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100 things a sales person should not do

This is a GREAT article from Instore Magazine.

Go over this at a sales meeting.

Let an associate read it out rather than you

David Geller

Great article about what not to do as a salesperson - and you are a
salesperson at shows, etc.

I walked out of a high-end jewelers in Palm Beach when a salesperson
told me the titanium coating on a stone was it’s natural finish.
Don’t know if she was uninformed, but still she gave the wrong

I’ve done many craft shows although too old to have the stamina now.
My only complaint about my helpful husband was his tendency to chat
with the customers and distracting them from the business at hand.
Focus, guys! Walk around the show when you start getting upset at
people “just looking” and see how many things you would love to buy
if only you could afford them. Changes your viewpoint to the other
side of the counter.

Noralie Katsu

David Geller made a great point…“never judge a person by the
clothing they wear”…true story!

One of my students told me a story about her mother who owned 'many’
car dealerships in a city in South America. She amassed many
thousands of ‘cash sale’ dollars and hid this money in an old
suitcase. She told her daughter, my student, she wanted to buy a very
expensive car but she had a great trick up her sleeve to prove a
point on sales…:>) She is a multi-millionaire! One day she wore a
real dirty run-down dress and she looked like she needed a bath, and
her hair was really natty looking, too boot! she went.

She walked into one dealership and stood around. just standing there
for about 1/2 hour! Not one person came up to her, she walked
out!..but she remembered the name of the dealership and took some
notes of her ‘situation’! woman! She then walked into another
dealership, in a few seconds someone came up to her and asked if she
needed guidance in looking for a car?..She replied “YES! I would like
to pay cash for a new car”…the salesperson helped her and inside of
her paper-bag was all the money she needed to pay for that car. in
full!! This lady, salesman and dealership owner were very happy.

After driving home with her new car, she wrote a letter to that
first dealership and told them what they lost and who she was. They
replied that they were terribly sorry over this ocurrance, could they
make it up to her?..obviously it was to late and she refused! Moral of
this story, never judge a person by what they wear as they enter your

Gerry Lewy


I do a lot of markets and craft shows. One tip I use when you get
some loser wanting to tell you their life story and stand right in
front of your display, blocking the customers.

I pretend my phone is on vibrate, say sorry but I have to take this,
step back and play act.

That gets rid of them. Unless the phone rings LOL.

In my showroom however the client is there to buy and I listen
courteously to what ever they have to say.

Also I always price my standard stock to be able to discount. So
when the customer says “I will walk around (go past my competitors)
and think about it.”

I say “Now I will do the $100 ring for $90.” Most will buy being
offered a discount.

Also if they say “I don’t have that much cash on me.” "I say ‘How
much have you got?’ " If they get close I will sell.

Also with repeat customers I say " Forget the price tag, this is
your price." And give them a good discount.

And say “Don’t tell anyone what you pay.” They really like that and
come back again and again.

I treat my regular clients with the utmost respect and bend over
backwards for them. That is why they are regular customers and my
bank manager and accountant love them.

At point of sale what profit I make to day I make today. No point
waiting for next, week, month etc. The item is sold and will be
replaced. I would rather make $50 profit on a sale today then $70 in
the future. Regular clients like to see what is new not what is old.
“Turn it over my son!” As an old jeweller once said to me.

For one off unique pieces I set my price and stick to it, why?
Because you won’t find it anywhere else and I put my soul into those
pieces and often blood, sweat and tears. My workshop meltdowns are
spectacular and I don’t mean metal.

After making a stupid mistake, cold fury works for me, gets me

Difficult customers revenge. “I would like a pair of those earrings
(stock items) and I will pick them up next week.”

When they don’t turn up on time I sell them. When they come back and
want the earrings I tell them that they did not come on time and I
sold them. If they want another pair made I get at least 50% deposit
on silver and 75% deposit on 18kt. Gets the point across, I am not
their to do your bidding, I am a silversmith, goldsmith and gem

The worst approach for a sales person is “Are your right?”

