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Big Survey

Here’s The Best Place to Find A Great Sales Associate

These people know what it takes to be a salesfloor ace.




Here’s The Best Place to Find A Great Sales Associate

WANT TO BRING in a topnotch sales associate? Your best bet is to ask your staff for recommendations. They know what’s involved in the job, what kind of temperament and personality fit best with the role, and they know who they’d like to work with.

That’s the experience of the hundreds of jewelers who answered the 2023 INSTORE Big Survey, with more than one in five crediting staff with tipping them off to their greatest-ever sales hire.

The other top 5 sources were not surprising – online advertisements (14%), recruited from another jeweler, including from GOBs (14%), hired from among favorite customers (11%) and spotted while working with a non-jewelry retailer (8%).


Possibly the biggest takeaway from this question was that a good sales associate can be found almost anywhere, you just have to be willing to keep an open mind, be the candidate a walk-in, a recent high-school graduate or even the young girl sitting across the breakfast table who’s never shown much interest in working for the family store. Among the eventual gun salespeople that jewelers hired from non-retail backgrounds were teachers, a dog trainer and a barista from Starbucks. “I can teach jewelry work and they teach the customer service,” noted one enthusiastic employer of former coffee store workers. Our favorite story though was the jeweler who gave a one-time construction worker a chance.

“Posted a job and interviewed and hired a former construction worker to work the sales floor. Down to earth and amazing customer-service face for the business,” he related.

The 2023 Big Survey was conducted via an anonymous online form from late August to early October, attracting more than 750 responses from American jewelry-store owners and managers. The full results will be published in the November edition of INSTORE.

Chris Burslem is Group Managing Editor at SmartWork Media.



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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