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Smooth Sellers

Smooth Seller: Justin C. Holder



This Tennessee “Smooth Seller” gets his inspiration from an old Michael J. Fox movie.

[h3]Justin C. Holder[/h3]

[h5]Bell Jewelers; Murfreesboro, TN[/h5]


[dropcap cap=T]hough just 25 years old, Holder is a top salesperson at Bell’s Jewelers, a landmark store in Murfreesboro, TN. Bell’s, a seven-figure store, has been operating in Murfreesboro since 1879 and has been voted the area’s top jeweler for many years. The company carries brand names such as Rolex and TAG Heuer, as well as Waterford Crystal. They also specialize in bridal jewelry and custom designs.[/dropcap]

[componentheading]Smooth Seller Interview[/componentheading]


• To get psyched up for a day at work, I always get up in the morning and play with my miniature Doberman named Onyx. His drive is never low and he’s never in a slump. If Onyx is never discouraged … so why should I be?

If I’m not selling jewelry, I’m probably shopping the competition. My wife says I am obsessed with shopping other stores. You bet I am. In every city we travel, I shop at least one store — every trip. The absolute best example for fine-tuning your trade, to me, is learning what not to say and do. In many cases, I come away with new ideas, new presentations or new items to have in our store. I also come away with tips on things to make sure I am never guilty of doing. 

I love motivational products. I love everything from the Zig Ziglars to the Dave Richardsons of the business. Donald Trump’s new book How to Get Rich is an excellent source to improve both self-motivation and self-discipline. My other studies include frequenting places that give outstanding customer service. My wife and I both drive a Mercedes Benz, not only because of the quality and luxury but it is a treat to visit the dealer. They make you feel you own something one-of-a-kind. Talk about romancing a product. They can make you just salivate talking about the most minor detail. I take ideas from those experiences and manipulate them to fit my customers. I want any sale with Justin Holder to be simply a treat. Period. 

I once sold a $30,000 watch to a woman who didn’t get excited about it until I did. I took her over in the mirror and just said “Look at that!” She finally cracked a smile and wore it home.

My favorite opening line is simply a variation of “What’s going on today?” I know, it’s nothing fancy, but it works for me. Many customers expect a fine jewelry store to be stuffy and snooty. I like to kick that out right away. 


I love the movie For the Love of Money, with Michael J. Fox. Fox plays a concierge of a fine New York hotel. He delivers incredible service to his customers, usually with a payoff of high tips or opportunities. However, a customer comes along that is not savvy to the concierge world that offers mediocre tips, but requires the most help. Fox helps regardless with full steam and at the end of the movie this tiny tipper turns out offering him the opportunity of a lifetime. It’s a great movie for a good jumpstart. 

The first real watch I ever owned was my father’s high school graduation watch. I was so proud of it. It was an old Benrus, but to me it was a Patek. I though it was the greatest thing because it had my Dad’s initials on the back. When I was 16, we were at a dinner and I had the floor at the table that I was sitting while telling the story of the watch. I told them about the engraving, “WR” for William Robert (my Dad’s name). That’s when someone pointed out to me the “WR” meant “water resistant”. I was so embarrassed.

[blockquote class=orange]If I can’t get people turned-on by what they are looking at, I am not doing a good job.[/blockquote]

Customers who don’t show emotion in what they are purchasing bug me. I come from a loud, wild, family that gets excited about anything! If I can’t get people turned-on by what they are looking at, I am not doing a good job. 

Nothing feels better that for it to be a slow day, and have four or five people waiting to see you personally. My key is making sure that I know a lot of different things about my clients. I always ask them about their son, their trip, or their new vehicle before ever asking them why they’re in the store. When you have a genuine interest in the people who give you business, they know it. When that relationship is established … they feel guilty going anywhere else. 

I had a customer a few months ago who came into the store and ordered a designer bracelet for his wife’s birthday. She loved it, but it was slightly tight on her. They had planned on leaving town a week from that day, and she mentioned she should love to wear the bracelet on the trip. I love a challenge! The company quoted me two weeks, but was graciously talked into one. During a casual conversation with my customer, she mentioned she would be staying at this special bed and breakfast in Savannah. I immediately called and located the exact B&B and told them my plans. I was able to have the bracelet shipped directly from the company to the B&B to be waiting in her room. Further, she had a big flower arrangement in the room that simply read “Enjoy your weekend together … Justin.” Give them service they would never expect.


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

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