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Shane Decker

Shane Decker: Find The Why

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It’s great to romance the product, but, Shane Decker says, it’s more important to have an interest in their special event.

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Find The Why

In today’s reality-TV world, jewelry is the feel-good sitcom of retail. Unlike insurance and auto sales, which depend more on cold, hard facts, jewelry sales are based on feelings and emotion.

That’s why romance should be 80 percent of every sales presentation. But although many salespeople are fabulous when it comes to romancing the product, most forget to romance the most important thing of all — the occasion. Or, as I call it, the “why” — the reason your customer came in to buy jewelry in the first place.

Romancing the “why” makes the customer’s reason even more important than they originally thought. As a result, the price becomes less significant and closing is easier. And, talking to a customer about his or her special occasion builds a relationship between that customer, you and your store. The better you know your customers, the more they’ll come back in the future. Relationship-building not only beats your competitors, it’s an Internet-killer as well.

So how do you romance the “why”? It takes extremely good listening skills and asking lots of questions. Here’s an example:

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SALESPERSON: “Is this for someone special?”

CUSTOMER: “Yes, my wife.”

SALESPERSON: “Does she know you’re here?”

CUSTOMER: “No.”

SALESPERSON: “Oh, women love surprises from jewelry stores! What’s her name?”

CUSTOMER: “Emily.”

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SALESPERSON: “That’s a pretty name. Is this for a special occasion?”

CUSTOMER: “Yes, actually — it’s our 20th anniversary.”

A-ha! You have it — the reason he came in. You see, he’s not here for jewelry … not really. He’s here for his wife and all that the anniversary means to both of them. That’s what he cares about, and that’s what you need to romance. You can best accomplish this by following three steps:

1. Ask questions — enough to get the “why.”

2. Paraphrase — this shows agreement.

3. Give a reassurance close.

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Here are some examples for how to romance the “why” for different products:

— ”You guys have been married for 20 years? What an incredible milestone. Every woman dreams of receiving diamonds and gold on her 20th anniversary.”

— “It’s his 40th birthday? That’s such an important date. With all he’s achieved, he’ll feel great when you give him this Rolex.”

— “So you’re getting engaged? That’s exciting, isn’t it! How’d you guys meet?” or “Have you set a date?” or “How’d you announce the engagement?” … followed by this teaser, “If you don’t know how you’re going to pop the question, I have a really great idea — I’ll tell you about it when we’re all done here.”

I also want to make it crystal-clear that this cannot be just a technique — you have to be sincere. I also want to make it crystal-clear that this cannot be just a technique — you have to be sincere. You can’t seem like an interrogator. Don’t barrage them with questions up front; ask throughout your presentation, in the natural flow of the conversation.

Become a true part of their special event by showing a genuine interest. This shows customers that you care, and they want that. They’re tired of not knowing anyone when they go out shopping — especially when it comes to something as important as jewelry. If they think you really care, they’ll open up. But if they think you just want to sell, they’ll shut you out.

That’s the reason that the “why” is so critical — it’s the way to the customer’s heart. Unfortunately, it’s the part of the sale that’s left out more often than any other part. And that’s not just a disservice to your store, it’s a disservice to the customer.

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 January 2007 edition of INSTORE.

 

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Shane Decker

You’re Killing Your Own Sales By Talking About the Price

Romance the item and the reason they came in, and you’ll close more sales.

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DURING THE HOLIDAYS, we get into bad sales habits because the sales are so easy and customers are buying price-point items. We sell faster, we sell price and sometimes we don’t even really sell the item. Now that we’re into the new year, it’s time to get back into good selling habits.

The diamond season is about to start. Typically, it runs from April 16 through the end of September (although we sell diamonds all year, which we should). What can keep you from selling as many diamonds as you could? The price.

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Too many salespeople are afraid of the price, no matter which item they’re selling, which causes problems with closing the sale, among other things. When you try to justify the price or the client feels you are apologizing for the price, they start to believe that you think they can’t afford the item. They will feel pre-judged and leave.

Clients are coming in for you to spend their money for them; they’re paying you as a professional to do this. You do not need to decide how much they can spend. Let the client decide that (unless you’re wowing them with a $10,000 diamond while they’re waiting for a battery).

Instead of price, concentrate on selling with romance and knowledge. These two things build confidence in your product. Quality, technical information, craftsmanship, design, difficulty, brand, rarity, size, color, clarity, cut, and other factors all contribute to the value of the product.

That said, you have to understand when technical selling is appropriate, and how much to do. Some clients are not interested in this at all, so do not volunteer technical information if it’s not needed. You don’t need to impress the client, but if they have concerns or questions about technical aspects of the product, it’s up to you to answer any and all questions with authority.

