecker@ex-sell-ence.com


This article originally appeared in the July 2018 edition of INSTORE.      

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