Connect with us

Smooth Sellers

Smooth Seller: Carrie Bell

Published

on

“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]

Advertisement

• 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.

Advertisement

• 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]

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

Having a Moving Sale? Let Wilkerson Do the Heavy Lifting

For Jim Woodard, owner of Woodard’s Diamonds & Design in Tullahoma, Tenn., when it was time for a moving sale, there was only one company to help with the event: Wilkerson. “They brought in the right team for us,” he says, remarking about the sale’s extraordinary results, including a nearly 500% monthly sales increase compared to the previous year. “I wanted to have the best in the industry. And that’s the main reason why I contacted Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines

Smooth Sellers

Smooth Seller: Donna Burgess, Occasions Fine Jewelry, Midland, TX

Published

on

By

Donna Burgess

Occasions Fine Jewelry, Midland, TX

Although you might not suspect it upon first chatting with the amiable, conversationally gifted Donna Burgess, the 57-year-old Tennessee native is a Type A personality who gets straight to the point, and the point is to sell jewelry. At an average sale of just over $900, she sells plenty of it to achieve annual personal sales approaching $3 million. If you need more evidence this grandmother of 11 is a shark, she relaxes by reading murder mysteries, especially the serial-killer kind. — EILEEN McCLELLAND

You have to listen as much to what’s not being said as to what’s being said — and then get straight to the point. If you are in the fashion jewelry area and a man has come in and you show him something that isn’t very expensive and he says, "My wife wouldn’t wear anything like that, it’s too gaudy," you know you are in the wrong area of the store and in the wrong price range. So go for something totally opposite.

We sell more to men than to women, and most men don’t care to shop. They don’t want to see everything in the store. Most of the time, if you ask them what they are thinking about, they don’t have a clue. So I’ll usually pull out a pendant and start with something basic. If he says, "Oh, no, she’s got one of those," then go to something that’s a little bit out there.

You can say, "I’ve got the perfect thing." Get it into their head that you have what they need. Be confident. Be direct. Don’t say, "Well, this might work."

Learn your product. Walk around the cases and know where you are going to take your customer ahead of time. Don’t waste their time trying to find something. That way you look more confident, you look more professional, and you’ll make many, many more sales.

I wear very classic jewelry. A pair of diamond studs, a pair of inside-out diamond hoops, an inline tennis bracelet, a solitaire pendant, a couple of Simon G rings and a gold ankle bracelet. So I sell a lot of inside-out earrings, that’s my go-to staple for an anniversary. I’ve also had people who notice my necklace. You sell what you wear. I’ve even sold a few gold ankle bracelets.

When I started I took every “no” personally. You can’t do that. Everybody’s going to hear “no”.

Continue Reading

Smooth Sellers

Smooth Sellers: Blake Simmons

Published

on

By

Smooth Sellers: Blake Simmons 

BY EILEEN MCCLELLAND

Published in the May 2013 issue

STORE NAME: Simmons Fine Jewelry
LOCATION: Meridian, ID

Blake Simmons graduated from Boise State University in 2011 with degrees in business management and marketing. Following graduation, he immediately demonstrated his sales prowess by selling more than $1 million in his first year of working full time at his family’s business. Simmons has been married for five years to his wife, Jill, and in his spare time he loves hunting, riding motorcycles, skiing and snowboarding.

My father has always said, “We don’t sell jewelry, we sell romance.” I have found this very true in my own sales especially to men buying for their wives, and it makes a big difference in the way a sale goes if I can help the customer to forget about the amount of money they are spending on “just a little rock.”

Don’t short yourself. Always show big to sell big. If that doesn’t work, scale it down, but if you have the mentality that someone can’t afford something you won’t ever sell big pieces.

I earned a bachelor’s of Entrepreneurial Management, and if I weren’t selling jewelry, I would find a way to create a business to go along with my passion for the outdoors.

I do most of the social media for our store. It’s such a great way to facilitate sales to the younger generation.

I like to wish happy birthday and anniversary via text. I have had customers come in and purchase for the occasion as a result of a text.

The book that had the biggest effect on the way I sell was Start With Why. It’s a very simple read, but if an individual can learn their “why” they will be driven to succeed continually.

We recently started to host an annual Vault Sale. We take the older merchandise in the store and offer it to our best customers at incredible discounts. The customers love to come and usually buy multiple items.

