Jewelers: Stop Giving Customers the Finger

There is a very contagious bug running through the jewelry industry. More and more salespeople I run into have caught it and have yet to even discover they have the affliction. Very few are seeking a cure. The disease I am referring to is pointing. Point a customer here or point them there. Everywhere you go, salespeople are pointing customers in all sorts of directions.

The watches are right over there. The gift items are back in that corner of the store. The fashion jewelry is in that case. Look around—if you see anything you are interested in, I’ll be right over there. The brochures are up by the counter. Watch batteries, yeah, head over to the customer service counter. Customer service counter? The problem is these salespeople don’t realize that pointing a customer to go somewhere is very similar to pointing people to the door or to their cars.

It is difficult enough for a salesperson to get customers into a conversation without adding the burden of pointing people away. Please don’t confuse the “pointing disease” with a “verbal map.”  The two are very different. With the fear and resistance that many people have of salespeople, every opportunity you have to carry on a conversation must be utilized. When a customer is asking about specific jewelry, they are telling you, “I am ready to talk now!” Do not point! Start conversing about the jewelry they are interested in. Walk them to the display case and carry on a conversation while you are in the process. 

Through asking about something specific, they are telling the salesperson they are interested in not only looking at it, but quite possibly buying it as well. Simply pointing the customer in a given direction is the same thing as telling them we are not really interested in talking to them—much less selling them something.

Author, trainer, consultant, and speaker Brad Huisken is president of IAS Training. He publishes a free weekly newsletter called “Sales Insight.” For a free subscription or more information on training, contact IAS Training at 800-248-7703,, fax 303-936-9581, or visit the website at

Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine