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Shane Decker

This Tear-Jerking Story Shows How Exceeding Expectations Allows Sales To Take Care of Themselves

In our industry, we have the opportunity to do these things almost every day.




YOU’VE HEARD of being a good Samaritan, paying it forward, doing the unexpected, being better than others, changing one’s life, and making memories? In our industry, we have the opportunity to do these things almost every day. I wanted to share a story I heard from a client recently — we’ll just call him “Scott” — and encourage you and your team to remember that our job is not really about selling diamonds and gold, it’s really about making people happy and exceeding expectations. When you exceed expectations, the sales will take care of themselves.

On this particular day, Scott was standing in the “sweet spot” just inside the door ready to greet the next client coming in. A middle-aged lady walked in. He smiled and greeted her and noticed she was very sad. She said, “I’m here to get a new men’s wedding band. I just buried my husband and I forgot to take his wedding band off.” She started to cry. So did Scott.

They proceeded to the men’s wedding bands (this store has a huge assortment with all price ranges), and she just stood there looking for a moment, not saying a word. Scott told her to pick one out, and she found one she loved — a ring retailing for about $900. Scott said, “It’s yours. You owe me nothing.” Then the woman began to cry again, but this time, the tears held not only sadness but gratitude as well.

Meanwhile, the woman’s mother had been waiting in the car and decided to come in. She saw her daughter crying and thought the jeweler had said something that upset her. When Scott explained to her mother what had just happened, her mother was very happy and her eyes started to well up, too. She told her daughter, “I knew we’d come to the right jewelry store!” While Scott was taking care of the wedding band, the mother started looking at diamond rings. She picked one out and bought it before she left.

In our business, sometimes you forget about being an owner or a salesperson and you actually become a good Samaritan or a hero in someone else’s eyes. Being sympathetic to a client’s needs and touching their feelings is the best you can be. You can go home and know that you did the right thing. I’m sure this client and her mother are telling all their friends what Scott did. And guess who their jeweler’s going to be forever?

P.S. Owners, you should talk to your employees and figure out how to empower them in situations like this to do the right thing. It could be one of the best investments that you make in your business.


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



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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