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Shane Decker

Shane Decker: This Is Cool

Expensive carpet and luxurious display cases do not make a cool store, says Shane Decker. Amazing people do.

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IN MY CAREER, I’ve been fortunate enough to have visited over 3,000 jewelry stores, and I’ve seen lots of cool ones. It’s awesome to have the majestic, gorgeous building on the corner that exudes integrity. It’s fabulous to carry all the most famous and beautiful jewelry brands and timepieces. It’s truly wonderful to have a huge inventory, an incredible shop, plush carpeting, the best lighting, and richly finished showcases.

But what makes a really cool store … are the people.

  • • A cool store is one where politics aren’t played. Where childish rivalries don’t exist, and back-biting is non-existent. Where people guard each other’s commissions, writing the correct name on the sale and not stealing prospects at the door.
  • • A cool store is one in which employees are self-motivated. They love their job, and it shows.
  • •A cool store means the teamwork is incredible, and people help each other to meet their goals. If someone’s having a problem, everyone is there to lend a hand.A store could have every brand known to man, but if you walk in and have doubts as to whether anyone is actually going to wait on you, it’s not a cool store.
  • •A cool store is a place where people can talk freely about their sales, and offer constructive criticism, without fear of repercussion from the owner or managers.
  • • A cool store has the best trained staff, and the owner spends the money necessary to make sure everyone is trained to meet those standards. He takes each staff member on buying trips, so that every person can understand their product and their operation more fully.
  • •In a cool store, salespeople don’t grumble when it’s time for a sales meeting. Instead, they’re excited about the exchange of new ideas and energy.
  • •A cool store is one that can do without the owner when necessary. He or she can go on vacation for a month, and the customers are treated just the same, with impeccable service. (Sales may even rise during his absence!)
  • • A cool store offers repairs on time and with no hassle. Coffee, cookies, or other refreshments are offered to customers while they wait or browse.
  • • In a cool store, the sales staff actually talks to the accounting team, and they’re all part of one big family. There are games, spiffs, and motivational tools for anyone and everyone to participate in.

The coolest stores are not always the best-looking, and don’t always have the best location or the biggest inventory. But they do have the best staff. These are the stores where customers wait in line to get in, and when they leave they want to tell their friends about the service they received. Because that’s what customers want — an experience they can’t get elsewhere, where they’re treated like royalty no matter what they’re wearing or what they spend.

A store could have every brand known to man, but if you walk in and have doubts as to whether anyone is actually going to wait on you, it’s not a cool store. It’s a snooty store. But, if you’ve got great people and everything else, it’s not just a cool store, it’s a knockout, super-bad, wicked-to-the-bone, GROOVY store!

But it all starts with the people. People who work together. People who don’t cry over commissions or worry who makes what. Because ultimately, customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. And cool stores care a lot.

This story is from the August 2005 edition of INSTORE.

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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 sdecker@ex-sell-ence.com.

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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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