Columnists

Squirrel Spotting: 5 More Pointers From ‘The Sales Minute’

ColumnistsAug 03, 2021

Squirrel Spotting: 5 More Pointers From ‘The Sales Minute’

Peter Smith shares additional tips from his new book, which include thoughts on avoiding negative people and using hand gestures.

2021_Peter Smith.jpg
Peter Smith is president of Memoire and Hearts On Fire. He is author of three books, “Hiring Squirrels,” “Sell Something,” and his most recent, “The Sales Minute.” Connect with Smith on LinkedIn or at dublinsmith@yahoo.com.
My column last month introduced five pointers from my latest book, “The Sales Minute: 101 Tips for Retail Salespeople.”

To kick off August, we thought it might be fun to repeat the format for this column by featuring five additional pieces of advice from the book.

If you’d like to read all 101 tips, you can buy “The Sales Minute” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other places where books are sold.

Note that the tips in the book aren’t arranged in any particular order, which I hope will encourage salespeople to open to a given page at any time and put that tip into practice that same day.

This article reflects the random pattern.

Use Hand Gestures
Effective communicators use their hands more when they are speaking. It makes them appear warmer and more relatable. 

People who hide their hands, hold them in a static position, or keep them in their pockets are perceived as less engaging and, perhaps, even threatening. This goes back to our genesis, when we needed to see the hands of approaching strangers to determine if they were carrying a weapon. 

Practice using your hands to communicate. Watch TED talks and notice how often the best communicators use their hands. 

In a post-pandemic world, when shaking hands may become less ubiquitous, showing, and using, your hands to communicate will be more important than ever.

 Related stories will be right here … 

Practice Turnover
Studies show that when we meet someone, we make decisions about them in one-tenth of one second.

Given that, the notion that any one salesperson will connect with every single customer they meet is egotism personified.

Unfortunately, some salespeople see turnover as a personal failure and having to give the customer to a colleague is akin to rubbing salt in the wound. That is not the case.

There are many reasons why a customer might feel uncomfortable with a salesperson, and most of them are not remotely conscious. Plan to turn over customers when the dynamic seems off, whether you’ve just greeted them or have worked with them for a few minutes.

Practice “pulling in the expert” as you introduce the customer to your colleague when you feel like someone else might better connect.

Sell What’s Healthy for the Business
In a perfect world, all products in a store would be equally profitable. That, however, is rarely the case. 

Out of necessity, many stores carry products that, on their own, would not provide enough profit to sustain the business. 

The brands or products are deemed necessary to support the broader business objective but can place a drain on margins and profitability if they constitute too large a proportion of overall sales. 

Blindly reaching for those products, especially if they are at lower price points or loss leaders, can put an unnecessary strain on the business. 

Salespeople should know what categories, brands, or products are deemed essential to the profitability of the business and ensure those products are front and center when they align with the customer’s needs.
Avoid Negative People
There is no value whatsoever in choosing to associate with chronically negative people.

We all have an occasional bad day or a tough moment when we need to vent, but some people seem to have been born to complain and they must be avoided at all costs.

Negativity begets negativity, and the endless cycle of complaining, under-performance, and anticipated and realized disappointment becomes self-fulfilling, not just for the complainer but also for people within their orbit who allow themselves to be pulled into the emotional abyss.

Choose carefully who you spend time with, and avoid or limit your exposure to negative people.

Your sanity will thank you for it.

Don’t Spend From Your Own Pocket 
The reason we explore our customers’ motivations, needs, and desires is to understand what they want and, in the process, to understand what value proposition is most important to them.

Customers bring all sorts of psychological triggers into their shopping experiences, and we cannot make assumptions about what those triggers are without doing the work. 

Believing that your customers see value the same way you do is a mistake that is devoid of context and presumptuous. 

Do your job in uncovering their motivations; don’t spend from your own pocket. 

I hope you enjoyed these tips, and I wish you all good health and a happy summer!

Peter Smithis an industry consultant, speaker, and sales trainer, and author of three books, “Hiring Squirrels,” “Sell Something,” and “The Sales Minute.”

The Latest

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hurricane satellite image
Policies & IssuesJun 20, 2024
5 Safety and Preparedness Tips for Jewelers This Hurricane Season

Jewelers Mutual is advising jewelers along the coast to prepare for above-normal hurricane activity this year.

JVC’s Sara Yood and Tiffany Stevens
MajorsJun 20, 2024
Sara Yood Appointed JVC CEO As Tiffany Stevens Moves On

The leadership change at the organization charged with guiding the industry on legal issues will take effect next week.

Precious: The History and Mystery of Gems Across Time
SourcingJun 20, 2024
Jewelry Expert Helen Molesworth to Release First Book

“Precious: The History and Mystery of Gems Across Time” will be available on Sept. 17.

Untitled design.jpg
Brought to you by
The End of an Era? Lab-Grown Diamonds' Journey Towards Price Stability

As the demand for lab-grown diamond jewelry may still be increasing, the most notable change we are likely to see is price stabilization.

Claire’s interim CEO Chris Cramer
MajorsJun 20, 2024
Claire’s CEO Ryan Vero Steps Down

Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Chris Cramer has been named interim CEO.

