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Jimmy DeGroot: I Don’t Actually Like People April 10, 2024 (0 comments)


Green Bay, WI--You’d be amazed at how often I’ve heard jewelers tell me they prefer the back room over the sales floor because they don’t enjoy working with customers. If this article caught your eye, you may be guilty of this affliction. But, if nobody has ever told you this, I’m here say: You are perfect just the way you are!

Greek physician Hippocrates (ca. 460 BCE–370 BCE) is often credited with developing the theory of the four humors—blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm—and their influence on the body and its emotions. His treatise on “Airs, Waters and Places” describes the influence of geography on the body and its humoral makeup.

While this is an ancient theory, what it reveals to us in today’s language is that we are all made up of these four motivations: Peace, Perfect, Control & Fun.  And we all have a percentage of each of these. You can learn what yours are by going to

So, if you are a “back room” type of person, in general you might have peace as your primary motivator. This is where you get your power and find satisfaction. You love working on the details. You love doing shop work and being left alone.  You may love Quickbooks and CRM reports. You may be a master of your inventory domain. Just because you prefer not to work with customers, doesn’t make you a bad businessperson, it simply means you really dig the detail work.

If you are a backroom type, your challenge is then to build up a great front-of-store team, starting with a great manager. Your tendency may be to micro-manage or throttle your manager or team into caring about the details that you care about, and I would caution against that.  Just remember that you love the back room because of who you are and they likely love the sales floor because of who THEY are.  They may get their power and job satisfaction from being with customers, solving problems, making them smile and making sales.

The more you both celebrate the differences between “Backroom Bob/Betty” and “Front of House Holly/Henry,” the happier and more satisfied everyone will be at the end of the day.

James (Jimmy) DeGroot is a professional jewelry sales and operations trainer from the jeweler’s side of the counter. Having been in management and the jewelry business for over 20 years, Jimmy offers weekly training to jewelers nationwide via the Train Retail website. Jimmy is an AGS titleholder and specializes in training relevant and timely methods for jewelry teams. He can do a full training on making Bridal Presentations the best they can be, among many other regular training options. Contact Jimmy at or call 920-492-1191.

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