Independents

Squirrel Spotting: Reach Out and Touch Someone

IndependentsJul 24, 2019

Squirrel Spotting: Reach Out and Touch Someone

Peter Smith’s latest column on the importance of physical contact will have you streaming Motown’s greatest hits in no time.

Peter Smith is president of Memoire and author of two books, “Hiring Squirrels,” and “Sell Something.” Connect with Smith on LinkedIn or at dublinsmith@yahoo.com.

I love the Four Tops song “Reach Out (I’ll Be There).”

It’s got everything a great song needs—Levi Stubbs’ plaintive vocals, a great, driving bass line, wonderful lyrics and sublime harmonies.

In many ways, it could be the signature tune for Detroit, the city that gave us the Four Tops and that great Motown sound.

The song could also serve as the signature song for one of the most important disciplines in sales—touching our customers.

WATCH: The Four Tops, “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)”


Lawrence D. Rosenblum wrote in “See What I’m Saying” that: “When we touch someone, you activate a strip of your brain that runs from a spot just above your ears all the way to the top of your head. Touching also activates higher-level brain areas needed for recognition and reaction.”

Rosenblum echoes findings from the social-science community that frequently cite touching as a primary means to meaningful human connection.

Additionally, touching is a powerful way to combat anxiety and stress (guy shopping for an engagement ring perhaps?). There’s a reason we hug our children and our loved ones when they suffer setbacks, or physical or emotional pain. We’ve been making “boo-boos” go away for … well, it depends on how old you are.

Now, don’t think for a minute I’m suggesting we walk around all day hugging customers. Can you imagine?

Customer: “Hi. Do you guys change watch batteries?”

You: “As a matter of fact, we do. Now come over here and give me a hug!”

Yes? No? Probably not. How about this one:

Customer: “I’m upset that the prong on my ring appears to be broken.”

You: “Well, let’s hug a minute, and then I’ll take a look.”

Like I said, we can’t go around all day hugging everyone, but we should try to touch people at every opportunity, and the good news is that in jewelry stores, we get lots and lots of opportunities to do exactly that.

For instance, shaking hands can be the most natural thing in the world if conducted with authenticity (or a contrived gimmick if mandated across the board).

Decide for yourself when it feels right, and do it properly when you are doing it. Nothing feels worse than a bad handshake.

In “First Impressions,” Ann Demarais and Valerie White wrote about handshakes: “Their [social-psychologists’] findings indicate that a firm handshake, characterized by strength, vigor, duration, eye contact and completeness
of grip, does have a positive impact on a person’s first impression.”

I’ll add to that: If you’re a finger-breaker, get over yourself. We’re supposed to be connecting in a way that is good for two people, not auditioning to become a bricklayer.

Two additional and socially acceptable means of touching include the shoulder and the elbow.

It is perfectly fine to engage in a light touch of either and, needless to say, it’s a whole lot easier to do if you are on the same side of the counter as the customer. What a concept!

And, finally, the most obvious and appropriate means of touching your customer is when helping them to try on jewelry.

Necklaces, earrings, bracelets and rings all provide obvious and organic ways for appropriate human-to-human touching, and getting jewelry on customers is always a good idea.

We’ll leave the final word on this to Leonard Mlodinow, who wrote in “Subliminal: How Your Unconscious Mind Rules Your Behavior” that, “Scientists have discovered a particular kind of nerve fiber in the people’s skin—especially in the face and arms—that appears to have developed specifically to transmit the pleasantness of social touch.”

Now, if we could just put a tune to that and have Levi Stubbs sing it …

Peter Smith is president of Memoire and author of two books, “Hiring Squirrels: 12 Essential Interview Questions to Uncover Great Retail Sales Talent,” and “Sell Something: Principles and Perspectives for Engaged Retail Salespeople.” Both books are available in print or Kindle at Amazon.com. Connect with Smith on LinkedIn or at dublinsmith@yahoo.com.
Peter Smithis an industry consultant, speaker, and sales trainer, and author of three books, “Hiring Squirrels,” “Sell Something,” and “The Sales Minute.”

The Latest

Supplier BulletinJun 30, 2022
Here’s Where You’ll Find The Best Online Jewelry Auctions

Sponsored by HiBid

CrimeJun 30, 2022
What JSA’s Annual Report Tells Us About Jewelry Crime in 2021

Plus, JSA President John Kennedy talks about the trajectory of industry crime over the last 20 years.

CrimeJun 30, 2022
Smash-and-Grab Robbers Hit Booth at TEFAF: Watch the Video

The fair was evacuated temporarily Tuesday after four suspects smashed a showcase and stole jewelry from British jeweler Symbolic & Chase.

