Last updateWed, 06 Dec 2017 6am

Brad Huisken

Requests for discounts

How should I handle a customer’s request for a discount? A great question, but in order to answer it properly it is important to know whether your company allows discounting. Therefore, I will answer the question both ways, if you work in a store where you are not allowed to discount, and if you are working in a store where discounting is allowed.

Four areas where salespeople need knowledge & training

There are four basic areas where jewelry salespeople need to be knowledgeable, thus they need training in order to perform their job responsibilities.

Imagine an automobile with four tires.  Should one of the tires be low on air, or flat, the automobile would not run efficiently.  The same is true in sales; if one of these four areas is weak, then the sales presentation may take a turn for the worse.

Look in the mirror!

Many retail salespeople take a job in retail as a stepping-stone to what they really want to do with their lives.  They assume that once they figure out what they really want to do as a career, they will move on.  I suggest that as long as you are in the Jewelry Retail Business that you might just as well do the very best job that you can.

If I were passing through, I would want to leave a legacy as the finest that had ever worked for a particular company.  You might as well do the best job that you can while you are there.  Further, you just never know when or if you might decide that retail jewelry is a good career and you might just stay in it for a long time.

One of the things that I love about sales is that the salesperson is in complete control of their future.  Sales is one of a handful of professions where your past doesn’t matter, your past level of education, your past employment history, or any of the circumstances that may have occurred in the past, the salesperson decides their own destiny.  The salesperson can choose their future.

The finest salespeople look at their careers as an opportunity to build a business within a business.  A commissioned jewelry salesperson has the opportunity to make as much money as they want or as little as a minimum wage earner.  A salesperson can choose to be average, below average or exceptional.  The decision is solely that, a choice that each and every salesperson makes - all on their own.  The only person that is holding them back from reaching their goals and aspirations, in many cases, is the person that looks back at them in the mirror every day.

As I stated, a commissioned jewelry salesperson can make all the money they want and at the same time, someone else has all the expenses and the liabilities.  If not on commission, I know that the more you can sell, the more you will be worth to your employer.  All of which just might lead to a pay increase.

Thus, the following is my definition of a True Sales Professional:

“One that causes the exchange of ownership of a product or service based on the customer’s wants and needs, with integrity!”

Too often, other than mere self motivation, what is holding a salesperson back is a lack of knowledge. Many people just simply do not have the information they need.

I would never fault anyone for simply not knowing something. However, I would fault them for not seeking the knowledge and education that they need. How do I grow my business within a business? How do I get people to come back in and ask for me individually? How can I sell more of the people that I talk to? How can I sell more to my repeat customers? Therefore the following are my three ways that a salesperson can increase sales.

There are three basic concepts to increasing sales from the standpoint of a salesperson.

1) Get more people to come into the store. Networking, passing out business cards, asking customers for referrals, telephone/e-mail campaigns, word of mouth advertising, friends & family and more...

2) Sell more of the people that are already coming into the store – increasing  your closing ratio – Be relentless in your pursuit of knowledge in order to increase your productivity. More sales are lost in most jewelry stores than are made. Average closing ratio is about 22% - so 78% of the potential customers are not buying.

3) Sell more to the people that you are already selling to through add-ons and bump-ups. The easiest way to bump up a sale is through increasing the customer’s perception of value in what they are buying. Increase perceptions of value with powerful words that paint pictures of increased value. In order to sell additional merchandise I suggest that you ask at least two solid add-on questions to get your customer to tell you what their next jewelry purchase will  be, then sell it now.

I believe that life is sales. Dealing with your spouse, children, co-workers, employer, friends, relatives, and basically anyone that you come into contact with you are selling to a certain degree. You may be selling a product, a service, or simply selling yourself, but people are always selling.

Nothing in life ever happens until a sale is made. I would suggest that if you can master the science of sales, and then apply your art, with your personality and enthusiasm, then there is no limit to what you might be able to accomplish.

The human being is an incredible thing, that can accomplish anything it wants to accomplish if it wants to bad enough. You just have to want it, and be relentless in your pursuit of knowledge, education, and the desire to make it happen.

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training.  Mr. Huisken has authored several books and training manuals on sales and  produces a Weekly Sales Training Meeting video series along with Aptitude Tests and Proficiency Exams for new hires, current sales staff and sales managers. In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight” For a free subscription or more information contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit his website at www.iastraining.com.

Sales Manager - the toughest job!

I really believe that the job of sales manager is one of the toughest, if not the toughest job in retail. Too often a person is made the sales manager simply because they were one of the best salespeople. Too many times the sales manager is given the job without any formal training or guidance and they are expected to get salespeople to perform. Hopefully this article will shed a little bit of light on the expectations and the strategies necessary to be a successful sales manager.

Training salespeople

As a business owner or sales manager, the first thing that we need to realize is that we are in the business of hiring and training salespeople for the rest of our business lives. Just when you think you have a permanent staff that is fully trained, something will happen. Salespeople will leave, get promoted, forget their past training, or the industry will change. Customer buying habits will change and in all likelihood, the merchandise will change. Everything is always changing. Therefore our training efforts must never stop.

Coaching & selling value!

Years ago, when I started my career in retail I was required to read a book titled “Successful Shoe Salesmanship” by Dr. William Rossi. One statement from that book has stood out in my mind for over thirty years. The statement was: “Give your shoes a reason for being and you give your customer a reason for buying.” In other words, it is up to the salesperson to create value in the merchandise they are selling, whether the item is shoes, jewelry, furniture, electronics or space shuttles.