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Shane Decker

In Jewelry Sales, the Most Challenging Thing to Sell is … Yourself

You are a sales army of one. Never forget that.




WHEN ANY CUSTOMER COMES into your store, you must sell three things: your product, your company and yourself. The hardest of these to sell is yourself, but it’s absolutely necessary to cultivate repeat business and referrals.

Today’s customers will test you. But they all want to believe you’re the authority on jewelry, and they want to enjoy working with you. To make that happen, you need practice, patience and an understanding of who you are as a salesperson. You should know your sales profile (see my column in March 2003). It includes:

  • Are you serpentine, a missile, or a sneak?
  • Are you impatient or patient?
  • Are you a talker or a listener?

Comprehending who you are and how you deal with people goes a long way to making you a better salesperson.

The best way to pass “the test” from any customer is to ask questions that get the customer talking about himself. Many will be caught off guard when you show that you’re interested in who they are, not just what they want to buy.

Never, ever make the presentation about you. There will be places in the conversation to make integrity statements like “I’m a graduate gemologist,” or “I’ve been selling jewelry for the last 10 years.” Sprinkle them in unobtrusively, and you’ll slowly build a strong case for yourself as the customer’s salesperson of choice.

Another way you sell yourself during the presentation is to simply be glad you’re there. Take pride in your store and in your product. Passion is defined as a love for something that is so strong and intense, others can feel it. When you sell with passion, your customers can tell, and they’ll gravitate towards it. If selling jewelry is just a job, then you need to quit.


Product knowledge also establishes you as an expert. “Wing-it salesmanship” won’t work with 21st century customers. You have to know your stuff.

Next, be a part of your customers’ lives. To do that, you have to be proactive (they’re not going to invite you in right away). Know what’s going on with each customer, and send congratulatory cards for graduations, anniversaries, and birthdays, as well as holiday cards. Sending a card not only impresses on customers that you care (especially if it’s handwritten!), it also serves as a reminder that they should think of your store to commemorate the occasion.

Your pride should show in your appearance. Formal business attire is a must. Customers will often decide who will wait on them by who looks most professional. You can tell who that is by which staff customers approach the most.

Sell yourself outside of your store too. When you’re at a restaurant and you receive great service, give the server your business card along with an invitation to come see you. When you’re at the doctor’s office, hand out your cards on the way out and encourage the staff to ask for you by name this Christmas. Be proud of where you work, and sell yourself even when you’re not there.

Finally, one of the best ways to prove yourself is through over-the-top service. If a customer’s repair wasn’t done correctly, offer to bring it by their home so they won’t have to make another trip into town. When you sacrifice yourself for a customer, you earn huge points. Just make certain you always do what you said you were going to.

Salespeople can’t own customers, but a customer can own a salesperson. They’ll ask for you by name when they walk in the door. To earn that, you have to earn integrity — and that comes one sale at a time. Once you’ve established a relationship with integrity, you’ve got a lifelong customer.



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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