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Jimmy DeGroot: A Story from a Super Sales Professional February 22, 2024 (1 comment)


Green Bay, WI--I’m taking the week off writing to share an incredible story from a SUPER SALES PROFESSIONAL. The following story is written in his own words. Read the following and think about how you can find that next great employee … maybe not in the usual places.    

Jimmy DeGroot

I would like to introduce myself to you. My name is Eliel Garcia.  I proudly work for Brent Miller Jewelers & Goldsmiths in Lancaster, PA.

In 2010 I proudly arrived in the United States. At the time of my arrival, I didn't have a job, as my previous job was as a cruise director working for Royal Caribbean. My new home in the U.S. presented an obstacle for employment because I was too far away from the cruising world to remain in that industry. I decided that I needed a job where I could work all year round, unlike the cruise industry which had seasonal work based on the needs of the tourism industry. 

I decided to go to the mall to see what might be available and quickly found a jewelry store which looked inviting. When I inquired about employment, they told me that they didn't have any openings and to return in two months to see if anything had changed. Since I was determined to work in this new industry, I made sure to return in two months upon which time I was able to gain the employment I desired.

The former manager and I became very good friends. My early days were not easy because English was my second language. I smile to myself sometimes remembering when I used to offer customers “unemployment” instead of “layaway,” but my level of confidence was always there. My first paycheck was $190 dollars and I felt like a millionaire. The morning commute was a challenge as I didn't have my driver’s license and used public transportation daily to get to work. This commute took two hours each way and with seasonal and unpredictable weather in Pennsylvania this often presented a challenge. 

[Eliel Garcia]

I soon earned my AJP with the GIA and also earned my Diamond Grading certificate with GIA . I also became a registered jeweler with the AGS. After a couple years of being a sales associate I had the opportunity to become an assistant sales manager at that store and of course I took the opportunity as I was proud and excited to further my career. 

One of the main reasons I was able to be successful is because I have and will always care about my people; this includes my customers, my coworkers, and my family. One key factor in every service industry is the customer experience and how we make our customers feel. A person may forget what they were told but will never forget how you make them feel. After a couple of years of being the assistant sales manager, the store manager position opened up and I was promoted once again.

Soon, a customer of mine recommended me to Brent Miller Jewelers which was a local family owned store. The idea of working for a family business interested me very much so I decided to explore the opportunity. The owner took a chance on me as the assistant sales manager and after a few years, I was promoted to the position of sales manager. I lead a great team of individuals that work together to provide the best customer experience in the industry.  

I have a strong belief in community involvement, which led me to become a graduate of “Leadership Lancaster,” a program that helps to develop up-and-coming leaders in the community. I’m currently serving as a board member with the Boys & Girls Club of Lancaster and also a member of the board of directors with the National Watch and Clock Museum NAWCC. Because of this involvement, I have been able to connect with many leaders in our community industry in both the private and public sectors.  

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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Comments (1):

We are all connected to one of the most fabulous industries EVER. Opportunities abound. Smile, be kind, love what you do and success will follow![

By Tamra Moore on Feb 23rd, 2024 at 9:14pm

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