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Smooth Sellers

Smooth Seller: Tammy Mcauley

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Top salespeople share their secrets

[h3]Tammy McAuley[/h3]

[h5]Scoville Jewelers; Glens Falls, NY[/h5]

[componentheading]PROFILE[/componentheading]

Smooth Seller: Tammy McAuley

[dropcap cap=A]t an age when other teens were flipping burgers, Tammy McAuley was starting her career in the jewelry business. McAuley got her first job in a jewelry store at 14 thanks to her brother. After graduating from college with a BA in marketing, she began working for various jewelers, but really evolved as a salesperson at Scoville Jewelers, where she has spent more than half of her 16 years as a retail jewelry salesperson. In its last fiscal year, Scoville Jewelers sold $2.2 million with Tammy selling nearly $700,000 of that amount … thanks to her high closing ratio of 80%.

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Housed in a historic building in downtown Glen Falls, Scoville Jewelers has served the city’s mainly middle to upper-middle class community from a Victorian-style jewelry parlor for over 50 years. The store specializes in beautifully-cut diamonds, colored gemstones and custom design work. They have four jewelers on staff with a full service repair shop.[/dropcap]

[componentheading]INTERVIEW[/componentheading]

• My biggest sale ever was to a regular customer who wanted to buy a three-stone anniversary ring for his wife. He started with a budget of $10,000, but I up-sold him to a $28,000 ring. Not only was it a big sale but it was an important one in that he showed a lot of trust in my judgment. I knew his wife wanted something bigger and also knew he could afford it.

[blockquote class=orange]The last time I cried in the store was when a woman’s husband just died and she brought in her engagement and wedding ring and asked us to “do something” with it.[/blockquote]

• The hardest I’ve ever laughed was when I was waiting on this young guy and a co-worker put one of those large afro-type colored wigs on. It was near Halloween and a co-worker put the wig on and got me to look at her across the store when I was helping a customer. I broke out laughing in the middle of a diamond presentation. Luckily, the customer took it in stride.

• The last time I cried in the store was when a woman’s husband just died and she brought in her engagement and wedding ring and asked us to “do something” with it. One of Scoville’s special services is where we take the wedding and engagement rings and solder them together, then turn it into heart pendant and set the diamond wherever the customer wants it set. I suggested we do this for her and she liked the idea. It was a very emotional and very touching time for her, and for me as well in helping the customer complete this custom design piece.  

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• My lucky charms are my diamond loupe and my key ring [to open display cases]. I wear my loupe like a necklace and slip my key ring on my wrist. When I have these two items on, I’m in uniform and ready to roll. I’m like a doctor in a white lab coat and a stethoscope.  

• My customer database is sacred. I have my own system which is using 4” x 6” recipe cards as customer profile cards. I update them at every possible opportunity — whether it’s adding in personal information like an important date or quick notes on a recent purchase or making sure to follow-up after a store visit. This is my tool of the trade. I alphabetize the cards in a small box, but I sometimes make a separate card for my card box that is organized by months to help catch important dates for customers.

[blockquote class=orange]Let’s be honest, that’s what jewelry is all about … love, romance, getting lucky and all that mushy stuff.[/blockquote]

• The phone is an important tool that helps me update my customer profile cards. And, when big events are scheduled, I’ll use spare time to make phone calls two to three times a day. One thing I like doing is calling a couple of ladies in to let them know we just got in some new jewelry that is right up their alley. When I’m talking to them I like to present it as a “special preview” — making them feel they’re the first ones to see these new arrivals.

• My favorite closing line
for a man is “This is going to make you a hero!” Then, I ask if I can gift wrap the item for them.

• The riskiest line I ever used was on a guy was “This is going to get you lucky!” Let’s be honest, that’s what jewelry is all about … love, romance, getting lucky and all that mushy stuff. I knew the guy could handle it and he ended up buying the diamond necklace. I haven’t used the line since. I suppose if the right kind of male customer came along who I thought could handle it I might try that line again.

• I can’t believe I never
used to try for add-on sales. If someone buys a ruby pendant, for example, a chance to sell a matching pair of earrings shouldn’t be missed. I have a high add-on average. I’ll even go for an add-on even if a customer comes in for a watch strap.  

• Is closing a sale better than sex? Closing a sale is a close second to good sex, but it’s not quite better. If it is better, that person needs to trade in their partner!  

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• I’m an active listener and I’m good at remembering things. When people walk through the door I pick up right where we left off from our last exchange. I even send out greeting cards for everything from birthdays to service awards. I like to be active in what’s going on in a customer’s life.

[blockquote class=orange]Closing a sale is a close second to good sex, but it’s not quite better. If it is better, that person needs to trade in their partner![/blockquote]

• I know it’s time to turn over a sale when I can’t get the customer to talk, look or even sneeze at me. It’s at that time I get somebody else to help that customer.

[span class=note]This story is from the April 2005 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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