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Smooth Seller: Suzanne Cannon

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This Illinois “Smooth Seller” works to turn customers into friends.

[h3]Suzanne Cannon[/h3]

[h5]Steffan’s Jewelers; McHenry, IL[/h5]

[componentheading]Smooth Seller Interview[/componentheading]

• My favorite thing about my job is turning customers into friends. Almost all the friends I have now I met through the store. I go to weddings and funerals, and people bring their kids in to the store. Seeing these friends leave the store with jewelry they really want to own is sheer joy for me.

The thing that bugs me the most is when customers have no clue what real quality is and that 70 percent off really isn’t true. 

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I absolutely love the holidays because they are pure energy. And it’s great to be busy. 

I only call customers to chat and say hi. Just general conversation. I like to call people I haven’t seen for some time. If I know a girlfriend or wife really wants something I’ll call the boyfriend or husband to let them know. They always thank me for calling and ask if I would do so more often. I can’t through a client list and call people with a pitch. If you sincerely and truly want to help people then call them, don’t sell them. If you know the difference between making a sales [phone] call and just calling someone to talk, you’ll be a successful salesperson. 

To get psyched up for a day at work, I always have a positive and energetic mood. 

When I’m sick, or just having a bad day, I get through the day by faking it. Put yourself out of your body and make it a point to get through the day. If you dwell on being sick, then you’ll be sick. Find ways to think of other things or find a silver lining, such as “I made it work safely” or “although I’m sick with the flu, I’m generally in excellent health” … those sorts of things.

My biggest sales day ever was just last Christmas. I sold a three-stone Hearts On Fire custom-made pendant. The sale was just over $200,000. The customer wanted to buy his wife a [diamond three-stone pendant set with] pear shapes he saw in a magazine. I showed him the Hearts On Fire Dream Cut (a modified princess cut), which had much more brilliance. This is a regular customer and friend who likes one-of-a-kind jewelry. He said, “if you think she’d like it, I trust you”. When writing up the sale he said it was the biggest check he’d ever written, for any item — not just jewelry — in his life. That really took me aback.

[blockquote class=orange]If you sincerely and truly want to help people then call them, don’t sell them.[/blockquote]

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I enjoy selling diamond jewelry. These sales are second to none because they’re almost always given for love occasions. 

The seminar that had the biggest effect on the way I sell was the Hearts On Fire University. I’ve been through just about every seminar that’s out there. We had the Hearts On Fire goods in our store for five months and hadn’t sold a single item. After attending the Hearts On Fire University we average selling a few HOF pieces a week. The seminar also made me realize that a jeweler doesn’t have to discount to close the sale. And that most people really do want to buy the very best. A salesperson simply has to offer it to them. 

When I’ve made a good sale I reward myself with jewelry. 

My favorite annual event is the “Ladies’ Day” we host every November. We have a huge party of over 200 women. Lunch is catered in along with champagne. We hold prize drawings, play games and have a lot of fun. We’ve been hosting this event for about 20 years. 

My customers trust me because I tell them the truth and offer price ranges they can afford.

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

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