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Shane Decker

How to Close Jewelry Sales Without Being Pushy … and More Advice From Shane Decker

Shane Decker tells you how to close without being pushy, and answers other burning questions from INSTORE readers.




(This column is the last in a three-part series in which Mr. Decker received questions from questions from Instore readers.)

How can I get my sales associates to go for the close sooner without being pushy?

Answering this question is a column in itself, but let me give you the short version. Many salespeople make closing difficult. If they struggle, the customer will struggle. You must teach your salespeople how to close, and work on it each week during your sales meetings. In previous articles, I’ve written about the seven types of closes, and every salesperson has their favorites. No matter what type of salesperson you are, there are three crucial points to closing without being pushy.

  • 1.) You must understand timing.
  • 2.) Don’t close like someone else … use your own style.
  • 3.) If you close throughout the sale, the final close should be easy. So be appropriate in your timing, be comfortable in your own skin, and be consistent in your closes along the way.
I’m curious what you think about selling diamonds to the under-35 crowd who tend to reject any type of sales pitch. How do you adjust your sales techniques to appeal to this group?

You’re talking about the “Information Generation.” These folks research your product on the Internet, and may know almost as much about it as you do by the time they come into your store. So, be more technical-minded in your approach, and ask questions (the younger they are, the more technical-minded they will be). They didn’t buy the product on the Internet, so what is most important to them? What websites have they pulled up in their research? What are they looking for in a diamond? Now you are speaking their language, and they will be far more likely to buy.

I’d like to hear your thoughts and opinions on selling “designer” goods. We all know that sterling silver and 18K gold designer jewelry is greatly overpriced if you simply look at the materials and labor involved. How do you present this item to a client in such a way as to create the “value” in their mind?

If a customer wants it, then it’s worth it. You can pick any branded name you like — Yurman, Rolex, Hearts on Fire —the true “value” to the customer is usually in the brand itself, not the materials involved. In selling such pieces, don’t romance the price, romance the brand. Old-money customers will tend to like the simple, elegant, high-quality styles with a timeless look. New-money customers tend to buy high-fashion jewelry, like J.B. Star or Nova. But no matter what, you have to go in with the right mindset. People buy designer jeans, designer furniture … a $21,000 Harley-Davidson motorcycle is nothing more than a collection of chrome, tires, and leather with an engine! Your jewelry is worth whatever someone is willing to spend, so don’t sell your designer pieces short.

Large stores can afford to bring in a Shane Decker to train their staff. What’s the best way for a limited budget mom and pop operation to do so?

Unfortunately, it’s usually the small stores that need sales training the most. Large operations already have some momentum to sustain their business. You have to look at sales training like college: it’s an investment that will pay off far beyond its cost, and help your operation to graduate to the next level. Jewelers often put too much value on the wrong things (how much money do you spend every year on advertising that doesn’t work?). Education is priceless. Think about it another way: a single triple-zero VS1-clarity, F-color, one-carat diamond sale would pay for my visit to your store. However, if the price tag is still too much, the Shane Decker Sales Academy will be releasing a tape series in the very near.

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].



Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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