Columnists Ivan Levi What type of salesperson are you?

What type of salesperson are you?

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POOF! If a magic wand could transform you into a dynamic salesperson, would you do it? Of course you would! In fact, all sales associates dream of breaking sales records – so then, why aren’t there superior sales people in every jewelry store? Let’s explore that.

Why aren’t all sales associates great?

As I visit jewelry stores across the country I have observed the great and the not-so-great sales associates – and the reason for the difference is seen over and over: Sales training.

What level salesperson are you? Chances are you are operating at a higher level if you incorporate sales training into your sales career.

Planned weekly sales training improves sales. Often the store management becomes frustrated when sales are down – but frustration is not a good motivator or an effective sales training method.

Instead, sales teams need guidance to take them to the next level and beyond. And your weekly sales meetings are the perfect place for offering your team direction and motivation.

Who should lead the training?

There are two approaches to sales training: in-house training from management or hiring a professional sales trainer.

If you or a member of your sales team is a selling dynamo, then use that resource to help others that are not so effective at selling. There are people that are naturals at selling – but I passionately believe that any sales associates can be trained to produce higher numbers – if training is provided.

If everyone in your store needs retraining in sales, then contact a professional – but make sure that the trainer will teach at least one person in your store to lead sales training during your weekly sales meetings.

It is vitally important that sales training become a regular event in your store.

One of the issues with hiring a professional is that once the trainer is gone the sales team could revert back into old habits. Stop that cycle with continuing weekly sales education conducted by a member of your team.

What should be taught in weekly sales meetings?

Overall themes for sales training should include: increased sales through suggestive selling, superior customer service, customer database management, and how to close the sale.

Present the themes in user-friendly sessions, such as:

  • How to handle less-than-friendly customers.
  • How to add additional products on each sale.
  • How to gather information for your customer database.
  • How to efficiently handle more than one customer at a time.
  • How to match jewelry with other pieces for additional sales.
  • How to enter into a “selling” mind-set each day.
  • How to ensure repeat business.

Always focus on topics that will zero in on common issues of selling and offer concise solutions.

Improved sales starts before the store doors open in the morning.

Quick... Tell me how many clients you currently have in your customer database? What is your best opening line when customers walk into your store?  How many past clients have you contacted today to encourage repeat business?

Top jewelry salespeople are disciplined, dedicated, and always planning – and that includes daily work when not face-to-face with customers. Superior sales numbers are no accident. The behind-the-scenes work starts before the first person walks in your store.

Don’t become passive with sales. Just hoping that someone will walk into your store is an awful approach to selling – but I see it over and over.

Instead, become an active salesperson. There should never be downtime in your store. Your customer database should be constantly updated with your client’s anniversaries, birthdays, and other vital information. Then call or send a note to those clients that have upcoming events and suggest items to entice them into your store. You must take an active role in getting customers through the door.

You see, sales training just isn’t what to say once a customer is in your store, but starts well before they walk in.

Overall, your sales numbers are a reflection of how much training and action you take daily. If you or your sales team are operating on a level that isn’t producing the numbers you would like, then it’s time to take action and incorporate sales training during your next weekly sales meeting.

Unfortunately there may not be a magic wand to create superior salespeople, but used correctly, sales training works like magic!

Ivan Levi is celebrating his 27th year in the jewelry industry.  He is president of Ivan Alan jewels® and Ivan Alan Solutions™.  His dynamic sales training seminars are attended throughout the country at trade shows and in-store meetings.  To contact Ivan for seminar information, call 800-235-1918.

 
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