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Shane Decker

Remember to Keep Your “Sweet Spot” Covered

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Greeting from the “sweet spot” isn’t just good business, it’s old-fashioned manners

Most people decide within the first 30 seconds whether or not they are staying to shop in your store. One of the easiest things to do to make a customer feel comfortable is to greet them correctly. The “sweet spot” for greeting a client is 10 to 15 feet from the front door on the client’s right as they walk in. Man this position with a friendly sales associate at all times.

Never greet from behind a showcase. When you’re behind a case, you’re in what’s called a “power position.” If you greet a client from the power position, he’ll feel like someone’s about to pounce on him.

Here are four other mistakes often made when greeting clients:

1. The door chimes and all of you are in the back, and one of you comes out and the client is already halfway in the store. Clients are uncomfortable in jewelry stores if nobody can see them when they walk in. It’s like walking into a bank; everything is valuable. Besides, when you come from the back, your focus is on the work in the back and not on the client.

2. Everyone is huddling around the point-of-sales area at the back of the store.

3. Two salespeople are on the floor, the client walks in and the two salespeople look at each other, then the client, then at each other again to see who’s going to wait on the client. The client is watching both of them to see who has to wait on them. Rather, they should be seeing who wants to wait on them and one of you should approach them immediately with a smile on your face.

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4. When all sales associates are with a client and another client comes in but no one greets them. This makes the client feel like they are bothering you. The person who should do the greeting is the one who isn’t in the 30-second closing window, and ideally, the one closest to the door. If you’re all busy, someone should say “Please be patient, someone will be with you in a moment. The wait will be worth it!”

There are several reasons to keep the sweet spot covered.

  • It is polite. Where do you greet people who come to your home?
  • You’re focused and ready to take care of the client’s needs.
  • Depending on the client’s age, mobility, children in hand and so on, it allows you to open the door for the client. It’s old-fashioned politeness.
  • If it’s a regular client and you know another sales associate on your team is the one they ask for, it allows you as a professional to alert your associate so they’re ready and focused on giving their client an awesome experience.The golden rule is, everybody is smiled at, greeted, acknowledged, and spoken to within the first five seconds coming in. It makes them feel important.

Do not use unoriginal opening lines like “Hi, how are you?” or “What can I help you with?” You’re not practicing spontaneous creative salesmanship. Try writing 10 opening lines out and practice them on each other in your sales meetings.

Clients want to have fun. They want to be acknowledged. They want a professional waiting on them. How long they stay depends on how good they feel from the beginning!


Shane Decker has provided sales training for more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Contact him at ( 719) 488-4077 or at ex-sell-ence.com.

This article originally appeared in the March 2017 edition of INSTORE.

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Be Ready for ‘What Do You Have for $100?’ and Other Holiday Questions

As Christmas approaches, the queries you’ll hear from customers are actually pretty predictable, says jewelry store training expert Jimmy DeGroot. Here's how to make sure your team is prepared for the more common ones.

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Shane Decker

This Easy Sales Technique Can Create Huge Diamond Sales in Your Store

This easy sales technique can create huge diamond sales in your store.

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HERE’S A SIMPLE SALES technique that can pay big dividends with your clients. I’ve dubbed it “the dropper-offer.” Funny name, but it can result in serious sales and happy customers.

To pull off “the dropper-offer,” you need accurate store floor awareness, exceptional teamwork and perfect timing. Here’s how it works.

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When the sale or repair is over, and the client and salesperson are ready to turn to walk toward the door, another salesperson (or, ideally, an owner or manager) becomes “the dropper-offer.” That person walks by and hands the salesperson a loose diamond, which is held inside a spring-loaded, four-prong holder and wrapped inside a paper. The client shouldn’t be able to see what’s inside because the paper is folded over the diamond. The “dropper-offer” should say something like, “I know he (or she) would love to see what’s inside of this.” And then they walk away.

Clients are dying to see what’s inside the package. The salesperson unwraps the paper, which includes the cut, color, clarity and carat weight information as well as the price — everything they need to make the presentation. The diamond itself should be a diamond over a carat (make sure it’s larger than the average diamond you sell in your store). When the “dropper-offer” says, “I know they would love to see what is in this,” that is a lead-in line. It leads the salesperson and the client into the next presentation.

Clients love to see beautiful items and hold them in their hands. This technique creates sales from scratch and gives you a great opportunity for referrals and online feedback. None of your competition is doing this; they’re all worried about who’s showing what and whether one person or the other is going to get credit for this sale. But in your store, you make it all about the client (right??).

Here is why you wow clients:

1. Clients feel good when they’re trusted with a high-value, beautiful item.

2. It’s a silent compliment. They realize that you believe they can afford it.

3. It’s free advertising. It costs nothing but your time.

4. The client now knows you have large diamonds. Even if you don’t make a sale now, it will lead to future sales.

5. They might buy it. People buy on impulse all the time.

It takes a team that knows each other’s selling habits to be able to pull this off and do it well. It does involve an interruption, but never interrupt when your sales associate is in the middle of a presentation or ready to close. The secret to this is timing.

