Professional Jeweler Archive: Back to Basics: Tricks of the Trade

August 2000

Managing/Sales Training


Back to Basics
Staff Meeting #3: Tricks of the Trade

Third in a series of meeting outlines to help you train your sales staff


Having brought your staff up to speed on greeting customers properly, establishing rapport and being good listeners in the first two Back to Basics meetings, you’re now ready to cover some tricks of the trade.

Each of the following hints stands on its own, each is subject to slightly different interpretation by trainee and trainer and not all come into use with every customer interaction. Still, if you call on them as needed, one or more of them can make the difference in closing a sale.

Please remember this outline is just that: an outline. The finishing touches are yours to design as you customize your session. As in all educational meetings, your success as a facilitator comes with motivation, brevity, personalization, attendee participation and positive spin.

We like to reward correct responses and inspired output in our meetings with candy bars. Do your own thing, but ensure your staff walks away feeling they’ve learned – or been reminded of – some valuable information that will help them grow as sales producers.

I. Introduction: Starting Thoughts

A. The aim of this lesson is to review tricks of the trade that will help you close more sales.
B. Widen your horizons by trying or testing even the tips that seem foreign to you.
C. Tweak the tips to fit your personality or discard them if they don’t fit – after you’ve given them a fair chance.
D. Keep an open mind.

II. Don’t Prejudge; Looks Can Deceive

A. We all have an anecdote about someone who walked into our store looking like they’d just emerged from a trash pile but made a major purchase (elicit examples).

III. Be a Retail Chameleon: Adjust Your Approach, Presentation and Personality to the Client

A. If you’re talkative and your customer clearly wants to “get it over with,” you should just cut to the chase.
B. If you like to use your sense of humor to ingratiate yourself but your customer is “all business,” turn it down a notch to make the customer more comfortable.
C. If you’re loud and she whispers, if you’re technical and she could care less, if you like to sit and she wants to stand, do what you can to increase her comfort level.
D. The more you mirror customers – without mimicking them – the more at home they will feel.

IV. Start at the Top

A. A couple want to buy a diamond bracelet and you have eight between $1,000 and $10,000. Show the most expensive one first. This works because it:

1. Shows them you haven’t prejudged them.
2. Flatters them.
3. Often elicits their budget without flat-out asking “What did you want to spend?” They might say “That’s a beautiful bracelet but we wanted to spend about $2,000.
4. Enlightens them as to what’s available.
5. Increases your chance because it’s easier to sell down than up.
6. Maximizes the opportunity without overselling because it shows the customers the best they can afford. If you show the $2,000 piece first, they might leave with it and use the remaining $3,000 they were going to spend for new golf clubs.

V. Sell Up if You Advertise Loss Leaders or Promotional Items to Draw Traffic

A. Don’t hesitate to show what a customer asks to see.
B. Take out the promotional piece and a better piece (heavier or higher quality) simultaneously.
C. Don’t talk down the leader; talk up the upgrade.
D. If apropos, present the difference in price in dollars per month, not total dollars; it sounds easier to afford.
E. Amortize the price difference over the years the piece will be worn to minimize the financial impact in the client’s mind.

1. “The advertised piece is a great value, but if you step up to the 2-ct. diamond knowing she’ll wear it for at least 20 years, you’ll spend only another $5 a month. Isn’t she worth $5 a month?

VI. Talk Dollars vs. Percentage

A. If offering a small discount to help close the sale, it’s more impressive to say, on a $1,000 piece, “I can save you $100 today” instead of “I can offer you 10% off.” The $100 represents measurable savings.

VII. Benefits vs. Features: Sell the Former

A. Show your clients what’s in it for them.

1. Wrong: “This solitaire has a six-prong head.” Right: “This solitaire has a six-prong head that will protect the diamond in the event it’s bumped.
2. Wrong: “This watch is water-resistant.”
Right: “This water-resistant watch will withstand accidental splashes, raindrops, perspiration, etc.”

VIII. Shop the Competition

A. Always know what’s going on in the competitive shops around you.

1. You sound more knowledgeable because you are.
2. You can better respond to objections your customer may raise.

IX. Walk Your Store, Especially After Days Off, Vacation, Etc.

A. See newly arrived merchandise.
B. See new locations of older merchandise.
C. See housekeeping needs, burned-out bulbs, presentation opportunities, etc.

This simple outline packs a lot of information and potential for discussion. If you get a lot of participation and run out of time before you finish, stop at virtually any point and continue at the next session.

Coming Next: “Romancing the Sale”

–by Christine Anzell & Jack Levenson

Christine Anzell and Jack Levenson are well-known sales trainers in the jewelry industry.


Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications