Connect with us

Shane Decker

Shane Decker: Push Time

mm

Published

on

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

{loadposition shanedeckerheader}

Push Time

(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?

[inset side=right]If a customer wants it, then it’s worth it.[/inset]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.

Advertisement
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.

BRAINSTORMS

New Ideas for Your Store

Video conferencing over the web is increasing in quality, and decreasing in price, all the time (for example, Apple’s iSight and iChatAV will cost you less than $150). Finally, it’s realistic for you to offer the following service:

Online video style advice!

Think of it: Your customer’s getting ready for her big night out and simply can’t decide whether to wear the choker or the opera-length pearls with her low-cut black dress. She pops in front of her computer, you sit down in front of yours, and show her exactly the right combination to wow the crowd.

Advertisement

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 March 2004 edition of INSTORE.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

Having a Moving Sale? Let Wilkerson Do the Heavy Lifting

For Jim Woodard, owner of Woodard’s Diamonds & Design in Tullahoma, Tenn., when it was time for a moving sale, there was only one company to help with the event: Wilkerson. “They brought in the right team for us,” he says, remarking about the sale’s extraordinary results, including a nearly 500% monthly sales increase compared to the previous year. “I wanted to have the best in the industry. And that’s the main reason why I contacted Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines

Shane Decker

Four Sales Meetings You Must Hold Before the Holidays

Cover these topics to maximize your selling opportunities this season.

mm

Published

on

FROM DECEMBER 1ST TO the 24th, closing ratios double and impulse sales skyrocket. The problem? It’s too easy. Salespeople tend to slip into lackadaisical sales practices because the sales happen either way.

Unfortunately, this endangers repeat business and could even cost you holiday sales.

Podcast: After Tragedy, One Young Woman Turns Her Grief Into Beauty
Over the Counter

Podcast: After Tragedy, One Young Woman Turns Her Grief Into Beauty

Podcast: Jenny O Calleri Takes on Her Biggest Challenge Yet — Store Ownership
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Jenny O Calleri Takes on Her Biggest Challenge Yet — Store Ownership

Podcast: How Tracking Door Traffic Can Dramatically Boost Your Store’s Performance
JimmyCast

Podcast: How Tracking Door Traffic Can Dramatically Boost Your Store’s Performance

To prevent this from occurring, hold sales meetings over the next four weeks and address each of these topics in turn.

1. Store Floor Awareness: Emphasize that your team must know what’s happening at all times with all clients. There’s an old wives’ tale that whoever is closest to the door is the greeter; not true. If you’re near the close, you’re not going to turn away to greet a new customer. That means someone else needs to be ready. Has the client been greeted? Does a salesperson need an assist? Is the client about to walk away? Teach your team how to recognize and react to these situations.

2. Wowing All Customers: Salespeople say they are too busy to do this, and that everyone has what they want already. Wrong. This is the time of year that impulse buys greatly increase. All you have to say is, “Guess what’s in the vault?” or “Guess what just came in?” Let the rest take care of itself. Show your team how to “wow” every customer and emphasize just how critical it is.

3. Closing: Clients want you to close. At Christmas time, no one is just looking; everyone is just buying. Learn to professionally create a sense of urgency, but always be honest. You can say:

  • “We only have one of these left.”
  • “These have been really popular this year.”
  • “We can’t get any more of these until after Christmas”
  • “She’s going to love it; you should do this.”
  • “We sell this item faster than we can get it in.”
  • “You’re going to be a hero; she won’t believe you did this.”

If it’s on December 24th, you can even say, “We close in 10 minutes. There’s not another place you can go and just look; this is it!”

4. Add-ons: Too many salespeople spin and walk to the point-of-sale after the first item is sold. When you do this, you tell the client they’re done. Instead, purchase some beautiful, small sharp scissors. From now on, once you’ve sold an item, take out your scissors, cut the tag off and lay it on the counter pad. That says you’ve sold the item, but you can continue selling.
The average Christmas buyer buys 15-20 gifts, and the average salesperson sells just one. Instead, after the first item is sold, say one of these add-on lines:

  • “This is part of a set.”
  • “We have what matches.”
  • “I gotta show you what goes with this because she’s gonna love it.”
  • “How many others are on your list?”

These are called lead-in lines because they lead into the next presentation. The average add-on takes 30 seconds because you don’t have to sell; they’re already sold.

Continue Reading

Shane Decker

This Is the Fastest Way to Kill a Jewelry Sale … Even If You Mean Well

It’s one of the surest ways to ruin a client’s experience.

mm

Published

on

TRUE SALESMANSHIP MEANS bringing skills and professionalism, knowledge, truthfulness and politeness to a presentation — as well as always making the client feel like she’s the most important person to come in all day, even if she is the 101st. We also have to bring a friendly attitude and be ready to support our teammates. But doing these things in the wrong way can backfire. Occasionally, when you try to be too friendly, it’s a sales killer. Let me explain.

