March 9

Mark Rosewell, District Manager Smyth Jewelers


Experienced District Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the retail industry. Skilled in Negotiation,Operations Management, Analytical Skills, Coaching, and Sales. Strong sales professional with a RJ focused in Gemologyfrom American Gem Society. 

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[Podcast Transcript Using Artificial Intelligence]

Umar Hameed 0:06
Are you ready to become awesomer? Hello everyone. This is Umar Hameed, your host and welcome to the No Limits Selling Podcast, where industry leaders share their tips, strategies and advice on how to make you better, stronger, faster. Get ready for another episode.

Umar Hameed 0:36
Hello everyone. Today I have the privilege of sitting down with Mark Rosewell. He is a manager at a jewelry store. It's a different way of looking at sales, right? You're helping people get that, that joy that love if you give gift to the right person. It's also romance there.

Mark Rosewell 0:53
True very true.

Umar Hameed 0:54
Mark, welcome to the program.

Mark Rosewell 0:56
Thank you very much. Nice to be here.

Umar Hameed 0:57
Because I want to look at sales through different lenses. Because sometimes you get insights that help us figure out what's going on in ourselves lives through kind of your eyes.

Mark Rosewell 1:05

Umar Hameed 1:06
So I appreciate you coming in today and I want to take you back in history. The date was April 7 1979. You were a roofer. You were in Texas, and it was freaking hot. Tell us that story.

Mark Rosewell 1:18
Yeah, that's all true. I was actually a welder. And then I also built roof trusses. And so we were installing trusses on the roof of the First Baptist Church in Mayhem, Texas. It was April 7, and it was already about 160 degrees. I remember that temperature. And Texas summers are notoriously long and notoriously hot. And I thought surely there must be something I can do. Or I can work inside and wear my suit. And so I thought, well, tomorrow I will go and apply at all the different jewelry stores in the mall there in Waco, there's only one and if I don't get hired there, then the next day I'll go and try and be hired at one of the banks. And so the third job store that I went to hired me. And I was on my way.

Umar Hameed 2:04
So you started becoming a salesperson. And they probably paid you a huge hourly salary.

Mark Rosewell 2:09
Oh, yes, it was $2 and 90 cents an hour, and there would be commission. And the way they sold it to me was they said, but you aren't going to be able to work. You know, 52, well, 48 hours a week, but we'll pay you for 52. Nice. So that was good, right. And back then we had blue loss. So we were closed on Sundays, which made my mom happy. I still was able to go to church. And my hands are like catcher's mitts anymore. They're just rough. Right? So my first job in the jewelry store was to get my hands into a condition where I could show jewelry and be presentable and shake hands with people, right. So for the first several months, I just wrapped packages, I worked in the back of the house. And every couple of days, the manager would come up and say, let me feel your hands and if they were still too calloused, I wasn't ready to go yet. So after several months of doing that, I finally was able to get out on the floor. start showing jewelry.

Umar Hameed 3:01
Who's your first customer?

Mark Rosewell 3:02
Our first customer was a gentleman. Well, it's not really true. Our first encounter that I thought would be my first customer was a gentleman came in, he was looking for a watch. And it was about $300. And he told me that he would be back. And I was so new to sales that I believe that.

Umar Hameed 3:19

Mark Rosewell 3:20
And the older manager. Well, the associates in the store said, you know, a really impressing would be if you would get the box for that watch. And you would gift wrap it and put it in the bag and stand out in front of the store and wait for him to come back by that will really impress him because you won't be wasting time. And as you know, several hours went by and I would look in the store and so I hope nothing happened to him. He said he will be right back.

Umar Hameed 3:45
And the manager knew it, obviously. But it was like an object lesson though. Yeah, very Yoda of him. So now tell us where you are. Now we're sitting in the offices at?

Mark Rosewell 3:55
This is Smyth Jewelers in Timonium, Maryland. We're one of the largest jewelers, the United stage we are probably the largest dealer on the East Coast of the United States.

Umar Hameed 4:03
And the size of the store?

Mark Rosewell 4:05
This store that we're in right now is 51,000 square feet. It has an 18,000 square foot sales floor. And then we also have two other stores. And those are the stores that I primarily work with. And so one of those stores is about 8000 square feet and the other stores about 4500 square feet. Those stores are in turf Valley, Ellicott City. And then the other one is in the Annapolis Town Center down in Annapolis. And we're fortunate most of the people that staff those stores have spent time in this store. So we have a process that we go through that kind of tries to get everybody on the same page and you get the same level of service. Even though the stores are smaller in either of those stores that you would in the store.