What works much better is “Have a look around and if you want to try
something on just ask, I will be happy to show you.”

Recently we in OZ had the department stores claiming the internet
was taking their business. No Goods and Services tax on over seas
purchases 10%. It wasn’t the internet stealing their business it was
the poor quality sales staff that had changed the pleasurable
department store experience into one of tedium and rudeness. Employ
gen Y, why? Posts on Facebook “Took Monday off had a hangover.”

A boomer will be there early and leave late and go the extra yards
and will always be courteous. A boomer’s life experience lets them
deal with all levels of customer.

They know who pays the wage, the customer!

My motto is “If all else fails, drop the price to 100% profit.” And
I mean profit.

Make it well and make money and remember the customer is not always
right but they ARE the customer.

Also Manners cost nothing.

Xtines Jewels

Richard - if the phone rings, continue the act and say loudly,
“excuse me, my other line is ringing.” :wink:

David Geller made a great point.."never judge a person by the
clothing they wear"...true story! 

Gerry- this is so true! I have worked with people that judge others
and not only is it a horrible thing to do, but they missed out on
great customers.

I am happy to talk to everyone and appreciate every sale, large and

How can anyone afford not to?
Thanks, Steph S.

When I was 18 (1978) I tested this out in person. I had read the
psychology of clothes and color. I went into the most expensive
shops in town dressed appropriately. I was greeted waited on etc. I
was looking for a Christmas present for my mother and had saved
babysitting money to buy her a very nice one. There was a hand
painted peacock plate that she just loved but would never spend 125
dollars on for herself. Two shops had the plate. Both high end
jewelers. I went back dressed in my tattered work clothes because I
had just wangled a ride from a neighbor I was working odd jobs for
the first shop took one look did not recognize me and refused to let
me enter the store. I pulled out my wad of money and said I guess
you only respect this because I was here last week and you all
treated me much different. When I spoke the sales person recognized
me and flushed red. I said you just lost a large sale and my
business for life. Way to go. The second shop the sales person
smiled (though looked uncomfortable) I said I came back for that
plate. I got my mother that present and found that the book was
correct. People judge by what I call packaging. Since that time I
have always looked past the outer shell to the individual I am
dealing with and I try to every day.


Teri - I lived in the Gulf Islands in British Columbia. When we all
lined up our cars and waited for the ferry, I noticed a very finely
dressed young woman leaving up against an expensive Mercedes talking
to a fellow dressed in tattered jeans and an old sweatshirt near a
dusty and battered vintage pickup truck having a conversation. Then
the announcement came over the loud speaker system for us to return
to our cars because the ferry boarding was going to begin. People
drifted out of the restaurant and the time to catch up with friends
was over and we all went back to our cars. The woman in the fine
clothes got into the pickup truck and the fellow with the tattered
jeans got into the Mercedes and both started their engines. I smiled
at the result. And I don’t know what “appropriately dressed” is
because that’s just another judgement call. When I am painting my
dining room, I paint in the nude because I can wash the paint off my
skin easier than I can get it out of clothing and I feel very free
doing it. It’s my house, my dining room and I don’t have near
neighbours. When my husband lived here, he didn’t mind and he said I
was crazy. If someone looks in the window, all I can say is I hope
what they see doesn’t scare the horses.

Barbara, learning all the time

To add to the comments about the way customers look, as a painter I
often found that the very casually dressed customer was the almost
always the one to buy a painting without any effort to get a bargain.
The ones who were wearing dressy clothes (and a few I knew to be very
wealthy) were the ones to try to get the price down, or who came back
at the end of the day to see if you would give them a "good price"
because the show was over.

This is so true. What an interesting subject about how people are
sized upby some stores due to the human nature of judging.

