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Smooth Seller: Peggy Rainbow

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This Georgia “Smooth Seller” has made a successful move from gym to gems.

[h3]Peggy Rainbow[/h3]

[h5]Worthmore Jewelers; Atlanta, GA[/h5]

[componentheading]PROFILE[/componentheading]

[dropcap cap=P]eggy Rainbow, 38, was managing a gym in Atlanta, GA, when she noticed a sign for part-time sales help next door at Worthmore Jewelers. She applied and got the job working weekends. “I was closing sales left and right,” Rainbow says. “That’s when I knew it would be a lot of fun. Harris Botnick, the owner, started begging me to work full-time.” She began working full-time in 2000, started work on her G.G. degree the next year and by 2006, she had been promoted to vice president. Now she is studying for a degree in international business with a minor in marketing. Rainbow has used her business knowledge to help brand the store as a fun place to shop, giving it a presence on MySpace and FaceBook and helping to redesign the website. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” she says. “We’re always bantering back and forth. It helps relax people. When you’ve got a guy in the store getting ready to spend $20,000 on an engagement ring, he’s nervous. Humor helps relieve tension.” Rainbow is also known for being a bit cocky. “I strut around like a peacock,” she admits. — EILEEN MCCLELLAND [/dropcap]

[componentheading]INTERVIEW[/componentheading]

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• Do I do any homework? What good salesperson doesn’t? I do a lot of it. Reading books, attending seminars, and any time I am in a store I am studying other sales people for what to do and what not to do. 

• If I’m tired or sick,
or just don’t feel like working, I tell myself to be thankful I don’t have some boring job sitting in a cubicle behind a desk.

• The one piece of advice I would offer other salespeople is to build relationships with your customers. It’s not about making a one-time sale, selling the biggest thing you can and then they leave. You want them to come back.

• Favorite closing line: This is guaranteed to keep you out of that doghouse you’ve been living in lately.

• When I make my first approach to a customer, I’m thinking, how can I make this person laugh? I have fun. I am constantly cutting up and making people laugh. Customers remember when they have a good time.

• To get psyched up for a day at work, I always look at my goals list.

• The book that had the biggest effect on the way I sell was Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Selling. I read a lot of sales books but Jeffrey wrote it in a way that you speak every day. It’s not technical. He just puts it in such plain language that you just get it right away.

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• Teamwork is key. That’s the one thing I have learned on my own that I would hate for other salespeople to have to learn on their own. On looking back on my early days in retail jewelry sales, I can’t believe I used to not believe in teamwork. Teamwork is crucial. Without it, no one would be successful.

[blockquote class=orange] The ideal salesperson has passion, integrity and is a good listener.  [/blockquote]

• The best salesperson I’ve ever seen is the guy at the Apple Store Genius Bar. I watched him for two hours. He was incredible. He was animated and he spoke well, and he really took time to listen and understand. When the customers spoke with him they were usually having an issue with their computers and they were not happy. One guy was very irate. But the salesperson had the ability to turn the situation into a positive. Every single customer in that two-hour period left happy. It was pretty amazing and I learned a lot that day.

• Favorite opening line: How can I help you spend your money today?

• I know a sale is clinched when the customer continues to hold the piece of jewelry, and by their body language.

• When I’m selling, the celebrity I’m most like is Muhammad Ali. Just like his slogan, “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” That’s me. Graceful in my sales approach, confident in myself, and I have the knockout punch to close the sale.

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• To sell jewelry, you must love jewelry. Why? Have you ever tried to sell something you don’t love? It doesn’t work.

• I know a sale is going south when I can’t communicate with the customer.

• I know it’s time to take a few days off when I don’t care about making a sale.

• If I met someone on their very first day in jewelry sales, my advice would be to ask questions and become familiar with the jewelry in the cases.

• The thing that bugs me the most is when customers overeducate themselves about diamonds.

[blockquote class=orange] My sales mantra: Go above and beyond for the customer. [/blockquote]

• When there are no customers in the store, I always follow through with customers, play with the dog (we have the cutest boxer in the store), and try to get caught up.

• The phone is a very important tool. Usually when I call a customer I open with, “Hey, I’m about to make your day.”

• If I weren’t selling jewelry, I’d probably be selling ice to an Eskimo. Selling something, anything. Just put me in front of someone.

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

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