Weekly QuizJun 20, 2024
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge by answering these questions.
Take the Quiz
Jewelers of America advocacy trip DC 2024
Policies & IssuesJun 18, 2024
JA, Industry Leaders Take Russian Diamond Import Concerns to D.C.

The group met with lawmakers to raise awareness about the financial, operational, and supply chain harms posed by an EU proposal.

Louis Comfort Tiffany 1900 gold and opal necklace
Events & AwardsJun 18, 2024
Driehaus Museum Displaying Rare Jewels From Chicago Collections

The museum also will host jewelry heist-themed movie nights throughout the run of “Chicago Collects: Jewelry in Perspective.”

1872 x 1052 Gemolite.jpg
Brought to you by
Meet Gemology’s Next Generation Microscope: GIA® Gemolite® NXT Professional Edition

GIA®’s most advanced microscope has new features to optimize greater precision and comfort.

Models wearing Pomellato’s “The Dualism of Milan” collection
CollectionsJun 18, 2024
Pomellato’s New High Jewelry Collection Celebrates Milan

“The Dualism of Milan” collection features two chapters representing the monochromatic and colorful spirit of the city.

Dorian Webb, Kealeboga and Ursula Pule
CollectionsJun 18, 2024
Zales Adds Dorian Webb, Nungu Diamonds to Designer Edit

The Designer Edit, launched earlier this year, highlights up-and-coming jewelry designers.

National Association of Jewelry Appraisers Logo
Events & AwardsJun 18, 2024
NAJA Announces Its Mid-Year ‘Ace It’ Conference

The conference will focus on the “practical ‘how to’ of appraising gems and jewelry,” said NAJA Executive Director Gail Brett Levine.

De Beers CEO Al Cook
EditorsJun 17, 2024
Q&A: Al Cook on the Future of De Beers

The De Beers CEO discussed the Anglo American situation, natural diamond marketing, and why the future of lab-grown diamonds is technology.

Bernd Munsteiner
SourcingJun 17, 2024
Fantasy Cut Inventor Bernd Munsteiner Dies at 81

Known to many as the “Picasso of gems" who modernized the gem cutting field, he is remembered by his family as going through life with open eyes.

Thomas Markle Jewelers interior
IndependentsJun 17, 2024
Thomas Markle Jewelers to Relocate

The Houston-based family jeweler is relocating its flagship just across the street.

Instore and Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference Logos
Events & AwardsJun 17, 2024
Instore Show, Chicago Responsible Jewelry Conference to Co-Locate

The partnership, now in its second year, allows CRJC attendees to register for a free Instore show badge.

Stock image of a gavel
CrimeJun 14, 2024
2 Men Sentenced to Life in 2022 Murder of Detroit-Area Jeweler

In court, Daniel Hutchinson’s loved ones remembered the jeweler as a giver, a role model, and a leader.

Billie Bangle
CollectionsJun 14, 2024
Piece of the Week: Jade Trau’s ‘Billie’ Bangle

Take a walk along this bangle’s diamond “cobblestone” made from round-, pear-, and marquise-cut diamonds.

Graphic with headshots for My Next Question 2024 Las Vegas webinar
Recorded WebinarsJun 14, 2024
Watch: What Happened in Vegas in 2024

The National Jeweler editors discuss the hot topics, best jewels, and current trends that stood out during Jewelry Market Week.

NJSB1.JPG
Supplier BulletinJun 13, 2024
Leading with Innovation: Core Scientific’s Advanced Refining Solutions

Sponsored by Core Scientific

Vera Wang Love True lab-grown diamond engagement ring
FinancialsJun 13, 2024
Signet Awaits Engagement Recovery as Q1 Sales Sink 9%

The company is expecting to see a 5 to 10 percent increase in engagements this year.

QVC HSN logo
MajorsJun 13, 2024
HSN, QVC Parent Company Faces Delisting

Qurate Retail is in the middle of a turnaround plan as it battles declining sales.

45.07-carat step cut fancy vivid yellow diamond
AuctionsJun 13, 2024
45-Carat Yellow Diamond Withdrawn from Phillips Auction

Signed jewels and period pieces stood out at the sale.

Marie Lichtenberg Scapular necklace
TrendsJun 13, 2024
Amanda’s Style File: For the Fathers

Showcase your dad’s personal style with a piece of fine jewelry for Father’s Day.

The Eden Rose Diamond
AuctionsJun 12, 2024
10-Carat Pink Diamond Sells for $13M at Christie’s

“The Eden Rose” is a fancy intense pink diamond that was appearing at auction for the first time.

Charles & Colvard moissanite ring
GradingJun 12, 2024
IGI to Grade Charles & Colvard Moissanite

The partnership follows the launch of the jewelry company’s B2B moissanite platform.

Bruce Cleaver
SourcingJun 12, 2024
Bruce Cleaver Is Gemfields’ New Chair

The former De Beers CEO will step into the role next month.

Rose cut arch cabochons Columbia Gem House
SourcingJun 12, 2024
State of Colored Stones: Why the Market Is More Colorful Than Ever

As prices of “The Big Three” skyrocket, supply dwindles, and focus on sustainability grows, an age of open-mindedness is dawning.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy