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Shane Decker

How One Salesperson Almost Blew a $21,000 Sale but Was Saved by a 14-Year-Old

She made the mistake of pre-judging a client.




I WAS AT A store recently training a team on how to wow clients to change their experience. After my training, I was visiting with the store owner when a man entered the store who had never been in before. A twenty-year sales associate who just heard my three-hour presentation waited on him (we’ll call her “Bea”). He said, “It’s my 30th anniversary, what should I look at?”

He had not been in many jewelry stores in his life. He was driving an old truck and was dressed a little scruffy. Bea didn’t ask his wife’s name or any relationship questions (for example, “Wow, tell me what’s special about 30 years,” or “Did she give you any hints?”). She asked nothing. Instead, she proceeded to show him a leather bracelet with crystals on it for $69.

Meanwhile, the owner’s daughter, who is 14 years old, had sat in on my presentation that morning. She works in her dad’s store 10 hours a week from 4-6 p.m. She wraps gifts, supports the sales staff, gets the mail out, and waits on clients when all other sales associates are busy.

When Bea was done selling the bracelet, she asked the daughter to wrap the gift while she small-talked with the client. (Bea didn’t gather follow up information, nothing. I really don’t know if she knew the man’s name.)

The 14-year-old had heard what the client had asked for when he came in, so after she wrapped the gift, she grabbed a VS1, F, 1.50-carat XXX loose round mined diamond with a GIA lab report. She put it in the proper holder (a plunger) and grabbed a platinum mounting with diamonds going down the shoulders. The diamond and mounting together were $21,950.

As she walked out from behind the counter with the wrapped package and handed him the gift, she said, “Does your wife have one of these?” And she handed him the diamond. He said no. She said, “Every woman would like to have one of these. 30 years is a big deal!” She did exactly as she had been taught in my presentation.


Bea wanted to jump back into the presentation at this point, but the store owner told her to come to the back of the store and leave her alone. The client said he had never bought his wife a nice diamond before. So, the 14-year-old put the diamond in the mounting to show him how it looked. Meanwhile, Bea was in the back getting mad and acting jealous.

The client said he had a ring he had taken from his wife’s jewelry box so they could size it. He asked if the store could set and size the new ring while he waited. The 14-year-old said yes, and it was sized, set and out the door in less than an hour. When the client asked how much it cost and she told him, he said, “That’s not much for a 30th anniversary gift; my wife will always remember it.” The 14-year-old told him he could have the $69 bracelet as a gift from the store. He left very happy.

The owner asked Bea, “What did you learn?” Then he asked her, “How long have you been underselling clients in my store?”

Poverty-level mentality is a sale killer. Bea was upset, jealous and mad that a 14-year-old did what she could have done. She asked me what she should have done differently. I told her, “Don’t overthink something easy and make it difficult. This will help you work on some bad selling habits. We all have to be willing to change if we want to improve.” She is now wowing everyone and selling “wow” items to watch battery clients.



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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