Umar Hameed 4:44
You have many million dollar producers a year that work. So can you highlight to them that may have different personalities but still get the job done. So you don't have to name names, but just for us to get a sense of you know what kind of dedication and what kind of personalities producing that that can be different as well?

Mark Rosewell 5:03
Sure. Yeah. So we have every personality type you can have at Smyth. I've always said this is more like a theatre troupe than a retail store. Right, you know, all we need are jugglers and unicyclist. And we could even have a circus or if we wanted to, and so one of the associates is very nurturing very mom like very much able to take a true interest really relationship selling. That's my tendency. I like to do that as well. But she, she's very good at bringing people in getting them in the moment of their engagement or their wedding and what's going to happen and she's gone many engagement parties, she's attended several weddings. And she's been in the industry. She had her own store for about 18 years prior to coming here. And she, she's amazing. And she also happens to be my wife. That's pretty good sear.

Umar Hameed 5:49
Unfortunate woman.

Mark Rosewell 5:50
Yeah. Wow. Yeah, she count it as a homerun. And then one of the other ones is much more technically oriented and that appeals to a certain customer as well. So we have a lot of clients will come in there like engineering.

Umar Hameed 6:01

Mark Rosewell 6:01
They're not interested in warm fuzzies they're not interested in the emotional moment. Exactly. When they find a diamond that meets their specific needs to the equation, and the metallurgy and everything that goes along with it, they'll go ahead and make a purchase. I think one of the things we do here is we try and match the customer to the associate. So we have people at the front of the store in fact, you mentioned that you were greeted upon coming in.

Umar Hameed 6:21
What was the name of the lady?

Mark Rosewell 6:22
Young lady was out there was Mackenzie. And she's, we have a couple of them Aaron or Mackenzie, but I'm not sure which

Umar Hameed 6:28
Think it was Mackenzie and it was just a really warm welcome to the store. And it was noteworthy. As soon as I met you, I said yeah, she's amazing.

Mark Rosewell 6:36
Yeah, exactly. Right. And so we try and do that will offer a beverage, we make cookies every day. We do that, just to try and welcome people. I'm kind of like you'd welcome them into your house. And then in that brief conversation, they can sort of assess maybe who they have a little bit right, who they're gonna match you up with initially. And then we proceed from there.

Umar Hameed 6:54
In a typical sales kind of organization. It's getting the appointment. It's doing the presentation, handling objections, closing the sale, and then deepening into the account so you can sell the more jewelry or get referrals that will allow you to sell jewelry to their friends and family. So how does that work here in the jewelry business? What does that process look like?

Mark Rosewell 7:18
I think jewelry is the only thing I've ever done other than roofing right and so you know, not as much. But but my experience has been is that before anybody's gonna buy anything from you, they have to believe you, they have to trust you there has to be a rapport that comes from that. Jewelry is a very emotional purchase. We almost say that the true value of a piece of jewelry is what it means to the person who gets it. That's really whether it's $10 $15 $100,000 and we have all of that so we can provide anything he's looking for. So the first thing we have to do is is help them lower their guard. I think people don't like to be sold things they and they're going to be be much more receptive if they feel warm and welcome and trust, even the engineers if they feel that you're competent, and what you're saying to them is correct. They're going to lower their defenses a little bit. So sometimes we'll use language like "you know Umar, I work for Smyth jewelers, but today I work for you. And the more I know about who you're shopping for, and what you're trying to say, the more help I can be to you. So let's just have a conversation and you tell me, you know, tell me about the person, tell me about what we're doing. Tell me what matters to you."

Umar Hameed 8:26
Let's backtrack a bit. You use a very curious phrase. What are you trying to say? Because we're trying to say something with that gift?

Mark Rosewell 8:32

Umar Hameed 8:33
Do people understand what you're saying what you're trying to say?

Mark Rosewell 8:36
So we use a process here to try and help keep the sales mentality in front of people before you begin making a product presentation. And we call it gross. And so the first thing is get on a first name basis with your customer.

Umar Hameed 8:48
Gee, yeah, yeah.