Sometimes when a client has just come in and someone else has greeted them and started a presentation, another sales associate sees the client. They think, “I know them,” or “I’ve waited on them before,” or they’re a friend or a neighbor. But the client didn’t ask for that sales associate when they came in. This can create a big problem.

Video: Things to Remember When Dealing with ‘Gonna Buy’ Jewelry Customers
Headlines

Video: Things to Remember When Dealing with ‘Gonna Buy’ Jewelry Customers

Video: Why Jewelers Should Get Creative With Their Offers and Not Always Think of Discounting
Jim Ackerman

Video: Why Jewelers Should Get Creative With Their Offers and Not Always Think of Discounting

Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales
Jimmy Degroot

Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales

The salesperson who is with the client is in the middle of the presentation and the other salesperson comes up and says, “Hello!” or “How are you doing?” This totally interrupts the presentation and now they may have to start over. They may even be in the 30-second window about to close the sale. The closing opportunity may now be lost.

There is a time for small talk and being neighborly, but this is not the time. Interruptions are deadly.

If the client had asked for the other salesperson, it would have been their responsibility, but never interrupt a sales presentation. When the client is ready to walk to the door, that’s the time that it’s OK to make your approach and speak to them. No one should ever walk in on a sale besides the sales floor manager, the manager or the owner, and even then they should only do it to assist in the presentation (not “take over”; assist).

Some salespeople do this because they think they own the client and they think they deserve the sale, so they unprofessionally walk in uninvited. This is very uncomfortable for the client and it’s uncomfortable for the salesperson who is with the client because they feel pushed out.

Clients do not like pushy salespeople. The salesperson also knows they could never team-sell with someone who is so unprofessional.

Our job as a sales team is to help others be successful. When one of your teammates is giving a presentation, your job is to grab tools, get drinks and cookies, and be a servant. Be a team player and don’t worry about who is with the client; be aware if something is needed. If the client wants to talk to you, they will let someone know. I don’t care whose name is on the ticket, but I do care that there is a ticket.

Our goal is a client who leaves happy and gave us money for something beautiful. Don’t be an interrupter!

Continue Reading

Shane Decker

Did You Know that When You Close a Sale, You’re Helping Your Customer?

They want to leave with their chosen product in a bag.

mm

Published

on

TODAY’S CLIENTS DON’T have time to shop tomorrow. They buy the day they shop; you do the same thing. Millennials shop online before they decide to come to your store. Older generations might go from store to store to find what they want, but they too buy the day they shop. Most of us start with the store where we want to leave our money.

Clients want you to close the sale. In part, they are paying you to make a professional decision for them and trusting you to do it. Sixty to 70 percent of your clients cannot make up their own minds. That’s why you should never say, “Can I wrap it up for you?” They will walk because you’re asking them to make a decision.

Podcast: After Tragedy, One Young Woman Turns Her Grief Into Beauty
Over the Counter

Podcast: After Tragedy, One Young Woman Turns Her Grief Into Beauty

Podcast: Jenny O Calleri Takes on Her Biggest Challenge Yet — Store Ownership
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Jenny O Calleri Takes on Her Biggest Challenge Yet — Store Ownership

Podcast: How Tracking Door Traffic Can Dramatically Boost Your Store’s Performance
JimmyCast

Podcast: How Tracking Door Traffic Can Dramatically Boost Your Store’s Performance

Moreover, approximately 90 percent of all clients who say I’ll be back never come back; 7 percent do. And, around 80 percent of all clients who say “I’ll be back” buy elsewhere within the first one to two hours after leaving your location.

The No. 1 reason clients leave empty-handed is not inventory or price. It’s that they were not closed. Too many salespeople do show-and-tell presentations rather than show-and-sell presentations. Independently owned stores’ closing ratios are between 27-33 percent, yet 80 percent of shoppers buy the day they shop. If you shop today, do you have time to shop tomorrow? Didn’t think so.

Never believe the client is coming back. This is the time for a team-sell or a T.O. When they say “I’ll be back,” that means they are leaving to shop somewhere else.

When you let the client leave empty-handed, you’re giving money to one of your competitors.

The best way to preserve client loyalty is to close the sale. A client is successful when they leave with a bag, give you money and they’re glad they came in — not when they have to leave and start the process somewhere else.

One of your most successful opportunities should be your referral clients, but remember, they have high expectations. Someone bragged about how awesome you or your team was. If the expectations are met, closing ratio with referrals are usually over 80 percent. Interestingly, this is a higher percentage than even clients who come in two-three times per year. Another type of presentation that should have a high closing ratio (80 percent) is the appointment.

The more money the item costs, the easier it is to close it. A $500 item is harder to close than a $5,000 item and so on. Why? Because the client can. Never decide for the client how much they can spend. Let them decide that. Do not do price presentations.

Owners, track clients coming in with a door counter and see how many sales slips are written up. This will tell you your closing ratio, which is the most important number in your entire company. You’ll also learn what your team is doing. Ultimately, your store’s closing ratio should be 50 percent or more.

Continue Reading

Most Popular