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Smooth Seller: Lisa Garber

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“Don’t be phony” says Smooth Seller from Scottsdale, AZ.

[h3]Lisa Garber [/h3]

[h5]Galicia Fine Jewelers; Scottsdale, AZ [/h5]

[componentheading]PROFILE[/componentheading]

[dropcap cap=L]isa Garber owns two boutiques in Scottsdale, AZ, where she employs eight people and showcases her own designs as well as other designer collections. The New York native moved to Arizona nine years ago to raise a family with her husband, who was ready to leave his career on Wall Street for warmer, more laid-back climes. She’s still enjoying the weather — most days. “Nobody comes out when it’s 118 degrees,” she says. “Believe me, the last thing on your mind is going shopping for anything. But it’s still better than snow. You don’t have to shovel it.” Her best advice for sales people starting out in the jewelry business is to become well-versed on the product. Education brings confidence. And honesty sells. “If I’m shopping and I try on a dress and know it looks hideous, and the sales person tells me it looks beautiful, I know they are not being honest. I expect honesty from my whole staff, because I want to establish a relationship with these people; I don’t want to just sell them once.”— EILEEN MCCLELLAND [/dropcap

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[componentheading]INTERVIEW[/componentheading]

When I first moved to Arizona, I went to a high-end spa and asked if I could do a trunk show with my jewelry designs. There I was, set up with my jewelry rolled out in front of me. People would politely glance and smile and walk away. I felt very discouraged and even a little embarrassed. Then this older lady stopped by and started to take several pieces and set them aside. I figured she was just playing and killing some time. After several minutes, her stylist came by to get her for her appointment. The lady looked at me and said “I’ll take all of these,” and walked away. I thought to myself, “Oh no! She probably thinks they’re costume!” I found the owner and quickly told her what had just happened. The owner looked at me and smiled, “that would be Jocelyn and she knows it’s real.” This lady bought $7,500 in jewelry from me that day. She went on to be one of my best clients. Years later, I told her she gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams and the hope that I would keep selling my designs.

[blockquote class=orange]Don’t take it personally when you are in a slump. Everybody goes through it at one point in their lives. There have been times that I felt I couldn’t close a door, never mind a sale. I used to be real hard on myself, but have learned that if I start feeling that way, I open my client book and start making calls. I start talking to my clients about the designs we have just created, and right away start feeling better. [/blockquote]

Don’t be phony. If a pair of earrings really doesn’t look good on the client, tell her so, BUT suggest something in its place. She’ll appreciate that 100 percent and you can almost guarantee that you’ll have a client for life!

A good salesperson should always have knowledge of what he or she is selling. Knowledge leads to confidence, and confidence leads to generating sales!

To get psyched up for a day at work, I always open up my sketchbook to look at the new ideas I’m working on, or open up some great fashion magazines to look at the jewelry designs.

My secret weapon for selling is being able to think fast on my feet.

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My favorite type of customer is the woman who has successfully made it in life and doesn’t need anybody to buy her anything because she can afford to do so all by herself. It’s the woman who marches to the beat of her own drum!

A cushion-cut diamond bracelet for $270,000 was my biggest single sale ever.

The ideal salesperson has personality, knowledge about what they are selling, and confidence.

I’m always surrounding myself with fashion magazines, so I can keep up with the trends.

We call clients if we get in a piece that we know they would love. We also call a few days after their purchase to make sure that they are happy. The one thing that we always do is send out a thank-you card.

I am always searching for new and creative ideas, from party themes to designs.

I surf the Internet for clues into next season’s color schemes.

[blockquote class=orange]If the customer is a gentleman, I always gift wrap his present. If it’s a lady, I always have some little gift that I stick into her purchase bag. [/blockquote]

Lately, it has been the economy that makes me nervous. It seems everybody is talking about how slow they are in their business.

The mistake I catch myself making most frequently is micromanaging.

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What type of jewelry do I enjoy selling most? Diamonds! I love the way they sparkle and make everyone smile. It is inevitable that when anybody puts on a diamond ring, the first thing they do is break into a great smile.

My favorite thing about my job is that 99 percent of the time, I am able to share in a joyous occasion with my client.

In looking back on my early days in retail jewelry sales, I can’t believe I used to travel everywhere with at least $50,000 of jewelry at any given time. I would be on a subway in New York and think to myself, “I bet nobody on this train would ever think I have $50,000 of jewelry on me right now.” (Lucky for me, huh?)

I believe you must always surround yourself with the best possible people in order to be successful. The better your team is, the better you shine! We never isolate each other, and are always in communication. If there is a problem, let’s talk about, fix it and move on.

• My sales mantra? Go Big or Go Home!

[span class=note]This story is from the June 2008 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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