Columnists Brad Huisken Four areas where salespeople need knowledge & training

Four areas where salespeople need knowledge & training

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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.

Customers expect salespeople to be the expert, and I am sure that most professional salespeople want to be experts.  Therefore, salespeople must do everything within reason to constantly look at increasing their skills, abilities, and thus knowledge.  Read the industry trade journals.  Talk to the various merchandise representatives, do some research on the Internet, talk to your fellow salespeople that may have expertise in a specific area.

One of the biggest problems that I see in retail jewelry is that too many salespeople learn just what it takes to get by.  Be something different, be extraordinary, and go above and beyond the normal.  I know that knowledge is the key to success, not only in jewelry sales, but in all aspects of life as well.

The four areas are:

1) Sales Techniques - Know how to make initial contact, and how to greet a customer in a non-pushy and aggressive way.

Learn how to determine the customer’s needs.  The easiest way is through a series of open-ended questions that are designed to capture the maximum amount of information from the customer.  Learn how to demonstrate merchandise in a way that increases the customer’s perception of value using features, benefits, and agreement questions.  Have a toolbox of closing techniques that will help you close more sales.  Learn how to sell people add-on items through getting the customer to tell you what they are going to buy next.  When a customer says, “I’ll be back” they are not necessarily coming back.  They have objections that you need to learn how to handle.  Practice different ways to give and receive turnovers in a way that doesn’t offend customers.

2) Product Knowledge - Know how to talk to the customer in terms of not only the technical aspects of the jewelry, but the emotional aspects as well.  How to describe the features and benefits in terms that the customer understands, knowing inventory levels, prices by memory, financial considerations, etc.

Product knowledge is one of those things that you have to have.  However, you may not need to use it.  If the customer needs a technical presentation, then you have to be prepared to give a technical presentation.  If the customer is more emotionally driven, you may not need to use any of your technical product knowledge.  Be prepared for every different type of customer.

3) Operational Knowledge - Knowing how to write up job envelopes, all the aspects of repairs and maintaining jewelry, how to write up a sales slip, layaway, gift certificate, knowing how to use the tools of the trade, putting things back where they go, all the company’s policies and procedures, etc.

I have seen many sales lost for dumb operational reasons that just shouldn’t have happened.  I once saw a jewelry salesperson lose a sale because they couldn’t find a diamond loupe.  Be prepared in all the different areas of the total store operation.

4) Customer Service Skills - Knowing how to sincerely thank a customer and invite them back, exceptional communication skills, understanding and applying non-negotiable customer service standards i.e., if you say it - do it, no personal problems in business, satisfy every customer, etc.

No one area is any more or less important than another area. A salesperson has to be trained in all aspects of the job in order to reach their maximum potential and to capitalize on the opportunities that are present in each and every company. A trained sales staff is essential to success in today’s jewelry marketplace. Again, the only thing that separates one jewelry store from another, in the customer’s eyes, is the people that work in the store.

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is President of IAS Training.  Mr. Huisken authored several books on sales, and has developed sales training programs in use throughout the country. He and his staff of trained professionals also conduct in-house training and consulting all over North America on an ongoing basis.  In addition, he publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight.” For a free subscription or more information on training, contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or www.iastraining.com.

 
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