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Smooth Sellers

Smooth Seller: Isaac Castro

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Iaac Castro has always been a fast starter.

[h3]Isaac Castro[/h3]

[h5]Weston Jewelers; Weston, FL[/h5]

[componentheading]PROFILE[/componentheading]

Smooth Seller: Isaac Castro

[dropcap cap=I]saac Castro has always been a fast starter. He began his retail jewelry selling career at J.C. Penney’s as a teenager and quickly found himself one of his store’s leading salespeople. Then, after leaving J.C. Penney’s to sell higher-end watches and jewelry at Mayor’s Jewelers, he was quickly fast-tracked for appointment-only sales, again becoming his store’s top seller. After 10 years, he left Mayor’s and eventually started working at Weston Jewelers as store manager and has, once again, become the store’s top seller. Although he has only been at Weston’s since February, at press time his sales so far this year are at an impressive $1.7 million — and it’s not even Christmas.

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Weston Jewelers offers fine jewelry, watches and accessories to upscale customers – mostly “gated community” home-owners in this exclusive Florida area. Weston’s is situated in the heart of the Weston Town Center, amid a collection of boutiques, fine restaurants, wine cellars, and more. Weston’s is currently moving to a new home within the Town Center – with a grand opening scheduled for this month. Store owners Ed and Tracey Dikes carry jewelry by well-known designers such as Charriol, Roberto Coin, David Yurman and more. But the couple pride themselves on the store’s range of premier watch lines including Cartier, Piaget, Montblanc, Franck Muller, Vacheron Constantin, IWC and Breitling.[/dropcap]

[componentheading]INTERVIEW[/componentheading]

• Memorable sale: a young woman came into the store, dressed pretty low-key. She had had a hectic day and was looking for a birthday gift for her husband. She ended up buying a Corum Lucifer — a $10,000 watch. We really hit it off because she liked me going the extra mile for her in terms of service and I didn’t prejudge her. Three weeks later, she came in and purchased $200,000 worth of watches and jewelry, some for her and some for her husband – he’s a watch freak who loves Corum. When she mentioned me to her husband she had forgotten my name but called me “her Cuban jeweler.” Weeks later, her husband came in to the store and asked for the “Cuban jeweler.” We had a good laugh over it and we talked a while. He ended spending $400,000 that day on jewelry for himself and his wife. They’ve become very loyal customers. They don’t even call the store’s main number any more. They call my cell phone directly.

• I don’t think about the sales numbers I think about having a great day at the store.  

• When sales are on
and it’s busy I’m thankful and pleased that I’ve done well. If it’s a slow day, I see it as the calm before the storm.

• A wealthy customer
came in and left his watch to be overhauled. He was very specific about the re-finishing of the watch because the last time he had it repaired, it wasn’t re-finished well. This watch needed a lot of work and it was an “I want it yesterday” sort of thing. I put my best two watch guys on it, one who’s great at repairs and the other great at re-finishing. But with the number of repairs in the shop, and the finish date I promised, the job was rushed, and the customer wasn’t happy with the work. The store didn’t lose this customer. I did. The lesson learned: under-promise and over-deliver.  

• The best sales advice
I ever got was when I was working at Mayor’s. Another sales guy asked me if I wanted to know the secret of selling. He told me that when a customer walks through the door they’ve already decided to buy something. You don’t have to slam-dunk them with the sale. Just be their friend and the sale will come along.

• Now that I’m a little older I dress more conservatively with solid-colored pants – but with a nice shirt and a cool tie. I love ties. Recently I gave away a bunch of my ties, and now I’m down to about 250. I also like shoes.

[blockquote class=orange]You don’t have to slam-dunk them with the sale. Just be their friend and the sale will come along.[/blockquote]

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• When there’s downtime at the store I simply pick up my cell phone and start dialing. My top customers are all in my cell-phone address book. So, I’ll just sit down and start calling them. When I do, it’s never about selling. It’s just small talk about them, their family or just to shoot the breeze. Next thing I know, they’re asking about what’s new at the store.  

• I’m awesome on the phone. And, I’m always on the phone. My customers call me for everything because I know so many people. That’s how I best serve my customers. Through knowing and networking with my customers, I help put them in touch with other people. Recently a customer asked me if I knew someone who could help them put in a pool. I said “yeah, I have three customers in the pool business.” I help them and they feel indebted and grateful. This keeps them thinking of me and makes them loyal customers.  

• I don’t have favorite opening or closing lines. I welcome customers to the store much like I welcome people to my home, offer them something to drink and then get right into asking questions — what I call “probing the customer.” If I don’t close the sale within 10 minutes, I start to get bored and start selling. It’s not that I don’t mind taking extra time with certain customers, but when I start pulling out tray after tray, I know I’m selling them. At that point I need to reassess the customer and decide whether to keep working with them or just hand off the sale because I’m just not mixing well with them.

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

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