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Shane Decker

The Surprising Reason That Pen and Paper Should Still Be Part of Your Sales Process

Computers are incredible, but they can sometimes get in the way of a sale.




COMPUTERS ARE AWESOME for inventory, bookkeeping and all sorts of reports, but when it comes to making more add-on sales, they can get in the way. Think about it: When we close the sale, we automatically turn and walk to the point-of-sale computer. As soon as you do that, you’ve told the client that she is done buying. You may be feeling good about closing a single sale, but you’re actually letting money walk out the door.

Why We Quit Selling

It could be because:

➤ We’re afraid that if we try for an add-on, we’ll lose the first sale.

➤ We lack confidence because we don’t know our stock well enough.

➤ We assume the client is in a hurry.

➤ We’re afraid the client can’t afford another item.

➤ We believe that if we turn and walk to the point-of-sale computer, the sale is closed because the client has to follow us.

➤ We do not know how to add on using lead-in lines.

➤ Our cases are not set up to be add-on friendly; you have to walk across the store to find matching merchandise.

➤ We’re afraid the add-on will take away the importance of the first item. This can actually be correct if the add-on is done improperly. The add-on should never be more than half the amount of the first item. Always respect the client’s money and the importance of the first item she said she wanted.


The add-on sale is an impulse purchase; you have to create it from scratch. At this point in the presentation, you’ve already spent a lot of time to get the client in a buying mood. That’s why an add-on usually takes less than 30 seconds. Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Here’s how you do it:

One of the sales tools we used “back in the day” was the handwritten sales slip. We called this the open-ticket method of salesmanship. Start by placing beautiful sales slips at each counter. These are heavy paper and very professional looking. They have the store’s name at the top, along with the address and phone number. Write down the client’s name and contact information, just as if you were at a POS computer. Write down the item you’ve just sold, all of its information and price, then slide the slip over to the client’s right (your left). Do not draw a line under the price; leave it open. Put your pen on top of the ticket; this tells the client the sale is not over. This allows you to use a lead-in line to keep the sale going. A lead-in line takes the client to the next presentation. Some lead-in lines include:

➤ Wait until you see what matches this.

➤ Let me show you what goes with this; your wife will want them both.

➤ How many others are on your list?

Once all the selling is done, now you can walk to the computer and enter everything written on your sales receipt. Give your client a computer-printed sales receipt then put the handwritten sales slip in your client book so that you can stay in touch with the client.

While technology is fantastic, sometimes the best tools are the simplest. Sometimes, the pen is mightier than the computer.

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].



Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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