I have a friend who is older than me and experienced with all things
mechanical. He can build any kind of engine, car, motorcycle. He
helped me rebuild my old British bike and loves to go to motorcycle
shows. Long story short, he is extremely thrifty but a serious
investor. While I’m a young educator by day so pretty poor, he is
worth over 3 million dollars by my estimate of just what I know of
here in Florida. He wears very old jeans and plain t shirts. He has
very basic old eyeglasses and no watch. His shoes are never worth
more than 40 bucks. Once when we walked into a motorcycle shop with
a lot of nice bikes, the sales person was rude and condescending to
us but especially him. Ray is used to it and never lets them know he
knows more than they do or could buy anything they have. But this
sales personwas nasty to Ray for no other reason but his clothes.

Not only did Ray know more about any bike in that entire shop than
the salesperson, but he could buy the dealership, fire that man, and
burn the store with all the bikes down to the ground, and probably
have more net worth than the owner afterwards. But my friends
eccentrics do make him a target.

Ray has taught me this lesson you are all speaking of. To not judge
by just the looks. He has a beautiful daughter that is my age and who
is sadly, embarrassed by him. She told me he even wore a watch with a
dead battery for a long time. But this guy is awesome in my book. He
built custom bikes and hot rods in the eighties that were in 10
different magazines.

Rick Powell

I am not free spirited enough to paint in the nude, however more
power to you. Yes, I have seen the wealthiest people dress the least
expensive and haggle over pennies. I would rather just be
comfortable and not sweat the small stuff. I don;t need to be that
rich I will be happy when I can support myself and no longer be
dependent on SSI. I have lived the 1/3 of poverty level far too long
and am so ready to work it kills me. One day at a time, each day I
cna learn and each day is one day closer to normal activity. :slight_smile:


Tim and I used to get “profiled” all the time back in the 80s. We
both have had large japanese style tattooed body suits for over 20
years. In the old days before it became so common we’d get snubbed by
sales people and followed by security. Little old ladies would move
aside and clutch their purses a little bit tighter when they saw us
coming. We could even hear folks lock their car doors when we walked
down the side walk.

We once walked into a Nordstrom’s store with a couple of thousand
dollars in cash to buy Tim a fine suit, shoes, shirt etc. We were
hautilly dismissed even after asking for help. We went to Meier and
Frank down the street and gladly spent our cash there. At the time we
were running the custom and repair shop out of a very large, very
old, venerable jewelry store across the street from Nordy’s. The next
day I went to the manager and had a word with her. When she realized
who we were I thought she’d crawl under her desk.

We once had a best sales day ever when the local Basket Ball team
went into a competitor down the street and were snubbed. The Blazers
had just gotten into town on Xmas eve and were wearing casual travel
clothes. Sure they looked tough. But Hell! Those guys are 7 feet
tall. You’d thing that other store sales people would figure out who
they were. They came to us, we had a good laugh and each one of those
multi multi millionaires walked out with at least two huge shopping
bags full. They made a point of walking a block out of their way past
the other store with their fancy shopping bags. It was the best Xmas
eve sales day we’d EVER had.

My late father was a book cover illustrator. I learned early on in
life to never judge a book by it’s cover since he did some lovely
covers for some really bad books.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry and don’t judge.

Jo Haemer

I am not free spirited enough to paint in the nude, however more
power to you. 

Lol, you just reminded me how I got out of hanging the washing on
the line (a job I particularly hate) ever again.

I filmed myself hanging the washing. in the nude :open_mouth: I showed it to
my spouse…

I never have to hang the washing ever again :smiley:

Regards Charles A.

Tim and I used to get "profiled" all the time back in the 80s. We
both have had large japanese style tattooed body suits for over 20
years. In the old days before it became so common we'd get snubbed
by sales people and followed by security. Little old ladies would
move aside and clutch their purses a little bit tighter when they
saw us coming. We could even hear folks lock their car doors when
we walked down the side walk. Have fun and make lots of jewelry and
don't judge. 

If life were so simple! Racism, prejudice, and discrimination are
alive and well, in every country.