Once people on your sales team get to be a part of the “dropper-offer” technique, everyone is going to want to participate. It’s fun and clients love the attention. They end up staying longer. It shows them you care. And it creates sales from scratch. Happy selling!

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Shane Decker

How Role-Playing Can Help You Have Your Happiest Holidays Ever

For a successful holiday season, practice, practice, practice.

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How does a doctor become proficient in medicine, or an attorney in the law? Through practice.Why should jewelry sales be any different?

With the expectations that clients have these days walking into your store, you simply can’t afford for your salespeople to stumble through their presentations or misspeak when handling objections. You’re only as good as you train, and that training should be weekly, not yearly or monthly.

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It’s been my experience that most salespeople take three years or more to become comfortable with gemology, product knowledge and the art of salesmanship (more if you sell watches as well). The quickest way to bring a new employee up to speed is to get her as much practice as possible. Likewise, employees who have been around a while can become rusty in certain situations without practice to keep them sharp.

You should be holding at least a one-hour sales training meeting every week (informational store meetings don’t count; this is a meeting dedicated to sales training). Your sales meeting should be broken up into three parts: 20 minutes on products or gemology, 20 minutes on how to sell the product you just learned about, and 20 minutes of role-playing. Role-playing is probably the most important part of the meeting because it keeps us from practicing on the client.

Most sales associates hate role-playing, and I can see why. In most stores, it’s done incorrectly. Don’t do it with two salespeople standing at the counter and everyone else watching and waiting for them to make a mistake. This is intimidating; people will be on their guard. Instead, break into twos with all teams working in different corners of the store so no one is listening to the others practicing. The owner or sales manager can walk around and work with each group, acting as a coach to help with any area of need. The coach should never be critical but always helpful, leading with correct execution.

What can be role-played? Everything. Closing skills, handling objections, selling company benefits, romancing the beauty of the item, value-added statements and the reason the client came in, bridal presentations for all age groups, how to sell the created or clerk ticket, closing all the way through, what to do when the client says no, add-on salesmanship, wowing, practicing absolutes, how and when to do a team-sale or T.O., etc.

Let’s say you’re role-playing how to handle a particular type of objection. The client throws out an objection and the salesperson thinks of how many ways to answer it. Practice them all, then switch roles.

During this critical month of December, role-play adding on, creating a sense of urgency, upselling, price-point salesmanship and T.O.s. Make this the best Christmas you’ve ever had: practice!

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Shane Decker

How to Handle the 4 Most Common Christmas Objections

Connect with clients through reassurance, friendliness and genuine questions.

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This story was originally published in INSTORE’s November 2017 issue.

YOU HEAR the same objections every holiday season. The top four are:

1. This is the first place I’ve been.

2. I’ll know it when I see it.

3. I’m just looking.

4. That’s more than I want to spend.

Remember: Objections show interest. But they must be handled with speed and accuracy. If you hesitate before giving your answer, the client may think you don’t know the answer or are making it up. Your answer needs to be professional (but not curt), giving the client the information they need. 

The two primary reasons that clients give objections are that they need reassurance or they’re challenging you — they want to see if you know your stuff. 

Here are some ways to answer the top four objections you’ll hear during the Christmas selling season. 

1. This is the first place I’ve been.
  • Great, I’m so glad you came here first.
  • I do that when I shop: I like to go to the best place first.
  • Fantastic, we can shorten your search.
  • Thank you so much for thinking of us.
  • This is a great place; we love our clients!
  • That is awesome, what brings you in?
  • Let’s get started.
2. I’ll know it when I see it.
  • What is it you’re looking for?
  • Are you looking for someone special?
  • I do the same thing; I hunt for it, I find it and I conquer.
  • Are you trying to match something you’ve purchased before?
  • Is this a Christmas gift?
  • Are you looking for diamonds?
  • Are you looking for something for someone else?
3. I’m just looking.
  • I’m so glad you came here to look.
  • For what?
  • I always look before I buy.
  • Are you just getting started today?
  • Are you looking for something for yourself?
  • Today is a great day for just looking.
  • Awesome, let’s get started.
4. That’s more than I wanted to spend.
  • We have several payment options.
  • Have you considered layaway?
  • We have financing.
  • These come in a variety of prices depending on size.
  • We can change this from platinum to white gold.
  • Well let’s see what we can do for you (if you negotiate price).
  • What price range did you have in mind that is comfortable for you?

When you ask what price they’re comfortable with, be careful that they don’t feel pre-judged by how you ask. When asked incorrectly, the client might think that the money is more important to you than the product they’re purchasing or the experience delivered. 

Never make a client feel bad because they can’t afford the item; always make them feel honored because we can find something in their price range that is still high quality. 

Always make it about the client, the event in their life and the item they want. If you handle holiday sales with integrity, poise and a friendly attitude, there’s a good chance you’ll see these clients again. Happy holiday selling!

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