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Shane Decker: This I Know

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Shane Decker shares what he’s learned over a lifetime of sales experience — in his own words. (First published in The SMART Show supplement that shipped with the January edition of INSTORE.)

First published in The SMART Show supplement that shipped with the January edition of INSTORE.

Don’t prove yourself, improve yourself.

Sales people need three skills that a lot of people don’t have: common sense, people skills and communication abilities. If you don’t have those three, selling is going to be difficult.

I look at each day as a new challenge and I want to beat yesterday.

At a very young age, I learned to pretend everyone I waited on was a millionaire.

Jewelers have a bad habit of setting their people up for failure because they don’t train them thoroughly. And salespeople don’t read books and study and research diamonds and salesmanship, they just go to work each day.

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Senior salespeople who’ve been doing it a long time allow good to become the enemy of becoming their best. They get comfortable and don’t improve anymore.

If you use the same opening line all the time, it becomes a habit. If you’re a habit salesperson, your presentations become mundane and monotone.

Creative salespeople who don’t use the same line over and over are a lot more successful.

When you’re spontaneous, the client realizes that the sales presentation is just for them.

The average salesperson has three closes: Can I wrap it up for you? How do you want to pay for it? I’ll size it while you wait. Those are the three most used closes in the jewelry industry. And I hate all three of them.

You can’t become more creative because you say, “Gee, I want to be more creative.” If you want to be more creative, read the dictionary.

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Gemological knowledge gives you self-confidence. When clients ask you a question and you’ve got the answer, they don’t challenge you with objections anymore because they have confidence in your self-confidence.

But there’s so much stuff to research on the Internet today, a lot of people walking in know more about diamonds and jewelry than the salespeople selling them.

A long time ago, a jeweler came in to where I was selling furniture. He said he was just looking, but I sold him about $40,000 worth of furniture. That afternoon his father called and said he’d like to interview me.

Within the first few days in the industry, I knew I’d found my career.

I have a lot of Dad-isms. He’d say things like, “If you don’t have time to do it right the first time, when are you going to find time to do it right the second time?”

He didn’t finish 8th grade, but he owned three corporations and was one of the greatest entrepreneurial-minded people. My dad was an awesome role model.

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Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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