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Smooth Seller: Carrie Bell

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“My sales mantra is ‘Shut up and sell” says Smooth Seller from Melbroune, FL.

[h3]Carrie Bell [/h3]

[h5]Wesche Jewelers; Melbourne, FL [/h5]

[componentheading]PROFILE[/componentheading]

[dropcap cap=T]his month’s featured salesperson, Carrie Bell, closed $650,000 in sales last year, with a closing ratio of roughly 70 percent. Bell is a Graduate Gemologist now studying to become a Certified Gem Appraiser. She is active in calling customers, and is frequently called in on turn-over situations due to her extensive knowledge and smooth-selling technique. Wesche Jewelers is located in a strip mall in a residential area of Melbourne, and caters mainly to professionals and retirees. The store carries Hearts on Fire Diamonds, and brand names like Rolex and Mikimoto. [/dropcap]

[componentheading]INTERVIEW[/componentheading]

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• My secret weapon for selling is my sense of humor. When you tease a customer [during a sales presentation] they let their guard down, which allows me to get to know them. One of my favorite lines is for customers who ask “How much?” I always respond: “Less than a million dollars”. Humor is something I try to use with every customer.

[blockquote class=orange]To get psyched up for a day at work, I always turn up the radio real loud and sing along with the songs on the way to work. It puts me in a good mood every time.[/blockquote]

• My favorite type of customer is the engagement customer — especially if they’ve been shopping around, men or women. By the time they meet with me, everyone from Bob’s Jewelers to Jane’s Jewelers have told the customer what they think he or she should have. I like to sit down with people and find out what they really want

• I enjoy selling custom designs and colored diamonds most. To do custom design work the customer really has to trust the sales associate. I enjoy the whole process from doing counter sketches, the anticipation when the piece is being made and presenting the final piece. When you do a custom design job it’s also a great way to learn more about a customer, such as likes and dislikes, as part of building a relationship with them. I have a personal love for colored diamonds. If a customer likes colored diamonds it all just snowballs for me. I had one customer who got pretty caught up in having colored diamonds and she mentioned she wanted a colored diamond that would remind her of dolphins or the ocean. I told her that natural blue diamonds are very rare and quite expensive. So I told her that there are [HPHT] treated diamonds available in blue. When my boss was going on a buying trip to Antwerp, I asked this customer if she wanted my boss to buy a blue diamond on spec. The customer agreed, gave me the money and no real other details, and on the invoice all she wrote was “Buy something awesome”. That was it! My boss returned with a treated blue diamond that we set in a dolphin design pendant. She wears it all the time and just loves that piece of jewelry.

• The ideal salesperson should like people. Some people hate people. A good salesperson is also one who is self-motivated. Some salespeople stand around waiting for people to come through the door. The self-motivated salesperson thinks of ways to get people in the store. The store belongs to my boss as does the inventory, but I’m really in business for myself. It’s important to be proactive and always keep busy as well.

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• I love selling to engineers. In our area there are lots of high tech companies — including NASA. I have a passion for technical stuff, and engineers want to know the facts. So I explain pricing systems, differences in grading systems and then get in to more technical aspects of a diamond such as the way a diamond bends and returns light along with discussion on crown angles, pavilion depths, etc. When you speak to them in technical terms, jewelry makes sense and it’s no longer just an obligatory purchase for them. I have a customer who is a NASA engineer who used to be based here in Florida, but is now working in Texas. On occasion he comes to Florida for business trips and calls me when he needs some jewelry for his wife.

• Ninety-five percent of my job is positive. And, the more positive I make the jewelry buying experience for them, the more they want to come to our store and buy jewelry from me. I had one woman who was so excited about her engagement ring that she had her picture taken with me when she picked it up.

[blockquote class=orange]I hate it when a customer licks his or her finger and hands me a ring. One time a gentleman did that and I said, “I’m not taking that ring from you like that”. (I knew the gentleman well enough to get away with making such a bold remark.) When I was finished with the ring I asked him if he’d like me to spit on it so he could put it back on. We both laughed. He has a real smart-alecky sense of humor, and his wife thought he got what he deserved — of course, I didn’t really spit on it! [/blockquote]

• My sales mantra is “shut up and sell.” I’m a Graduate Gemologist and I have all this great information in my head about gemstones and jewelry. But not everyone wants to know what I know. Some salespeople make the mistake of talking too much and end up making the sales presentation too technical. This can work against a sales associate as the customer might think they’re a know-it-all and tune them out. Like the saying goes, God gave us one mouth and two ears …

[span class=note]This story is from the May 2004 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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