I think people should take responsibility for what they arbitrarily
do to their bodies that might be a turn off to others. I have seen
some beautiful tattoos, and I had a friend, 30 years ago, who owned
Sunset Strip Tattoo, as tattooed as anyone could be, ear lobes that
were stretched out and was equal or greater than the most stretched
out I have ever seen since.

Being it was Hollywood, he did not attract much attention where he
lived, but when he visited Ventura, where I lived, there was a bit
more staring. I personally appreciate the beauty of natural skin,
without tattoos. There are consequences for judging, and some people
are fine with whatever consequences they incur. Their right to judge
is more important than any loss they may suffer. I was in a restaurant
a few months ago, as I sat their I heard a guy talking about how cheap
Jews are, his Jewish bosses. I am Jewish, never was brought up in a
religious environment, but apparently I am “guilty” of being born
into a religion/ethnicity that some folks have trouble with. Oh. yea,
I killed Christ…

After he finished his meal, as he got up, I approached him and as
I approached he said “Are you Jew!” I said yes, and I said that he was
stating an opinion that was not based on fact, not something
attributable to all Jews, and that in business today any business
owner has to negotiate to stay in business.

His reply was that he was grateful to his employers as he has
financially done well over the years, and that he still had an
opinion that Jews are cheap, and he had a right to his opinion, his
brother and cousin held the same opinion, and it is a free country.
He said he admired me for having the balls to say something.

Complicated issue, and I am an equal opportunity hater, based on
each person’s behavior that I come into contact :).

And then there was the German woman, in her 70’s who recently asked
a repair price, I told her $80, she said she had a quote for $70, she
said she would not pay over $60. I told her I did not let my customer
determine my prices. She started tellingme how rude I was, and asked
if I was a Jew, and said something about my mother. I told her she
reminded me of my mother, and to get the f**k out of my store.

Sometimes it is interesting how some people respond to occasional
discrimination when it is a fact of life for so many and has such a
dramatic impact on so many from the time of their birth and for the
duration of their life.

Recent postings on Facebook over the Trevon Martin verdict has
illicited some hatred by some of my never met in person "friends"
that in good conscience I felt the need to un-friend. But I am
probably just over-sensitive.

Richard Hart G. G.
Denver, Co.

No Richard not over sensitive. I have some friends due to a bad
habit I call fb games from when I was bedridden. I unfriended a
number of very over the top people since this Zimmerman trial. One
started ranting about racial purging and other KKK propaganda. I said
look at me. WHo am I? she answered white woman. I said poster child
for the Mother of the Nazi’s? I am an octoroon. I found out the big
family secret when tested for cancer in 2012. I said no I am passin’.
lol and I dated a Jewish boy in high school wow I am radical. I do a
comic strip called Ninja Cows in it I did a one panel about get over
your packaging we are all homo sapiens sapiens. I only recognize one
race the human race. THough sometimes it is hard to be racially
proud I cannot claim any other species lol


lol Charles good way to avoid those jobs with me it’s dealing with
garbage. lol


After he finished his meal, as he got up, I approached him and as I
approached he said "Are you Jew!" I said yes, and I said that he
was stating an opinion that was not based on fact, not something
attributable to all Jews, and that in business today any business
owner has to negotiate to stay in business. 

A much more important posting! Hope some of the members hear what
you are saying. You have inspired me to quit bickering and hopefully
do what the forum is meant to do. Thanks Thomas III

Richard, should you unfriend them, they never have the opportunity
of your helping them to become more enlightened on the subject. Maybe
someone else, but not you. Someone else might help them to become
more enlightened by bopping them over the head.

Barbara on a blue sky day on the island with the bunny eating clover

I used to refer to my husband as the dime store wooden indian at
craft sales he’d stand in the booth with his arms crossed glowering
at people. What really ticked me off was they always thought he was
the artist and I was the helper. I would come back to the booth and
have someone tell me my husbands version of how I had made
something. when I tried to correct them they would give me this how
would you know how it’s made look…

Lynne Bowland