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Tips on Selling

Selling jewelry to women involves understanding their preferences, emotions, and values. | Source: Adobe
Selling jewelry to women involves understanding their preferences, emotions, and values. | Source: Adobe

The secrets to selling jewellery to women

In what ways can we use the conventions of the past, to benefit our businesses today? BERNADETTE MCCLELLAND looks back on sales wisdom from the 1960s.

I was recently preparing for a move and while cleaning out my office, I discovered a business manual that was published back in 1964 – before I even started school!

The book was the original Success Motivation Institute manual, complete with transcriptions produced by Paul J Meyer. Right at the very back of the book, written by author and sales trainer Dottie Walters, was a small tab titled ‘The seven secrets of selling to women.

I was immediately curious as to what information or wisdom could still be applicable today, even when applied through the lens of a bygone era.

I’m sure you’ll agree that over the past six decades, perspectives on men and women in business have changed significantly!

With that said, let’s examine some of the more timeless wisdom imparted by Walters. 

Agree with them

Bruce Barton, the father of modern advertising, suggests we apply some wisdom from the Bible when selling to women – ‘agree with our adversary, early.

The book details a disagreement between a husband and wife. When the husband objects to an evening out on the town, the wife prepares his favourite dinner, grabs his coat and before he knows it, they’re off for a date!

The trick, Walters suggests, is to agree with your opponent at first, so that they will relax their guard.

I can imagine every self-respecting woman around the world reading this tidbit and rolling their eyes. While I think it is important to acknowledge someone’s opinions or beliefs, there is a big difference between ‘acknowledging and agreeing’ – and dare, I say it, trickery!

In sales, we have to be mindful of when any customer presents a belief that we don’t agree with – and that is to respectfully push back, break the pattern and reframe that point.

After all, we need to bring insight into our conversations with customers; losing that need to be ‘liked’ is the first step.

Praise the customer

“Praise can be used in a million ways. If you can think of the fussy woman as really being fastidious, you will be able to praise her for it. The indirect compliment is very successful,” Walters writes.

"Appreciation is what holds people in their roles, partners in their relationships and customers coming back for more – male or female!"

“A further use of the indirect compliment is to say something nice about a woman in her hearing to someone else. When you praise a woman, she feels she has to live up to it; she doesn’t want to prove you’re wrong in your good estimate of her.”

Female customers are smart, sassy, and more vocal today than ever before and that also means their ability to detect deception is more finely calibrated.

We are not needy humans eager to please for the sake of pleasing, so please don’t compliment a woman for the sake of complimenting her! It’s completely inappropriate.


The book stresses the importance of gratitude, and I think we can all agree that this is timeless advice when it comes to customer service.

All consumers enjoy gratitude and appreciation – it is an intrinsic motivator and has so much more value than dangling material ‘carrots’ – or relying on other people’s opinions of us.

A little note here or a phone call there – a pat on the back or a ‘thank you’, too. Appreciation is what holds people in their roles, partners in their relationships and customers coming back for more – male or female!

Ask them to help you

“Not only do women love to help, but they especially enjoy it if they have the opportunity to make a sacrifice at the same time,” Walters writes.

“Now, this isn’t a sick idea! Women somehow know that one of the great pleasures of this life is the privilege of self-sacrifice.”

Sadly, in my opinion, this type of thinking still has a systemic and generational influence on many women today - and indeed, men too.

When you consider many senior leaders in business have grown up in family environments based on this conditioning, it is only natural that there be some unintentional and unconscious bias retained in their DNA.

This may well be one of the final bastions in reaching true ‘equality’. Awareness is always the first step to changing this and breaking the bias.

The times they are a-changin’

At the end of the day, men and women both bring differing perspectives and values to business.

When it comes to selling jewellery, there’s no need to rely on tired cliches about the differences between men and women – what works best is timeless practical advice that has proven accurate in both 1964 and 2023.

The residue from bygone eras is still visible; however, only time will enable that narrative to evolve.

More reading:
Sales tips you can apply to everyday life
Six big ideas to increase sales
Great customer experience: steps to woo your audience
Simple and effective ways to boost your word-of-mouth referrals
What women want


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Bernadette McClelland

Bernadette McClelland is a keynote speaker, executive sales coach, and published author. Learn More:

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