Columnists

Squirrel Spotting: 7 Tips for Salespeople This Holiday Season

ColumnistsNov 24, 2020

Squirrel Spotting: 7 Tips for Salespeople This Holiday Season

Peter Smith winds down the year with lessons on smizing, the importance of body language and closing the sale.

Peter Smith is president of Memoire and Hearts On Fire. He is author of two books, “Hiring Squirrels,” and “Sell Something.” Connect with Smith on LinkedIn or at dublinsmith@yahoo.com.
“The future ain’t what it used to be.”

That poignant saying was credited to the great and colorful Yogi Berra, the former Yankees Hall of Fame catcher and mangler of malapropisms.

Yogi left us a few years ago and now resides in the Great Ballpark in the Sky. Or is it Iowa?

Either way, if Yogi was with us today, he might well have recalled that particular gem as we prepare to traverse the remaining weeks of a year that would have stumped a convention of psychics, let alone Yogi.

And, while we’re on the subject of psychics, do they need to publish the dates of their events?

But, I digress.

The end is in sight, and since the coming weeks typically represent a disproportionate amount of our annual business, I thought it worthwhile to revisit and tweak a column on selling tips I wrote last year.

Here they are.

1) Smile (or, Smize) 

At a time when we are picking masks instead of holiday outfits, do not underestimate the power of smiling beneath your cloth protector. In fact, smiling has never been more important. 

Sans masks, you can use your entire face to project a smile. That usually, naturally includes your mouth, as you reveal those pearly whites to convey warmth. 

Here’s the deal, however: fake or inauthentic smiles are actually captured in your eyes. 

Take a look at the photos below, and you can easily see which image reflects a smile and which does not; it’s all in the eyes. 

While wearing a mask, we cannot fake smiling. Our eyes will reveal whether it is real or not. 

Authentic smiling has never been more effective and more important. 

As the orphans famously sang in “Annie,” you’re never fully dressed without a smile. And, believe it or not, people can tell if your smile is genuine just by looking at your eyes, as illustrated in these two photographs.
As the orphans famously sang in “Annie,” you’re never fully dressed without a smile. And, believe it or not, people can tell if your smile is genuine just by looking at your eyes, as illustrated in these two photographs.

2) Hand Gestures

With the suspension of handshaking as a viable option to greet customers, don’t lose sight of the communicative prowess of your paws. 

While we won’t have the rush of oxytocin that accompanies human touch in the near term, studies show that our brain gives 12.5 times more attention to hand gestures than words, so use those hands. 

This has much to do with evolutionary safeguards; if I can see your hands, I’ll know whether you pose a danger to me or not. 

To that end, use your hands in an animated fashion when you are talking to your customers. 

Keep them in view as much as possible, and keep your palms up as much as you can. 

As for greeting the customer, I love seeing people touch their heart when greeting customers. It is a safe, sincere and warm welcome. 


3) Be Efficient

In Michelle Graff’s most recent episode of “My Next Question,” she revisited three retailers she had interviewed in the early days of COVID-19, Holly Wesche, Chad Berg, and Elise Greenberg, to ask them how things were progressing now, months into the pandemic.

One important reveal from the panel discussion was the sense that customers were doing their pre-emptive work online and then coming into their preferred store to make their purchases.

On so many levels, this makes sense. Customers are not going to shop in multiple stores before making a buying decision. That model was already becoming a dinosaur pre-pandemic and is probably close to extinction at this time.

So, what does that mean for salespeople? Simply this—get the customer in and out in as efficient a manner as possible.

Customers will limit their exposure to other people for the foreseeable future and they’ll appreciate you handling their needs expediently so they can get back to the safety of their cars and homes.

4) Priming

The idea of priming is to set the stage for a buying decision. Any doubt about the motivation of customers visiting stores to kick tires should long since have been put to rest.

You can show the greatest respect to customers by acting like they are there to buy and suspending the long overtures and endless product demonstrations.

“Tell me about the person you are buying for?” and, “What are you looking to get done today?” are direct, respectful and appropriate in this environment.

You want to ask open-ended questions, you need to understand the customer’s needs and motivation and to listen and observe their body language, but know that if they visited your store, they want to make a purchase.

Act accordingly.

5) Paradox of Choice

When presenting product options to your customer, less is more. Choice is a good thing—and three options is a great number—but the more you present, the more stress for the customer and the higher the likelihood that you will force them to disengage and go someplace else.

Once you have established the customer’s needs, confidently put three good options in front of them and allow them to pick.

6) Contrast Principle

Using three distinct price points is another way to give the customer options without overwhelming them.

If the stated budget is $1,000, put three options in front of them: $1,000, $1,500, and $2,000.

If they tell you their budget is $5,000, give the customer three options at $5,000, $7,500, and $10,000.

You’ve probably noticed the relationship is 1) at the stated budget, 2) double the budget, and 3) splitting the difference.

This pricing psychology works at any price point as it delivers three options for the customer: honoring the stated budget, stretching the budget big time, and serving an option north of budget but often still attainable.

As you might guess, the customer elects the middle option a disproportionate amount of the time, an awfully good scenario for the store and a satisfied customer, who is often excited about feeling like they could reach a little bit higher.

7) Ask for the Sale

The last point I will make is to ask for the sale.

At some point, the product information must stop, the exploratory questions have been asked and the sale needs to be wrapped up.

Don’t assume the customer will always tell you when they are ready to commit. Sometimes, they need a little push.

Be confident and appropriately lead the conversation. You’ve given them three solid options at three different price points. Ask them, “Which of these makes the most sense for you?” and don’t be shy about giving your informed opinion.

