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Shane Decker

Same-Side Selling

Quickly build rapport by crossing the great divide — get out from behind that showcase!




ARE YOU A CASHIER, or a salesperson? If you answered “salesperson,” then get out from behind the showcase!

Jewelry retailing isn’t like selling lollipops. These are meaningful items, crafted to stand the test of time, and selling them requires building meaningful relationships.

One of the best ways to put your customer at ease and begin such a relationship is to approach him from the same side of the showcase that he is on. It takes you out of a power position and puts you in a friendly position that creates trust. If you are able to install showcases in your store that have both sides open to the customer, so much the better! But even if you aren’t, here are a few ways to put yourself on the same side of the showcase and thereby make the sales process a more personal interaction.

  1. You’re sitting in a diamond room, and you want to show the client the internal characteristics of the diamond. Walk around to his side of the table and put the diamond under the scope. Bring it in clearly, turn the scope to him, and explain what he’s seeing. At that point, you stay on the same side for the rest of the presentation.
    No matter which method you choose to put yourself on the client’s side of the counter, be sure that when you do, you have all the tools you need.
  2. You’ve reached an appropriate point in the conversation to offer your client refreshments. Ask another sales associate to get a refreshment for each of you (drink the same beverage as your client, unless he chooses wine or another alcoholic beverage). When the refreshments are brought, get on the same side of the case. Now you’re discussing the jewelry in his hand and eating or drinking something together, which relaxes the client. That’s powerful when you’re selling $10,000 items.
  3. It’s time for the close at the end of the presentation; walk around to the client’s side. This makes it easier for him to open up about money. It’s more personal, more private. Remember: you want to become his friend, especially before you close.
  4. You’re asking another salesperson for an assist with product knowledge or modeling an item. When you call someone to assist, she should never be on the same side of the counter as you — she should always be on the same side as the client. If you’re both on the opposite side of the counter, there’s two people in a power position, and the client may feel he’s being “ganged up on.”
  5. You’re team-selling a couple. (Note: The selling team should always be a man and a woman to match the couple). Whoever is making the majority of the presentation stays behind the counter, and the other person stays on the same side as the couple. The clients will feel like whoever walked around to their side is going to work more for them.

No matter which method you choose to put yourself on the client’s side of the counter, be sure that when you do, you have all the tools you need. Once you’re there, it’s not good to have to walk back around the counter to get something else. Look organized.

Same-side selling will increase your closing ratio. Your customer will tell you more of his secrets, he’ll stay longer (the longer he stays, the more he spends), and he’ll feel that his relationship with you is better. That also bodes well for the long term!


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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