Smooth Sellers: Crista De Lathauwer
BY EILEEN MCCLELLAND
Published in the May 2012 issue
STORE NAME: Simmons Fine Jewelry
LOCATION: Boise, ID
In late 2010 , when sales associate Crista de Lathauwer met with Simmons Fine Jewelery general manager Jim Alati to set annual goals, she told him that 2011 would be the year she would write $1 million in personal sales. It worked. De Lathauwer is the first sales associate at Simmons Fine Jewelry to reach this particularly lofty goal. “She is outgoing and friendly and incredibly smart,” Alati says. “Her strength is making relationships with people.” De Lathauwer began her career in luxury sales at Harrods in London.
- I really seem to connect with women who love jewelry and who are self-purchasers. I sell Roberto Coin and John Hardy to female collectors, because I understand their taste.
- I would tell a new sales associate to focus your attention when you’re at work on your job and leave everything else outside. Give your customers 100 percent of your focus. Be present in what you’re doing and enjoy yourself, because it’s such a fantastic job to have. We’re celebrating people’s happy moments pretty much constantly.
- My sales mantra comes from my philosophy of abundance: There is enough in the universe for everyone, including me.
- I wear my favorite designer, Roberto Coin, every day, and I wear my Hearts On Fire wedding ring. I wear Breitling, TAG Heuer. I believe in those brands, and I think it helps me to sell those brands.
- When I make a big sale, I have a tendency to buy Starbucks for everybody, as a way to share with my coworkers. That’s how I spread the joy.
- The color red has a certain power to it. It makes me feel good when I wear it. It’s linked to achievement; that’s why I enjoy it.
- In terms of books, Hug Your Customer by Jack Mitchell has had an influence on my thinking, in terms of embracing the customer as a person, getting to know them, treating them with great respect and making them feel special and treasured. I do hug my customers a lot. I’m a hugger. I consider them to be friends.
- I call customers on the phone to see how they are enjoying their jewelry, I wish them happy birthday, I call for anniversaries when appropriate. If they’ve won an award, I’ll call them just to talk about it. I use the phone as a tool.
- Teamwork in our store is really emphasized. We need to be able to trust each other and count on each other for support. We all get along very well.