Jewelry sales skills are developed over time. Even the longest running salesperson will need to adapt and re-learn how to approach customers in retail sales. Every generation has different preferences and values, and these even rub off on older generations. This changes how you sell over time. Some tips stay the same, others turn on their heads.
1. Always look professional.
One thing that doesn't change is that you should look as professional as possible. Business professional should be the baseline, but suits are ideal. Go for smooth looks more than bold ones – dark suits are preferable to brightly colored ones, for instance. Solid colored or regularly patterned ties are much better than ones with chaotic or unpredictable patterns. The customer is looking for reliability, so look the part.
2. Greet all customers.
The customer who goes ungreeted is one who leaves quickly. Acknowledge them. If everyone's busy, let them know someone will be with them shortly. Actions as simple as that help someone feel comfortable instead of out of place.
That said, don't jump on them immediately with the sales pitch. Let them know you're available for them, and then wait for them to come to you. Some will take a minute.
3. Spread out!
There's nothing wrong with employees talking when things are slow. It can help them stay loose and relaxed. Just make sure they aren't all batched together. If you walk in and a very tight cluster of people look at you, you want to walk out again. It feels cultish. You feel like you've interrupted something. If you walk in and employees are at different points throughout the store, then it looks like they're ready to engage customers.
4. Keep up to date on your inventory.
Sales is about finding a rhythm and comfort level. Nothing breaks this more than a failure of knowledge. You have to check to see if you have a design in a different material, or an interlocking set of the type of jewelry a customer is seeking. That interrupts the conversation and forces you to start that comfort level over from the beginning. There'll always be something asked straight out of left field that you don't know the answer to. The key is to minimize how often this happens. You do that by knowing your inventory (and where your tools are!) well.
The more you know your inventory, the more you can upsell to something a little bit more impressive. Never contradict the customer about their taste. Instead, introduce them to different versions of what they're looking at – a different gem, a different cut, a stronger look. Don't try to talk them out of one purchase because you may talk them out of any purchase. Instead, simply help them see an additional choice and how it builds on their already excellent taste.
6. Clean it up.
Keep the jewelry clean. It's handled regularly. Some will try it on. Fingerprints will stick all over, and who knows if the customer was eating something beforehand. Polish everything before you set it back in the case. Then polish the case. You don't want anything to look used or worn.
7. Replace the lights.
If any lights go out, replace them immediately. Whether it's overhead or in the showcase, a light gone out suggests a state of disrepair. If your lights are in disrepair, then how can the state of your jewelry be trusted? Make sure staff know how to safely replace a light, and that they're willing to help each other do so quickly.
8. Treat everyone like they have money.
One of the most important jewelry sales skills is to avoid making snap judgments. You don't know who does or doesn't have money, or who is or isn't seriously looking. Tech billionaires wear jeans and old t-shirts. Skilled tradespeople who are in high demand come in with the dust of the day's work still on them. Some of those wearing the most expensive suits will be the ones least likely to make a purchase. Do not try to assess whether someone can or can't afford what you're showing them. Treat everyone with the same respect and serious engagement.
How to approach customers in retail sales comes down to reinforcing the reason why they're there, and supporting their comfort at being there. Remember that your best closer is the customer themselves. They're the ones who will ultimately convince themselves on a purchase. Get the customer at ease and happy. Boost their confidence. Reinforce their taste. Make the sale.