Remember: The more money the item costs, the easier it is to close because the customer can afford it. The less the item costs, usually the harder it is to close. Money is just a tool the client uses to obtain what he or she wants. Always start high and go down — you limit yourself when you start low and try to work up.

Begin the sale with questions that encourage the client to tell you their story and why they’re in your store. And make it about the importance of the item. When you make it about them and the item and you learn to romance the reason they’re here, the price will become insignificant and the client will upsell themselves.

Don’t talk about yourself, and certainly don’t make the sale about price. They’ll forget how much they spend, but they’ll always remember the event and the item.

Millennials are changing the size of the starter set diamond — diamonds from 1.5-carats to 2 carats are selling like crazy all over the country. All of you should be selling big diamonds. Make 2020 the year of big diamond sales and high closing ratios in your store.

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Shane Decker

No Time to Train Your Team? Au Contraire. Here’s How You Do It

Take full advantage of every minute to make your sales team better.

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THEY SAY THAT in all work environments, employees waste about one-third of their time each day. Any time wasted is too much, and that is the one thing you can never get back.

You’re investing in your employees’ time already; why not make the most of it?

One of the reasons so many stores are struggling is that their staffs are not properly trained. The only way your employees will be successful in your store is for you and your managers to communicate not just in sales meetings, but also through one-on-one training. This allows you to teach them in their particular areas of weaknesses.

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You say you never have time?

In the mornings when you are setting up, have a 15-30 minute meeting on salesmanship, product or gemological knowledge, or closing techniques. Most of your team is present at this time of day. And yet, in too many stores, I hear team members discussing where they had pizza or what movie they saw last night. What a wasted opportunity!

Throughout the workday, discuss sales that are made and what the sales associate did to close or add on. Talk about what they did to wow each client. And when a customer leaves without buying, talk about what you as a sales team could have done to close the sale or improve the client’s experience.

Too often, we miss awesome coaching opportunities because we wait too long to train on what happened, or we don’t address it at all.

Learning opportunities need to be discussed at the first available moment (after the client leaves, of course).

And be sure to talk about what went right, not just what went wrong. When you discuss success, it empowers your team and motivates them to do what is right again. Most people on your team are natural pleasers, and they love it when you are happy with their work performance. If they know they pleased you, they’ll try harder to please you again.

The learning curve in our industry is three years. You will only get out of your associates what you put into them. It takes time, study, dedication, determination, setting proper goals for each person, and training on each person’s level and skill set.

Jewelers tell me all the time that they need bodies. The problem with that statement is, we’re leaving client bodies all over the floor.

Start the new year with a New Year’s resolution: to train every day and every week. Use time wisely. Have a better-trained team at the end of 2020 than you started the year with.

Take advantage of every moment of success to talk about what happened. It will make your team feel more loyal to you and they’ll try harder. People are more motivated by recognition than money. Let them know how important they are to you. Empower your people, give them skills to succeed, and always let them know you couldn’t do it without them.

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Shane Decker

The Most Important Part of Your Sales Presentation Happens After the Sale

Go the extra mile for your client if you want to see them again.

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HOW DO YOU FEEL about a movie that ends poorly? No matter how good it was before then, a weak finish leaves you feeling dissatisfied.

Jewelry presentations are the same way. Clients tend to remember the first 30 seconds and the last 30 seconds more than the middle of your presentation. And yet, all too often after the purchase is made (or repair taken in), the salesperson turns and walks to the back, allowing the client to leave the store on their own.

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The way out is as important as the way in. We have to treat the client as a guest who is coming into our home for one of the most important events of their lives. Not only that, but the client should feel even more important walking out than they did when they came into the store.

When everything is done, always walk the client to the door. Open the door for them, give them two of your business cards, and ask them to give one to a friend.

Even when you have other clients waiting for you, always walk each one out. Others will see this service and expect the same. Many times as you’re walking the client out, they will stop and look into a case they didn’t look into on the way in. This allows you to start another presentation, put something on a wish list, plant a seed for a later purchase or even put something on layaway.

Selling on the way out is easy. The client is now in a spending mood, and obviously they love you or they wouldn’t have given you their money already. It also allows you to give suggestions about service and other events you have coming up.

Sometimes, the client may have other important things they want to talk about on the way to the door. They’ll start by saying, “By the way…” This allows you to build rapport, get information that allows you to do more effective clienteling, and become even more of a friend.

So make the client feel that your store is the most awesome place to shop. Not just because of the merchandise, but because there is not any other place to shop in their area that compares to the professionalism, politeness and experience that your team delivers.

People get ho-hum service everywhere — but don’t let it happen in your store. It’s up to us to break the cycle. Make the exit even more awesome than the entrance. And remember: Always thank them for coming in!

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