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December 1999

For Your Staff: Selling Insights

Make Yourself the Best in the Business

Four sure-fire methods to boost your sales potential

You know the 4Cs of selling diamonds, but there are other 4Cs to practice to make yourself the best in the business of selling all jewelry:

  • Contacts.
  • Chutzpah.
  • Closing techniques.
  • Consistency.

Orley Solomon, senior vice president of personnel development at Ben Bridge Jeweler, Seattle, WA, developed this list during his 40-year jewelry sales career and shared them during Professional Jeweler's recent PrimeTime Fall Marketplace & Conference in Las Vegas, where he presented a seminar sponsored by the magazine and coordinated by Charlotte Preston Catalysts, White Bear Lake, MN.


The first step toward shining on the sales floor is to be unafraid to meet people – inside the store or out. Befriending new people is the nucleus of growing your client list. Follow the newspaper – if there's an article about someone, clip it and send it to him or her with a quick note to make a connection.

Solomon recommended spending 15-30 minutes a day learning about other people's businesses. A member of Solomon's tennis club was a highly regarded vascular surgeon. Solomon read about a new surgical technique in the newspaper and engaged the surgeon in conversation about it. A friendship developed, and so did a profitable business relationship when the surgeon began doing his jewelry shopping at Ben Bridge. "You've got to do this, and if you're a manager, you've got to get everyone to do it," he said.

Remember names. Create a mental image of the name to prompt your memory – the wilder the better. When Solomon met a woman named Hillary Ferris, she was 81/2 months pregnant, so his image has always been of her atop a Ferris wheel at that stage in her pregnancy. "I can't forget her now," he says.


Solomon's definition of this term is being fearless. Have the guts to leave your comfort zone, to push yourself to succeed, he said. Take on new challenges. And make new friends – because they will become clients.

Closing Techniques

Many people miss the boat when it comes to closing the sale, he said, and only 10% of all customers will buy after the first attempt to close so be persistent. If a man is shopping for an anniversary present, for example, celebrate with him and find out all the details – how long they've been married and how they plan to celebrate. Get that customer excited and ready to buy.

Confidence can close the sale. Take control of the situation and give the customer a gentle nudge. "Tell them 'You've got to have this, she'll love it and you're going to be a hero,'" Solomon advised. Build evidence that the customer's making a good choice to close the sale. If it's a woman buying something for herself, for instance, tell her that every time she wears that piece for jewelry, she'll look good, which will make her feel good.

If every other closing technique fails, Solomon recommends sending a piece home on approval, especially if it's a gift and the customer is trustworthy. Take a deposit and send it home. "They rarely return them," says Solomon, "and they always come back to pay."


You must consistently keep a positive attitude to create new sales, Solomon said. Be at your best for every customer, at every opportunity, every day and your success is guaranteed.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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