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Shane Decker

Add On to Your Sales

Bring back the age-old paper receipt, and start making more add-on sales.

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COMPUTERS — I LOVE ’EM and I hate ’em. What do I love? Now that we have point-of-sale software, what computers have done for jewelers has been incredible. They tell us how fast inventory moves, what to re-order, how much salespeople are selling and their average tickets.

Unfortunately, computers can also be sale-killers. Unfortunately, computers can also be sale-killers. Let me explain. When a salesperson sells an item, he spins around and goes straight to the computer to type in the customer’s name, address, and the strand of pearls the customer just purchased. Then, he puts the pearls in a box, and off the customer goes.

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When you go to the computer, what you’re actually telling the customer is, “We’re finished.” This kills almost any chance at an add-on sale. It eliminates further conversation about the item or any other jewelry. Worst of all, it can make your client feel rushed if she wasn’t ready to leave, and pre-judged because you don’t think she can afford to buy more. Because there’s no add-on sale, the average ticket is lower. Inventory doesn’t move as fast. There’s less profit.

New technology has given us a lot of things, but we need to get back to the old-fashioned jewelry store when it comes to sales receipts.

You should have beautiful, classy sales receipts printed up on nice carbon-copy paper featuring your logo and the colors of your store. You can have lines for writing the customer’s name, phone number, spouse’s name, birthday, anniversary and more. Then, you have lots of lines below for writing information about the sale.

Here’s how to add on to sales by using what’s called “the open-ticket method.” When you sell the first item, write it up on the printed sales receipt there on the counter — all the specifics on the strand of pearls. Then, take the sales receipt, slide it to your left and tilt it. This is the customer’s right, so they can see what you’ve written. The pen is right on top of the ticket, paused. Without you saying a word, it means, “We’re not done yet.”

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Now you use a lead-in line. Tell the customer you have the pearl earrings to match the strand they just bought (for more examples of lead-in lines, see my column in instore’s November 2003 issue).

If you keep selling, customers keep buying (conversely, when you quit, they quit). The sales receipt allows you to write up many add-ons — pearl earrings, pearl bracelet, pearl ring, etc. The customer will tell you when she’s finished. If you keep selling, customers keep buying (conversely, when you quit, they quit).

Using the open-ticket method leaves time for conversation, and to discover anything else the customer might want. When the customer sees the first item written down, she’s mentally bought it — but the sale isn’t finished.

Once the sale is finished, then you can go to the computer and type in the information. Don’t get rid of your computers — I love them. But let’s not use them to kill the add-on.

This story is from the December 2009 edition of INSTORE.

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Shane Decker has provided sales training to more than 3,000 jewelry stores. Shane cut his teeth in jewelry sales in Garden City, KS, and sold over 100 1-carat diamonds four years in a row. Contact him at [email protected].

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