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Shane Decker

Shane Decker: How To Not Blow the Easiest Sale of All

One of the simplest sales in jewelry is the ‘clerk ticket.’ Don’t mess it up!




IF MOST CUSTOMERS who walk through a jeweler’s doors are planning to buy that day (which they are), why do most retailers only close 30-40 percent of potential sales? In many cases, they are not properly closing what I call a “clerk ticket.” And that hurts, because this type of customer should be one of the easiest to close.

The clerk client is the one who comes in on a mission and already plans on buying an item when he pulls up in your parking lot. The big mistake that salespeople make with the clerk close is that they’re not specific enough with the close. They hem and haw at the end of the sales process, performing a “show and tell” presentation rather than a “show and sell” presentation. That is, they tell the client about an item and hope he buys it, instead of selling the item.

Here’s how you do it. Let’s say Frank, a “clerk client,” comes in and says, “I want to buy my wife Emily a strand of pearls.” You find out it’s their 25th anniversary today. They may have been at another jewelry store, and now they’re comparing presentations. Here’s what you should know about Frank:

  • He’s coming in to give you money.
  • Most of the time, customers like Frank know what they want.
  • 60 percent of all clients cannot make up their own mind; they’re waiting for you to help them.
  • Most of the time, a client like Frank has his objections ready for his plan of attack.
  • Frank wants to have a lot of fun with this purchase, because he wants to remember it. It’s a special occasion.

Before long, your team will be closing clerk tickets like there’s no tomorrow, and you can worry about the really difficult customers! Now, as you go through the process with Frank, let’s assume that you’ve closed properly with no push or threat all the way through your presentation. During the 30-second window, when the client has made up his mind to buy the item (and you need to close now or risk him walking out), you say something like this: “Frank, you said you wanted to buy your wife Emily a strand of pearls; this is the strand. She’s going to love wearing it. While we are wrapping these beautiful pearls, how did you want to take care of it?”

Here’s what you just did. When you said, “Frank, you said you wanted to buy,” you’re reminding him what he said when he came in. Then you said, “Your wife Emily,” which reminds him of the person whom he wants to wow with this item. Then you said, “a strand of pearls,” which is exactly what he said he wanted.

When you say, “This is the strand,” that’s a reassurance statement. “She’s going to love wearing it” is a reassurance close. “While we are wrapping it, how did you want to take care of it?” is a direct question.


So, you’ve reminded him that he said what he wanted, who he wanted it for, and that this is the very item he wants. Another example of a clerk close is: “I know you want it. You know you want it. It’s here right now, so let’s do it.” Another could be: “You told me you’ve always dreamed of having this. Today we’ll make your dream come true.”

How can you teach this to your salespeople? A great exercise is to have them each write down 10 examples of clerk-close statements. Before long, your team will be closing clerk tickets like there’s no tomorrow, and you can worry about the really difficult customers!

This story is from the June 2010 edition of INSTORE.






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