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Shane Decker

Here’s How to Create Future Sales Through Conversations Today

“Selling forward” not only creates sales for your store, but it’s a service to your client.





AS YOU KNOW, one of the biggest missed sales in jewelry retail is the add-on. We’ve become an industry that sells onesies. But you have the opportunity to change that by “selling forward,” which means planting seeds and creating future sales through the conversations you have today.

When you’re changing a battery or a client is picking up a repair and you start a professional, casual conversation, get the client to talk about themselves and ask them what the next big upcoming event in their life is. Questions like these allow you to get to know your client, what’s important to them and gather critical information. Moreover, your genuine curiosity makes your client feel special.

Let’s look at an example. When you ask the client about his next important upcoming event, the client may reply, “My anniversary is coming up in a couple of months.” Then you ask, “How long have you been married?” “20 years in September,” he says. At this point, you need to “romance” that event and make it feel even more important than the client originally thought it was. To do that, you ask him, “What are your plans for celebrating such an awesome event in your life?” When he is done talking, ask, “When is the last time you gave your wife a major piece of jewelry?” Find out what is in her collection. Ask if they’ve covered the staples, which are, in order: diamond studs, diamond pendant, in-line diamond bracelet and right-hand diamond ring.

The client may say, “She still has her first set of half-carat total-weight diamond studs I gave her for our first Christmas together.” You should reply, “She’ll always love and treasure that gift as a special moment in your lives together, but she would love a set of 2-carat total-weight studs to commemorate this anniversary. You said you had a daughter, right? We could reset your wife’s half-carat studs into a new pair of earrings that your daughter would love as a Christmas gift.”

The client may say, “I’d love to have some time to think about that. That’s a great idea.” Then you reply, “Of course! Let’s set up a time to talk about your 20th anniversary and your gift-giving ideas. We can make sure she’ll never forget how special she is and how much you love her.”

As you ask your client questions, write down the answers and keep them in your POS system or a personal clienteling notebook so you can professionally follow up. This shows the client that they’re important to you, you care about who they are, and you care about their purchases.


Clients will get to a point where they count on you to remember important dates in their lives, and they rely on you for important gift-giving occasions. By “selling forward,” you’re doing your clients a huge service that also benefits you and your store. We used to call this “the power of suggestion.” It gets the client thinking about an idea you proposed. The more they think about it, the more they want it. Start selling forward to create sales in the future.



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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