AGS Gets Down to Business

The American Gem Society may have built its reputation on ethics and education, but at its latest annual Conclave in Seattle, it wanted people to know it was equally about business. Buttons worn by AGS executives proclaimed: “It's all about the bottom line.” The major speakers were predominantly business focused, and the group launched its most extensive sales training program ever. (See sidebar.) “You can be a very knowledgeable gemologist and meet every ethical business standard, but if you don't have the skills to sell, you won't be successful,” said Ruth Batson, AGS executive director. “It's like a three-legged stool. I feel like we've finally added the third piece, but it's going to take some time for our members to see us as the source for sales training.” This new focus is partly a result of the tough economy, which is challenging even AGS's high-end retailers. A

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