Professional Jeweler Archive: Back to Basics, Part 2

September 2000

Managing: People

Back to Basics:
Staff Meeting No. 2: Tricks of the Trade

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

In our “back-to-basics” lesson plans in the June issue (p. 164), we covered first impressions, greeting the customer, tricks of the trade and romancing the sale.

This outline covers the first half of “bridging the gap” – building the relationship that happens between greeting the customer and closing the sale.

Competition is stiffer than ever. The Web, television, warehouse clubs, volume discounters, upstairs operations, volume discounters, department stores, and chains all want a piece of the pie. Regardless of what type of operation you own or manage, stand apart. Build relationships, and here’s where you begin. (A quick reminder on giving these meetings the greatest impact: keep them positive, brief, interesting, motivational, personalized, customized and open to the participation of all in attendance.)

Aim of this lesson: to review the dos and don’ts of making the presentation – that all-important time between the opening and closing of the sale.

Some Starting Thoughts

  • In this business, being a good listener is more important than being a good talker.
  • Whatever the customer has to say is more important than what we have to say.
  • We don’t just want to make a sale; we want to make a customer.

I. Communicating
  1. Speak less; listen more.
  2. Ask open-ended, descriptive questions that help you guide your customer toward the right price. Examples:

1. For whom are you shopping?

2. What’s the occasion?

3. What does he/she look like?

4. What do they do for a living?

5. What are his/her hobbies, interests?

6. What is his/her taste, style, preferences?

7. What other type of jewelry does he/she wear?

C. Listen to their answers.

1. Being a focused listener takes effort.

2. Observe body language too.

a. Tom Hopkins quote: Successful salespeople “listen not only with their ears but with their eyes.”

3. Absorb.

4. Think about merchandise options as you listen and watch.

II. Tools of the Trade

  1. Being professional means being prepared.
  2. Don’t have to go hunting for:

1. Keys.

2. Loupe.

3. Tweezers.

4. Polishing cloth.

5. Counter pad.

6. Certificate.

7. Calculator, etc.

This is only a brief outline covering a great deal of significant material. If role-playing, discussion and the sharing of anecdotes puts you over your allotted time before you’ve finished, don’t try to cram it all in. Stop at a sensible point and continue at your next meeting. It’s far more important to cover the material thoroughly and make sure everyone has a grasp of it than to rush and not give it proper attention.

Again, these are outlines to be used as guidelines; the meat of the meeting is up to you. You should always leave time to summarize and exercise too. And if there’s time, begin your next session by reviewing your last.

– by Christine Anzell & Jack Levenson

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

EDITOR’S NOTE: We inadvertently ran No. 3 of this series in the August issue before No. 2, proving not everything is as simple as 1-2-3. We apologize for any confusion. We present No. 2 this month and will pick up with No. 4 in October.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications