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Shane Decker: Basic Training

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Waiting for the holidays to save your bacon ? again? It’s doesn’t have to be this way, says Shane Decker.

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Basic Training

Ah, the holidays. Friendly faces, familiar music, colorful lights, and those oh-so-amazing sales receipts that accumulate faster than snowflakes on an Indiana road! It seems that all you have to do is hand out jewelry, and your customers will hand you the money. And therein lies the problem.

Too many jewelers rely on the fourth quarter of each year to bail them out of their financial woes. They worry and fret all year long, breathe a huge sigh of relief on December 25, and then the pattern starts all over again. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can bolster sales year-round and lower your stress load tremendously if you just commit to getting “back to basics.” Starting in January, implement the following techniques, and watch as the first eleven months of the year become more fun than you had ever dreamed:

THANK-YOU NOTES

Once the sale is closed, most salespeople move on to their next target. But taking a few minutes to send your customer a personal thank-you note can pay huge dividends down the road. Simply ask your customer after the sale if you can send them a note. If they say yes, and you follow through, they are very likely to return the next time they need jewelry.

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REPAIR FOLLOW-UP CALLS

Make a habit of calling every repair customer one week after they’ve picked up their item. Let them know you just want to be sure their ring fits okay, or their watch is running smoothly, etc. Don’t sell them … you’ll ruin the impression. Instead, just let them know you care, and get your name in front of them with no hidden agenda. They will be blown away that you simply called to make sure they were satisfied.

SIX-MONTH FOLLOW-UP CALLS

For every retail sale, call the customer six months later to ask whether they’ve been in to have their item checked. Let them know you’d like to make sure their diamond is tight, and that you’d like to clean and polish their jewelry. Oh, and everything is free, of course. Don’t forget to ask them when they can come in, and make an appointment to get them back in your store.

HOLIDAY CARDS

Make sure to send the appropriate holiday card (Christmas or Hanukkah) to your customers on December 1st each year. The best way to accomplish this is to write a few every week of the year, then put them in a box. By year’s end, you’ll be able to mail them out without huge demands on your time. Personal touches like this improve customer loyalty tenfold.

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CLIENT BOOK

One of the least utilized but most effective tools in the trade is the client book. These allow you to store anniversary dates and other information on each customer. Enter each purchase and special occasion by date and last name. After several months of building this habit, you will discover that the entire year is full of opportunities for setting appointments with customers … even January!

Why settle for less than your true sales potential? Why live with the stress? Going the extra mile for your customers by getting back to basics keeps you and your team accountable, helps set up appointments, and catapults your closing ratio to awesome new heights!

Shane Decker has provided sales training for more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Contact him at (317) 535-8676 or at ex-sell-ence.com.

This story is from the December 2003 edition of INSTORE.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Why This Fourth-Generation Jeweler Chose Wilkerson for a Very Special Sale

Parian & Sons of Franklin Lakes, NJ was founded in the early part of the 20th century. But even stores that have successfully made it through the Great Depression, a World War and the Woodstock Generation must come to an end. With no family wanting to continue the tradition, the time was right for Glenn Parian and his wife, Maria, to retire. And what better way to do so than by hiring Wilkerson to help with the store’s liquidation sale. As Glenn puts it, with his credit card machine humming to the tune of up to 200 transactions a day, he couldn’t have done it without Wilkerson. “This is what they do,” he says. “This is what they do for everybody.”

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