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Jimmy DeGroot: Open the Door, Get On the Floor March 05, 2024 (0 comments)


Green Bay, WI--At any given moment during your store hours, how many people are on your sales floor? Is your answer “Sometimes zero”? If so, let’s look at why this is a major faux pas for your jewelry store and what we can do to remedy it.  

What happens when a customer walks into a store and sees nobody? Think of when you’ve done this. I’m guessing it’s safe to say that not very positive thoughts went through your head. To me it says: understaffed, going out of business, they don’t care, I’m not very important, If there is a theft, will I be a suspect? 

Whenever I’m consulting or training, if I experience an empty sales floor when I walk in, my first agenda item is to change this. It’s that important.  Following are a few thoughts for you to get your sales floor covered every minute during open hours:

1. Decide as a team that someone is always on the sales floor

Never ever let the sales floor be vacant of bodies.  It’s a security issue but even more importantly it’s a customer perception issue.  No matter how big or small your store is, customers should see a person immediately when they walk through the door.  Many times, they can’t instantly be greeted, but eye contact, a wave, a quick “Welcome” is vital for first impressions. You may think that being a small store with just two people in a small-town excuses you, but, frankly that’s all the more reason to be present on the floor. 

2. Where do you spend their non-selling time?

Jewelers have concerns for security, so we tend to create cubbies and offices in the back of the store to keep merchandise safe, and that’s where our people tend to hang out when not selling. To get people on the sales floor, create a work environment that allows them to accomplish their non-selling tasks where they can immediately engage with customers.  Newly remodeled stores often have workstations built between or beyond cases so merchandise can be quickly and safely tucked away to greet a customer.  This will take some effort to be sure the floor doesn’t become cluttered, but simply moving people out front from the back of the store can do wonders.  Don’t feel like everyone needs to be standing, ready to jump on the customers, rather simply being present will do wonders.

3. Greet on THEIR side of the counter

Stores that are older tend to have quite a bit of linear case footage that creates a bowling alley effect. When you see a customer through the window about to come in, safely stow your project and stand up to greet them on their side of the counter.  It may not be possible every time to make it to their side of the counter before they get in, but by simply making the effort to stand up and begin walking around your cases shows them that they are important to you. 

4. Clean up your act

Messy counters and clutter turn customers off, especially in jewelry stores. Clutter makes customers wonder if it’s safe to leave their precious jewelry with you. Bringing your work out on the sales floor will force you to stay neat and organized. We can stash stuff in offices, but if you’re a stasher, would you ever think of bringing a custom back there? I hope not.  

5. A customer service system

Put in place a system that your entire team agrees on that allows them to self-regulate floor coverage. Many have an “up” system that works wonderfully, but the key is that you instill a practice that becomes a habit that everyone will remember what happens when anyone has a need to be off the sales floor.

There are some easy fixes for making sure your floor is covered at all times but it takes a decision by leadership that floor coverage is important and the new operating system becomes effective immediately.

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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