Brought to you by
Preparing for Proposal Season with High-Quality, A.I.-Graded Natural Diamonds

Rare & Forever is helping to create an enjoyable diamond buying experience for the millions of newly-engaged couples.

Events & AwardsJun 30, 2022
Nominations Are Open for Gem Awards 2023

The 21st annual awards show and gala will take place in New York City next March.

Weekly QuizJun 23, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
Events & AwardsJun 30, 2022
Registration Open for JIS Fall in Miami

The jewelry trade show is scheduled for Sept. 30-Oct. 3 at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

AuctionsJun 29, 2022
Bonhams Expands Again with Purchase of Paris Auction House

It is the fifth acquisition under the ownership of private equity firm Epiris, which bought Bonhams in 2018.

Brought to you by
Discover The Extraordinary Italian Jewelry In Las Vegas!

Experience all the Italian Jewelry market has to offer in Las Vegas.

MajorsJun 29, 2022
Zales Has a New Diamond Cut

The “Celebration Infinite” diamond has more than three times the number of facets in a traditional brilliant-cut diamond, the retailer said.

WatchesJun 29, 2022
Bulova Introduces New Frank Sinatra Watches

The brand again partnered with the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School to celebrate the launch of the “Summer Wind” watches.

SurveysJun 29, 2022
U.S. Platinum Jewelry Demand Starts 2022 on a Strong Note

Retail ounce sales were up 23 percent year-over-year in Q1, according to the recent Platinum Jewellery Business Review.

Events & AwardsJun 29, 2022
Registration Is Now Open for the HardRock Summit 2022

Scheduled for Sept. 8-11, the event will comprise more than 310,000 square feet of show floor, exhibits, and education space.

ColumnistsJun 28, 2022
The PR Adviser: Why Should Someone Buy From You?

If you’re having trouble answering this question, columnist Lilian Raji can help you get a started with a few fill-in-the-blank statements.

CollectionsJun 28, 2022
Melissa Kaye’s New Collection Doubles the Color

“Lenox” marks the designer’s foray into bespoke jewels and large colored gemstones.

Events & AwardsJun 28, 2022
Second AGS Virtual Education Conference Is All About Negotiation Skills

“Confluence” is happening in August.

MajorsJun 27, 2022
George Holmes, Longtime Head Editor of JCK Magazine, Dies at 93

He first took a job at then Philadelphia-based Jewelers’ Circular-Keystone in 1963 and retired in 1996.

MajorsJun 27, 2022
Mayors, Analog:Shift Team Up With Goop

The lifestyle platform will stock fine jewelry and watches from the retailers on its website and in store.

CrimeJun 27, 2022
JSA Warns of ‘Pandemic’ of Distraction Thefts Nationwide

It cited two recent cases in California, plus incidents in Florida, Kansas, and Illinois.

CollectionsJun 27, 2022
This Designer Has Found a New Way to Bring Gemstones to Life

Svetlana Lazar’s “Wishing Well” collection utilizes an innovative component to mimic the movement of water beneath them.

Supplier BulletinJun 24, 2022
AGTA GemFair™ Denver is the Place to Be in September!

Sponsored by AGTA

Recorded WebinarsJun 24, 2022
Vegas Jewelry Recap: The Editors Weigh In

Watch the webinar in which National Jeweler’s editors talk about jewelry market week trends and their predictions for the rest of 2022.

MajorsJun 24, 2022
Banter by Piercing Pagoda Celebrates Pride with ‘SayGay’ Necklace

All proceeds up to $25,000 will benefit the It Gets Better Project, a nonprofit that supports LGBTQ+ youth.

CollectionsJun 24, 2022
Piece of the Week: Marie Lichtenberg’s Hidden Message Locket

It’s a reminder that life is best lived with discretion.

TechnologyJun 24, 2022
Cloud-Based POS Software Jewel360 Launches for Jewelry Retailers

The end-to-end software allows for real-time control over all sales, inventory, repairs, customer communications, and marketing.

EditorsJun 23, 2022
Antique Show Observations From a First-Time Attendee

Associate Editor Lenore Fedow shares her impressions of the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show and a few of her favorite finds.

GradingJun 23, 2022
AIGS Launches Grading Report for ‘Santa Maria’ Aquamarine

The Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences aims to set a color standard for the trade name.

SourcingJun 23, 2022
Rough Diamond Sales Rise Again for De Beers

Sales were up 36 percent year-over-year in June and are pacing 24 percent ahead of last year at this point.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy