The reason some people fail when selling handcrafted jewellery and what you can do to avoid becoming one of them

September 30, 2009 by  
Filed under Articles

Years ago I had a light bulb moment. I was going for a job interview on a magazine. The position was as a sales executive selling advertising space. I didn’t know at the time but I was going into one of the hardest professions in the world – selling blank space is not easy.

I hadn’t planned to go into sales and I didn’t consider myself to be the stereo-typical salesman type, but I needed a job that paid (it was the recession of the 80’s) and I knew that these jobs paid well.

Whilst at the interview, the man interviewing the 19 year old girl in front of him said, what do you do when you call someone up and try and sell them some space and they say no. I said, well I would just move onto the next client, and try my luck with them. After all I couldn’t do anything to make someone buy something. That is where I was wrong.


I hate pushy sales people as much as anyone, perhaps even more so because I know a good one from a bad one and there are plenty of bad ones out there; but people who are really good at sales don’t appear pushy at all. They are in fact problem solvers.

The way to get really good at selling your jewellery is to problem solve.

If you want to sell your jewellery to a store and the store says no. Do you walk away, or do you ask why?  If you ask why and they give you a reason, you can overcome that objection, and get the order for the jewellery. It is not about being pushy at all. It is solving a problem.

Let me give you an example. A craft magazine called up the other day and offered me some advertising space. I said no. The reason I said no was because I am working on a new crafting web site (unrelated to jewellery) and I don’t’ know when it will be ready. The new web site is the one that I want to promote, and as it is not ready, I can’t really advertise it, (as much as I would like to do so,) as I don’t know when it will be finished.

Now because I don’t like to be rude, I said no to the ad space and gave the woman selling the advertising space a reason for my decision.  The sales executive then emailed me back and said, “how about this, take the ad and when the new website is running we will give you a write up on our web site and give you a link so that people can click though and see it.”

She basically solved my problem and sold the space she wanted.

So how can you use this information? Well if you make a make an approach to a shop and they say no, before you walk away, ask why. It could be that there is some small problem that you can overcome and get the shop to sell your jewellery.

Let’s take a look at a few examples:

A store says no and the reason is the jewellery you are selling is not boxed and the store owner doesn’t want to go to the effort of buying boxes to put your jewellery in.

Solution:  – Offer free gift boxes. You should price your jewellery with enough of profit to overcome this problem.

Store says no and the reason is that the store owner thinks that your jewellery is not upmarket enough for his customers..

Solution:  – You say that this is your costume jewellery range, and offer to make an appointment with him next week to show him some sample of sterling silver and gemstone jewellery.

Store says no and the reason is the store owner doesn’t like the colour choice you have.

Solution:  – Ask which colours the buyer feels his customers would prefer, and offer your range in different colour choices.

The great thing about this is, you are not only overcoming objections and providing solutions, you are getting valuable feedback so that you can tailor your jewellery to the needs of your potential new clients.



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