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Shane Decker

Mastering This Under-Appreciated Skill Can Increase Your Store’s Sales by 50%

Doing this is anything but an admission of incompetence.

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I SAY THE WORD “TURNOVER,” and your skin crawls. You cringe, flinching away from something so loathsome, so detestable, that the very word should be stricken from the English language. In sports, it means blundering so badly as to give the ball to the other team. In staffing, it means management so poor that employees run in and out of your company like it was the local Taco Bell. No wonder salespeople everywhere resist the idea of “turning over” a sale … they view it as an admission of incompetence. Of course, they couldn’t be further from the truth.

When you perform a TO, it’s like passing out of a double team to a wide-open teammate for an easy basket.In my book, “TO” stands for “Team Opportunity” — a chance to score points and win sales for your entire team. When you perform a TO, it’s like passing out of a double team to a wide-open teammate for an easy basket. Everyone wins: the store wins because the item is sold, both salespeople win because the sale is closed, and most importantly, the customer wins because they take the item home.

When TO’s are performed properly, your store’s closing ratio will improve as much as 50 percent. However, your staff must know not only when, but how to execute the perfect TO. There are three reasons to TO a customer, and each one must be handled differently in order to effectively close the customer:

1. Can’t match personalities. Three out of every 100 customers simply will not mesh with you, no matter what you try. It may be your gender, it may be your age, it may just be the customer’s mood. How do you know a customer falls in this category? They will give you clues, such as looking down or away from you, putting their hands in their pockets, or stepping back. When this happens, the best thing to do is to turn the sale over to someone of the opposite sex, or someone older. That person should give the customer 30 seconds, then re-approach.

2. Can’t handle objections. The customer wants to challenge your knowledge, or they need reassurance, and you don’t have the answers they need. Don’t fake it or lie. Just be honest with yourself. Bring someone else in to answer their questions. Depending on how the sale is going, this can be accomplished in three different ways. If you think you know the answer but want backup, your fellow associate can stay with you as you continue your presentation. If the sale is going well otherwise, your associate can come in and answer their question, then leave. Finally, you can turn the sale completely over, then stick around to “shadow” your associate and learn from their answers.

3. Can’t close the sale. You’ve done everything right through the presentation without being pushy or manipulative, but the customer simply needs another professional opinion. All your associate needs to do is step in and say, “That looks great on you!” or “It’s okay to spend the money! It’s well worth it!” The additional close from your team member is all you’ll need.

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When performing the TO, it is critical to let your fellow associate know where you are in the sale. You do this through a concept called sales tracking. In the presentation structure I teach, there are five stages to any sale: Create, Romance, Appraise, Price, and Close. All you need do is give your associate as clue as to which stage you are in. If you say, “Mr. Allen was just asking about the 4 C’s; would you stay and give him some information from your expertise?” you are letting your team member know you’re in the appraisal stage, and you want them to finish that stage out. This technique can be applied in any stage, and should be trained in your weekly sales meetings.

Although society has conditioned us to believe that asking for help means admitting weakness, letting the customer walk is never the best policy. Rivalry, jealousy, and greed have no place in a successful jewelry store. When you have your entire team sharing the ball and playing to each other’s strengths, you’ll find that making your monthly sales quota is a slam dunk!

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].

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