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Smooth Seller: Barbara Barletta

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Barbara Barletta of Warner Co. Jewelers in Fresno, CA pays tribute to the late boss who motivated her.

[componentheading]PROFILE[/componentheading]

[dropcap cap=B]arbara Barletta, 52, has been in the jewelry business for 23 years, 16 of those at Warner Co. in Fresno, CA. Barletta pays homage to her boss, Casey Stephenson, who died in 2008, and whose memory always motivates her. “I usually think about the way he would want me to treat his clients, the store’s clients. He always treated his clients as the most important people. The clients always came first.” [/dropcap]

[componentheading]Smooth Seller Interview[/componentheading]

• My biggest sales day was about $440,000. That was the $1 million month. There was a 4.07-carat tycoon-cut diamond ring and several other items, including a yellow diamond necklace and brooch and a fancy yellow diamond ring. Yes, they were add-on sales! I just keep selling merchandise and even if they are just buying one piece, I show them something to go along with it.

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• Listen to the client’s wants, needs and desires. And if a senior sales associate is offering training, pay attention to what they tell you.

• Shane Decker has had the biggest influence on me, because he lets you know that it’s OK to show everyone a high ticket item, because you never know who’s going to buy it and it makes the client feel that you believe they can buy it.

[blockquote class=orange]• When I go somewhere to shop, I want to be helped by someone who is truly going to care about what I want instead of just going through the motions. I can usually tell pretty quickly if we’re going to click.[/blockquote]

• The best salesperson I’ve ever seen was my boss, Casey Stephenson. He never quit selling even when we’d be at events, a baseball game or football game. He was still in sales mode, handing out business cards or he might have a piece of merchandise with him.

• If I met someone on their very first day in jewelry sales, I’d tell them to listen to what the client wants and always be ready to sell. Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale.

• When customers can’t make up their minds, I just continue showing them different styles and narrow it down to the pieces that they say that they like, and if I need to, I get someone else involved.

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[blockquote class=orange]• When you have two people working together you have a better chance of closing the sale, and if someone needs to go get something you don’t have to leave the client. Over 50 percent of my sales are team sales.[/blockquote]

• You have to wear jewelry to sell it, because people see it on you and they want it. I have a lot of clients who want the same pieces of jewelry that I’m wearing.

• I give clients my business card and follow up with a phone call to make sure their purchase is what they expected it to be. I always send thank-you cards, even if it’s just for repair, and if it’s a special occasion we send them flowers.

[span class=note]This story is from the September 2009 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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