Truth is, I'll never know all there is to know about you, just as you will never know all there is to know about me. Humans are by nature too complicated to be understood fully. So, we can choose either to approach our fellow human beings with suspicion or to approach them with an open mind, a dash of optimism and a great deal of candor.

—Tom Hanks

“When young couples come into our store to shop for engagement rings, it is a joyous occasion—part of their journey together. It also has the potential to become a stressful and embarrassing experience for the young bachelor,” explains Shell, an ultra-high-performing sales professional in the high-end jewelry market.

“The bride-to-be has a fantasy. In it she sees herself showing off a massive ring to friends gathered around her in awe. The young man is desperately trying to give her that dream and avoid having to admit that he can't afford the ring.”

Shell points to the massive diamond on her finger. “The girl almost always gravitates to the $20,000 diamond. The guy's face turns white. You can feel his stress. It's awful because he's between a rock and a hard place—a no-win situation.”

Shell has developed a huge referral clientele because she's empathetic and does the right thing for her customers.

When working with couples, she tunes in to their emotions. She's aware that if the guy is pushed into a corner, there is a high probability that he'll “need to go home and think about it” and she'll never see him again.

Ultra-high ...

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