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Shane Decker

The Cold, Hard Truth About Customers That You Need to Accept Right Now

Almost everybody who comes into your store is there to buy. And they will … if only you let them.




LET US be absolutely clear: your customer is in your store to buy. Excuses — from your salespeople or even from you — can no longer be tolerated. If the customer didn’t want to buy, she wouldn’t be in your store (sure, you’ll have a few “shoppers,” but they are a minority). And if she doesn’t buy from you, she’s going to buy from someone else.

It’s cold, it’s hard… but it’s the truth. Now what are you going to do about it?

Once you’ve truly accepted the fact that indeed your customers are there to buy and not “just looking,” you are faced with the reality that your store has “A Crisis of Closing”. Whether your closing ratios are 20 percent, 30 percent or even 40 percent, imagine the money that would be rolling in if you just closed the customers that came in your store. You could double, triple, or even quadruple your sales without bringing in a single new customer!

And there’s no reason you can’t, if you understand that there are three major sins in closing, any one of which could cost you the sale. The first, which I call “The Ultimate Sin,” is a non-negotiable no-no. The second and third, known affectionately as “The Insidious Sins,” can feel good in the short term but will blow up in your face before your presentation is over. Allow me to explain:

The Ultimate Sin

“Closes throughout” versus “Does not close throughout.” The overwhelming answer to most closing problems is that jewelry salespeople simply aren’t closing often enough. Closing should be practiced throughout your presentation, even as you create interest, romance the sale, appraise the product, and handle price (the four previous pieces to “The Anatomy of a Sale”). If you do, the final closing of the sale will be easy. If the sale remains difficult, it means you didn’t handle objections well, or you didn’t use closes consistently. Anyone who does not close throughout their presentation does not belong in sales, and needs to find a new career. Ouch!


Insidious Sin

“Patient” versus “Impatient.” A patient salesperson will come across well initially, but could “patient” themselves right past the close. You don’t want to be pushy, but the customer wants permission to spend their money, and they want you to give it to them. On the other hand, the impatient salesperson may have problems with indecisive objections, such as “Is this all you have?” or “I just started shopping,” or “I haven’t decided yet.” If you close too hard too soon, the customer will retreat and you could lose the sale.

Insidious Sin 2

Closing should be practiced throughout your presentation, even as you create interest, romance the sale, appraise the product, and handle price (the four previous pieces to “The Anatomy of a Sale”).“Talker” versus “Listener.” A talker will be great at romancing the product, showing interest in the customer, and handling objections. But remember: God gave you two ears for a reason. If you talk too much, the customer will think you are conceited and are not listening to them. The listener, by contrast, will be seen as sympathetic at first, but if you allow the customer to control the conversation, they’ll think you don’t know anything. Either way, you blow the sale if you don’t maintain the middle ground.

There can be no doubt that your customer wants to make a purchase. So where are you missing opportunities? Observe your staff as a whole. Are they committing the “insidious sins” of waiting too long to close, or being too aggressive? Are they talking the customer into a state of indifference, or listening as the customer talks herself out of a sale? Or are they committing the worst sin of all by not closing throughout their presentation?

Remember: Your customers want to buy, and they want to buy from you. So why aren’t you taking their money?


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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