Continue Reading

Smooth Sellers

Smooth Sellers: Gennifer Flaxman

Published

on

By

Smooth Sellers: Gennifer Flaxman 

BY EILEEN MCCLELLAND

Published in the April 2013 issue

STORE NAME: Bernie Robbins Jewelers
LOCATION: Marlton, NJ

Gennifer Flaxman had what she described as her 15 minutes of fame when she won an audition for a Weight Watchers commercial, filmed in November 2012. She says her first trip to Los Angeles felt like an out-of-body experience. It all happened right around the time she reached her goal of losing 99 pounds. Transforming herself has exponentially ramped up her confidence. “I am more comfortable suggesting more fashion-forward pieces now because I feel I am regarded differently. I’m more personable and friendly, too. I always had great rapport with existing customers but I feel I am doing a better job now of garnering new clients. I wear the jewelry in the store and I find I am selling more pieces off me than I ever did before. If you look better, your jewelry looks better and people are more interested in purchasing it.” Still, there has been one annoying glitch — some of her less regular customers don’t recognize her, and wind up working with someone else!

To get psyched up for the day, I listen to music on the way to work — I usually have two favorite songs at a time (my two favorite right now are Bruno Mars, Locked Out of Heaven, and Maroon Five, One More Night — and I cycle through them, listen to them and yell the words at the top of my lungs.

 My background in social work absolutely does influence my approach to selling jewelry. I don’t realize I’m even doing it, but I tend to get to the emotional needs while I’m selling — what the gift means, what they want it to mean, trying to make it more important and more memorable.

 I do call certain customers, but calling has become a lot more obsolete. A lot of clients much prefer texting. I sold a $74,000 watch from a text conversation. The owners of Bernie Robbins are less than pleased with the use of cellphones on the floor —but they are a necessary evil.

 With cellphones, you are on call all the time. There is no such thing as time off any longer. If a customer wants to come in for a repair, chances are I’ll be there. Because how do you show up for the sale and not for the repair, even if it is your first Sunday off in six weeks?

 I happen to have a ridiculous, crazy memory. I don’t need to write things down, I retain the information. When you remember something about them that’s personal, it makes for a relationship instead of just a sale.

 I drink a lot of coffee; and a good workout is something that also gets me raring to go and psyched up.

 I always greet people with a hello or a welcome. I cringe when I hear, “How are you?” I absolutely cringe. I take the old school approach to building rapport — I comment on someone’s hair or jacket — because if you’re genuine about it, it really works.

 I ask for a sale by talking about payment options. In this store, regardless of income or wealth, we offer almost everyone the opportunity to use our credit, and we have an interest-free option. So that’s almost always how I ask for a sale. I look for buying signals, I use credit as my opening, and if they say they don’t need it, I’ll ask questions about when they plan to give it, and what else they’ve seen, what reservations they have. Then I do the hardest thing for the salesperson to do, which is shut up. Especially for me.

 I have what is called my mojo ring. I pick one piece of jewelry and wear it for a long period of time; I say it gives me my mojo, but I always wind up selling it off me. Currently, it’s a stack of Ippolita bangles that I’ve been wearing for months.

 My favorite type of customer has evolved. Now my favorite customer is a repeat customer. I take such satisfaction when someone comes in and asks for me, even if it’s just for a repair, because it shows me I’ve given them good service.

 My most memorable sale was to a gentleman purchasing a ring for his wedding anniversary. He was going to be deployed to Iraq by the time the ring was ready, and when his wife came in, we had him Skyped in. We presented her with flowers and had dog tags inscribed for their sons. It allowed them to celebrate their anniversary even though they were miles apart. It was about a $25,000 sale, but it was the kind of sale that made you feel good about what you were doing and the memory you were giving.

 My biggest sales day was $176,000. I sold a diamond watch (A Rolex Daytona over the phone), a diamond engagement ring, and a whole lot of little things.

 I am the toughest critic with a salesperson. I have walked out of so many stores if I’m not happy with the service. I’m interested to see if once they ask me my name they are interested in using it afterward. 

 In my nine years at Bernie Robbins, there was only one year when I did not achieve $1 million in sales, and that was in 2007. Each year, when I finally get there, I take a deep sigh and feel that the pressure is off, and once the pressure is off, that’s when I soar.

Continue Reading

Most Popular