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Shane Decker

Shane Decker: To The Moon

That guy in the t-shirt and ratty jeans might just be your next big sale, says Shane Decker. So don’t blow it!




I DON’T LIKE to dress up on the weekends. After wearing a suit and tie all week, I’m ready to let my hair down and take it easy. Ever do the same? I bet you have. Maybe you’ve even gone out shopping in a T-shirt and shorts. Why not? After all, you’ve got nothing to prove — you’re a jewelry store owner! Now, how does it feel when you can tell a salesperson is judging you … assuming that, because of the way you are dressed, you could never afford anything nice? Makes you want to pull out your pocketbook and smack ‘em over the head with it, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, this happens all the time. And our industry is one of the worst offenders. Pre-judging and assuming are killing thousands of jewelry sales every day, all over the country. Pre-judging takes place when the salesperson categorizes the customer in their own mind, before they’ve even spoken. Thoughts run through the pre-judger’s mind: “Look how he’s dressed! He’ll never buy anything.” And so, the customer never even gets waited on. If anything, the salesperson says, “Look around, and if you see something you can’t live without, let me know.” Then, they walk away. Quickly followed by the customer walking out.

Assuming takes place when the salesperson is waiting on the customer, but has already assumed the customer can’t afford what they’re looking at. This subconscious assumption causes the salesperson’s presentation to become lackluster: he or she won’t romance the sale enough, or close all the way through. The result? The customer leaves disappointed, whether or not they made a purchase.

Pre-judging and assuming are killing thousands of jewelry sales every day, all over the country. Wealthy people want to be comfortable. They dress down … at least once in a while. (And some of them a lot more than that.) And so many jewelry salespeople are underselling their customers’ potential, it’s costing them dollars not only at the point of sale, but in future sales as well. Underselling kills future sales, because customers want to go to a store that really wows them — in other words, that sells to their full potential. It’s estimated that 50% of all customers are undersold.

Why does this happen? Because a lot of salespeople (and I mean a lot!) sell based on their own income, not their customers’. They think, “If I try to sell this piece, the customer will think I’m pushy.” The truth is, customers are flattered when you overshoot the mark, because you thought they could afford it.

Another fact: higher-priced tickets take less time to sell and are easier to close. The $5,000 sale is easier than the $500, the $50,000 sale is easier than the $5,,000, and the $500,000 sale is even easier than that. It’s counter-intuitive, I know. But when people can really afford the item, their resistance is far less. The customer considering the $1,500 item is often wondering, “How will I pay for this? Well, I’ve got so much room on my credit card, and I can put it on layaway,” etc. But the person looking at a $15,000 item will pay cash, on the spot. Which sale would you rather make?


You can never know who is a buyer. Forget the Golden Rule — treat all customers better than they’d be treated anywhere else! Wow every person who comes into your store — yes, even the guy in the black AC/DC concert t-shirt. Show them your best stuff. Then let them tell you if it costs too much.

Otherwise, shoot for the moon. You never know when you might hit it!

Line Time

What to Say and When to Say It

You’re in the midst of a negotiation with a supplier and they make a statment. Say this, frequently:

“Hmmm …”

Why? It’s always beneficial to pause and think. Or to at least appear to pause and think. By not appearing too eager, you’re more likely to win concessions. Make them think that you’re thisclose to agreeing to a deal. Remember, time is your tool. Price is theirs. So use your tool wisely.


Source: Tom Chiarella, Esquire Magazine

This story is from the July 2005 edition of INSTORE

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



Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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