Your customer came in for a reason and you are doing them a great service by helping them to decide.

It’s been a heck of a year for everyone, but the results coming from independent jewelers have been nothing short of remarkable

There are just a few short weeks left in the calendar year and many retailers are in it with a real shot (despite shutdowns) of recovering all of their lost sales from the interruption of business experience earlier this year. It would really be something for that to happen.

I hope the above tips help you to make your goals for season.

Happy holidays!

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

The Latest

IndependentsSep 26, 2022
Roberson’s Fine Jewelry to Close After 42 Years

The store’s liquidation sale will showcase the mix of classic and unique jewels it’s known for stocking.

CollectionsSep 26, 2022
Go ‘Inside the Dream’ of Bulgari Via a New Documentary on Amazon Prime

It follows Creative Director Lucia Silvestri as she crafts the brand’s high jewelry collections.

Recorded WebinarsSep 26, 2022
Watch: What Jewelers Should Know About Insurance

From safeguarding showcases to appraisal liability, insurance experts Mark Devereaux and Andrew Chipman share insurance tips for jewelers.

Brought to you by
6 Steps to Start a Dynamic Company Culture

Learn how to better serve your employees, customers and community by having a dynamic and supportive company culture.

TrendsSep 26, 2022
Vahan Collabs With Wolf on a Jewelry Box

It’s the first time in 50 years the brand has made something other than jewelry.

Weekly QuizSep 22, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
Events & AwardsSep 26, 2022
Texas Jewelers Association Rolls Out New Format for Design Competition

The competition takes place in tandem with TJA’s annual convention, known as the Texas Jewelers Roundup.

CollectionsSep 23, 2022
Pandora Reimagines Keith Haring’s Art in New Collection

The limited-run collection features figures from Haring’s iconic street art on charms, bracelets, rings, and more.

Brought to you by
Committing to an Ethical Diamond Business

While ethical mining is essential to a diamond business, they represent only a fraction of the responsibility bestowed on jewelers.

GradingSep 23, 2022
GIA Career Fair Returns to Carlsbad

The Gemological Institute of America also announced plans for events in New York and London in 2023.

SourcingSep 23, 2022
See the Items in Gem Legacy’s 4th Anniversary Benefit Auction

One hundred percent of proceeds will benefit the nonprofit’s silicosis prevention initiative.

CollectionsSep 23, 2022
Piece of the Week: Emily Weld Collins’ Amulet

Inspired by antique coins, it depicts a “hippocamp” from Greek mythology.

EditorsSep 22, 2022
4 Things Seen and Heard at the 2022 HardRock Summit

Gemstones Editor Brecken Branstrator dishes on the latest color to trend, the show floor buzz, and more from Denver.

TrendsSep 22, 2022
There’s a New Book on Tiffany & Co.

Written by historian Vivienne Becker, it accompanies this summer’s Tiffany jewelry exhibition at London’s Saatchi Gallery.

Supplier BulletinSep 22, 2022
Using Commerce Data to Outshine the Competition in the Jewelry Industry

Sponsored by Bloomreach

SourcingSep 22, 2022
First Diamond Recovered From Burgundy’s Ellendale Restart

Burgundy also announced the retail launch of its diamond brand, Maison Mazerea.

Events & AwardsSep 22, 2022
JCK Industry Fund Now Accepting Applications

Organizations with a project or initiative aimed at bettering the jewelry industry are encouraged to apply.

Lab-GrownSep 21, 2022
An Updated Look at the Lab-Grown Diamond Market: Size, Pricing, and More

As the end of 2022 draws near, National Jeweler offers another deep dive into lab-grown diamond market data.

TrendsSep 21, 2022
These Are the Diamond Jewels to Stock for the Holidays

These trending-yet-timeless pieces are no-brainers for customers in search of the perfect gift.

SourcingSep 21, 2022
A Day in the Life: Daniel Namdar, Fancy Color Diamond Specialist

Namdar joins a long line of diamond experts, but his love of the trade was learned rather than inherited.

Lab-GrownSep 21, 2022
Looking Ahead: 4 Factors That Could Shape Lab-Grown Diamonds’ Future

Growing supply and falling prices likely will make differentiation a necessity and a reality, according to analyst Paul Zimnisky.

AuctionsSep 21, 2022
Egyptomania at Sotheby’s: See the Egyptian Revival Jewels Heading to Auction

The auction house is celebrating 100 years since the discovery of King Tut’s tomb.

MajorsSep 21, 2022
Claire’s Expands Walmart Partnership

The chain’s jewelry and accessories are now available in 2,500 Walmart locations.

Events & AwardsSep 21, 2022
Ethical Gem Fair Heads to NYC for the First Time

The event is slated for Oct. 20-22 at Brooklyn Metal Works.

MajorsSep 21, 2022
Hearts On Fire Announces Sales Teams Changes

Jacqueline Raffi has been promoted to vice president, sales, North America.

CrimeSep 20, 2022
Customs Seizes More Than 700 Counterfeit Cartier ‘Love’ Bracelets

Agents in Cincinnati intercepted three shipments of fake brand-name jewels that would be worth more than $10 million if genuine.

Events & AwardsSep 20, 2022
Harwell Godfrey Nabs CFDA Fashion Award Nomination

The sole fine jewelry nominee, the brand is up for an award in the emerging designer category.

MajorsSep 20, 2022
Signet Expands Loyalty Program, Adds Personal Jewelry Insurance

Customers earn one “gem” for every dollar spent as part of the “Vault Rewards” program, unlocking discounts and special member-only offers.

×

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