Mark Rosewell 8:49
Next one is what's the name of the recipient. So that's the R, then What's the occasion? And then what's the when and when is the occasion because we need to know. Do we have to get this engraved? or we're gonna have to make this? How much time do we have? Many people come in and shop like I do they shop the day of the event, right? And then the last one is what do you want the gift to say? And the hardest thing for us in teaching the process is to get newer salespeople to wait for that because many times everyone has something they want to say to someone when they give them a piece of jewelry. They may not even know themselves what that is. In fact, when they get the right piece of jewelry, it's going to help them say in a minute, what it might take them years to put into words it really slowly right. And so they have to process that they have to work through that. I've been interested in following some of your work, we have some similarities and some of the things we do. And so through that process, when you get their name when you get the recipients name when you find out what the occasion is, those are all familiar things to the customer. If you can get them to picture those things. That's non threatening. Buying a piece of jewelry can be scary, but celebrating your wife's birthday. With your friends out for dinner, they can see that in their mind. And now you can find a piece that's going to help them in that moment. And that's really what we're talking about.

Umar Hameed 10:05
Fantasy books. They have this thing called a Talisman where people can go to scary places. As long as you got the talisman they feel safe and what you're doing is by building that rapport is taking the fear out of the thing because a lot of times jewelry is, is a mystery, right? Like if I'm buying a Lexus, whatever, I know what it is going you're buying jewelry, it's like no. Is it worth what it's worth? Will she like it? Will he like it? And all that stuff. So once you have a customer, your top performers, how do they build that relationship? So it becomes a lifetime customer?

Mark Rosewell 10:41
Oh, you may notice when we were on our way walking back to the room or in now, we went by several small rooms, small booths out there. And perhaps you noticed I always noticed when I walk through that some of them will have you know, shamrocks or tensile or decorations or one of them have donuts or lights or different signs or pictures or postcards. And that's strategic in a way. I mean, that's a definite statement that they make about themselves or personality. So what happens? And generally speaking, many of them have candy in a dish or something on their desk. Generally speaking, that's all there to establish that to put people at ease. One of our greatest sales associates was showing a diamond to a woman and her son, for his future fiancé. And they're here around lunchtime. And it had been a long process. It looked at several different things. And the sales associate said, You know what? I'm hungry. Why don't we order a pizza? That's very unusual, a jewelry store, right. So they chose what they wanted on their pizza. They ordered a pizza, they were able to go ahead and continue the process. They had lunch in that booth. And they were able to find something for her.

Umar Hameed 11:52
Yeah, nice.

Mark Rosewell 11:53
So that's part of the fun and that's one of the things that's really great about Smyth as well, is that you're pretty much able to do whatever you'd like to in many selling organizations, I think associates know what they'd like to do. But for whatever reason be at a corporate line or management line. They're they're hindered from being everything they possibly could be. And that's what's nice about here. You're not. .

Umar Hameed 12:13
So I heard this story maybe about eight years ago, but I still remember it. We were having lunch at this restaurant, meeting someone new. My wife was there, I was there and this person is a nice meeting. And the waitstaff was so amazing that I made a comment to the manager said, you know, hey, the quality of service is like, outstanding, it says, yeah, just last week, see that waiter over there? His name's John and he has regular couple that come. It's a mother and a daughter. The daughter brings the mother in cuz she's kind of getting older, every Wednesday for lunch. And while they were chatting two weeks ago, the daughter was telling Mom, you know, I'm gonna be out of town. You're going to miss next week's appointment. So the waiter said, No, you're not. And the waiter took time off his shift. Went to get the mom bring her to the restaurant. The management allowed it. And that's like ultimate customer service. And that fantastically wasn't even me. And it was just that story. I still remember so bad. It's amazing.

Mark Rosewell 13:09
That's really good. Yeah. And, and that makes you know you're in the right place, either as a customer or as an associate, we often hear people say, I could work anywhere I want to, but I want to work here.

Umar Hameed 13:19
It's all about culture. Yeah. So tell me about culture. Because you've got people you mentioned, this woman who worked in another jewelry store had her own for a while. So when you bring different people in, how do you indoctrinate them in the best sense of the word because it sounds like Marie, not so good. into this Smyth way. What is the Smyth way? And how do you get people to really believe it, so it's not just going through the motions, but it's actual living it breathing it.

