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Custom Sales Training Program

July 2, 2008

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CUSTOM SALES TRAINING PROGRAM HITS THE GROUND RUNNING

Inaugural classes earn enthusiastic reviews

LAS VEGAS - What if there was a tool that could serve as a motivating "shot in the arm" for sales associates - and a long-term boost to the bottom line of retail jewelry businesses?

That's what the American Gem Society began offering its members this summer, when it held the first Custom Sales Training: Measured Results classes at its Las Vegas headquarters on June 4 and 5, and in Asheville, N.C. June 15-19.

Feedback was positive, and the sold-out classes were, as one Las Vegas attendee put it, a "shot in the arm" to help refresh and refine his skills. Participants engaged in real jewelry sales scenarios, including customer objections, and learned how to identify and respond to their customers' needs.

"Our instructor's enthusiasm reminded me of why I love this business," said Linda Mantalas, a store manager for Minnesota's R.F. Moeller Jeweler. Agreed another attendee, "The course content was easy to apply. It was very specific to our industry, and the instructor provided concise, positive criticism and reinforcement."

Some participants, like Yosef Poplack of N.E.I. Group, said the interactive learning helped them fine-tune their own sales style. "I think I've seen some of my weaknesses," he said, "and now have the tools to correct them."

The Custom Sales Training: Measured Results program, which launched officially at the American Gem Society 2008 Conclave in April, was developed exclusively for Society members.

The program includes options for both classroom and online learning. Instructor-led training classes include a two-day course for sales associates and a one-day coaching class for managers and trainers. The Web-based course, which focuses on critical skills training for sales associates, can stand alone or serve as an introduction to or ongoing support for the instructor-led courses.

"Everyone in the fine gem and jewelry industry knows competition is fierce," said Ruth Batson, executive director and CEO of the Society. "And as the challenges to growing a business increase, I can't think of a time when it's been more important to have a trained and focused sales team.

"Imagine the impact of sales associates who arrive at work each day armed with the passion, knowledge, and motivation to turn today's �just looking' browser into tomorrow's lifelong customer."

The online, critical skills training course is always available and open for enrollments. The next instructor-led courses will be held at the Society's Las Vegas headquarters during August and October. Custom Sales Training will take place on Aug. 18-19 and Oct. 6-7; Custom Sales Coaching will be on Aug. 20 and Oct. 8. Class size is limited to 20 students and seats are filling quickly.

For more information about Custom Sales Training: Measured Results classes, contact AGSEducation@ags.org.

The American Gem Society, founded in 1934 by Robert M. Shipley, is a not-for-profit trade association dedicated to proven ethics, knowledge, and consumer protection within the jewelry industry. The American Gem Society is the international professional organization awarding credentials of Registered Jeweler (RJ), Certified Gemologist (CG), Certified Gemologist Appraiser (CGA), and Independent Certified Gemologist Appraiser (ICGA). Members are held to the highest ethical and professional standards in the industry and must pass annual recertification examinations to maintain their American Gem Society titles. Less than five percent of jewelers in the country have met the exacting requirements necessary for membership.

For more information regarding the American Gem Society, please call 866.805.6500, or visit their Web site at www.americangemsociety.org.