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Shane Decker

Don’t Give Up On Second-Chance Sales

Reconnecting with your prospect helps make the initial sale, and it could create a customer for life.




MANY BASKETBALL games are won or lost on second-chance points. A player shoots and misses, but instead of giving up, he follows his own shot and puts the ball back into the hoop.

Just because a prospect leaves your store, it doesn’t mean the opportunity is lost. The same is true in sales. Realtors, insurance agents, even car salespeople generally do a wonderful job of following up with their prospects. So why are so many jewelry salespeople giving up on their shot at second-chance points?

Just because a prospect leaves your store, it doesn’t mean the opportunity is lost. I’ve said before that “I’ll be back” and “I’m just looking” are the biggest lies in retail. Do your due diligence in follow-up. Along the way, you’ll have a chance to completely wow your prospect, and even if they don’t buy this time, you may just make a customer for life. Here’s how:

Early in the presentation, get the customer’s name, address, and phone numbers (work and cell, if possible). This alone will put you ahead of the game; many salespeople can’t even remember the customer’s name once they’ve left. Then, get as much information as you can about what the customer is looking for and the reason he came in.

For example, a customer comes into your store, and he’s on a mission for an engagement diamond and wedding set. You introduce yourself. He says, “My name’s Frank.”

  • “Are you looking for something special, Frank?” you ask.
  • “Yes, an engagement ring.”
  • “When do you need it?”
  • “Well, I want to propose in two weeks, so I need to have it before then.”
  • “And what is the lucky woman’s name?”
  • “Emily.”

You go on to get the shape she wants, the clarity, the color, and all the details. You give an incredible presentation, romancing the product, romancing the reason he came in, and you close the sale. At this point, he says, “I really want to think about it. I’ll be back.”


This is not your signal to give up. In fact, the real work is about to begin.

Early the next morning, call Frank’s cell phone and leave him a message (or talk directly to him) thanking him for the opportunity to show him a drop-dead gorgeous diamond and wedding set. Tell him you’d like to set up an appointment to show them again. If he agrees, set up a date and time, and then ask, “What flavor of coffee would you like? I’ll be going to Starbucks and I’ll pick it up for you.”

Before he arrives, set up a private presentation room with music, flowers and chocolates — the stage will be so amazing that your presentation will be even more convincing than it was the first time.

If there’s no response to your message, send him a handwritten note stating that you still have the diamond and mounting. Thank him for coming in, and reassure him that it’s the color and clarity that Emily wants and she’s going to love it. Put it on nice stationery (gold-leaf is excellent).

After several days, if there’s still no response, your final attempt is to send him a gift certificate to one of the area’s finest restaurants. With it, send a note congratulating him on his upcoming engagement to Emily, along with a photo of the diamond in the mounting that she wanted. Thank him again for the opportunity you had to show him a beautiful diamond.

(Side note: Owners, the cost of this gift certificate should come out of the ad budget.)


Once you’ve done all this, can you imagine how blown away your customer will be? How would you react, in his shoes? Even if he doesn’t buy from you this time, he’s sure to be back or at least spread the word about how you treated him.

Now, when a prospect walks out your door, are you going to give up? The Internet can’t provide this kind of service, and most of your competitors won’t. You don’t hound the customer; you handle it as a professional, using correct vocabulary, and signing your note “Professionally, Shane Decker” (substitute your name for mine, of course!).

Never make more than three attempts to follow up.

Now, when a prospect walks out your door, are you going to give up? Or are you going to come through with a slam-dunk follow-up that will leave them cheering for more?

This story is from the October 2008 edition of INSTORE.







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