Mark Rosewell 13:45
A lot of it begins with the selection. We take a lot of time getting to know people are going to come to work for us, right several interviews that we go through, and we want to make sure that we're a good fit for them and they're a good fit for us. And we have interview guys that we follow on write down kind of the answers, we get to things. And we may circle back and question those again. And we don't always hit it right. But most of the time when we bring someone in, one of the questions we ask is, there are a lot of things that motivate people, too many to be asked in one question, but we're going to. If you could rate these than the matter of importance to recognition, advancement, money, and quality of life. Tell me about each of those and what those means here. It used to be when I was first asking that question decades ago, there's always money or advancement or recognition. If you had somebody was my age or your age, they might say quality of life almost unfailingly now, quality of life comes up. And that can mean different things to different people. So we expand that a little bit. But it's really hypocritical. If you are in a business that's engaged in helping people celebrate their most important occasions right with their families. And then you don't take notice of the importance of the families and the life occasions these people have. So when we find that fit that takes you a long, long way already into establishing them in our culture, we don't say you cannot teach personality, you can't really teach character. You can teach techniques and you can teach product.

Umar Hameed 15:17
And I think the way to teach the other stuff is very much. That's why I think stories are so important that when one of our employees does something notable that we capture that story.

Mark Rosewell 15:29

Umar Hameed 15:29
Because when we talk about the principal, customer service is really important, and most people will like you, okay. Customer Services really important. Let me tell you about Judy. This happened a year ago, and you tell that story and now all of a sudden people go Oh, I get what that means. Just like when you were talking about quality of life, what does that mean to people that we need to dig deeper, and this allows us to share, this is what great service looks like.

Mark Rosewell 15:56
And you know, remember Stanley Marcus wrote in his book Quest For The Best. When business is good, no employees as good as they think they are, when business is bad, no employees as bad as management thinks they are.

Umar Hameed 16:11

Mark Rosewell 16:11
And so we're going to have good times and bad times. But if you establish a high level of trust, you'll get through all those times together. So we've had associates that have had personal tragedies and things that have involved, being away from our business for a period of time being away from work. But what I can say is when you do the right thing for the people that work with you and work for you, that comes back to you time. And again. Also, I think sometimes what's happened in retail in general is payrolls such now that it's very difficult to have very good sized staffs. Training is expensive, whether you do it or not.

Umar Hameed 16:43

Mark Rosewell 16:43
And if you only have 232 coverage, two people opening three in the middle of the day, so somebody can run to the bank, and to closing, it's very difficult to have meaningful customer interactions, right or associated interactions. So sometimes you have to overspend I guess would be the term for it. Just have enough people present to be able to make it a nice experience. Yeah.

Umar Hameed 17:04
Mark, one of your children was coming into sales, maybe the jewelry business, what would be the advice you would give to get them to kind of understand it better and be successful at it?

Mark Rosewell 17:15
I think the first thing that people have to learn how to use Listen, and not just listen, but really hear what someone else is saying. I've been fortunate we have lots of kids. And I've been fortunate that they have all sort of found their way what they'd like to do what they might do. And a couple of them have worked through here, and brief periods of time. It comes through her work, and I have one now that's 12. And he works on special events and does different things and he enjoys that. And even if they don't make a career out of this, the skills that they learn from doing this will always help them I think everybody sells and it starts with listening and then finding out what people want or need and then helping them figure out a way to achieve that. And once you got that done, then you can do what you want to

Umar Hameed 17:59
Brilliant If you were looking into the future, and the jewelry business is changing, just like every industry is changing, how are you seeing this transaction happening in the future? Let's say 10 years from now, what does the future look like? And how are you preparing your staff to meet the brave new world?

Mark Rosewell 18:18
I think that retail in general is changing dramatically. Obviously, there's a convenience factor from being able to go online and order things. I think the retailers that are going to survive, the brick and mortar retailers are going to survive, are going to have to offer compelling experiences. For the people that come, they're gonna have to do something different than most of the stores do. And they have to be really consistent. So if you're trying to say to someone, well, if they look at this, they might also enjoy this right, or they might like this service or to take advantage of an appraisal or to take advantage of a repair service. You have to discipline people to mention those things to make those top of mind because the computer does it. The computer doesn't know who you are, but they'll say if you like this, you might also like this, right, you'd like to do advance shipping, you'd like to do other things other financing. The computer is very consistent with that. See, it's one thing to say we bake fresh cookies, but the day we didn't, or the day someone burned the cookies and we didn't get any other ones out. That ruins it for whoever comes in on that day, we can say anything we went to about our business, but the proof of our business is in our delivery every day with the customer.

Umar Hameed 19:23
Right. Thanks so much for sitting down with me.

Mark Rosewell 19:26
Thank you.

Umar Hameed 19:32
If you enjoyed this episode, please go to iTunes and leave a five star rating. And if you're looking for more tools, go to my website at nolimitsselling.com. I've got a free mind training course there that's going to teach you some insights from the world of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and that is the fastest way to get better results.


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