I struggle with telling my jewelers that their work is not up to snuff. Any ideas? 

Try invoking the “god of jewelry art” and use this imaginary entity as a source of strength. Tell your jewelers that this authoritative third party has weighed in and won’t let this piece leave the shop in its current condition. (It will also help if you can provide at least one specific point you want improved.) Your jewelers will think you’re a little nuts. But they’ll also know you have uncompromising standards. 

I just lost my third big diamond sale in a matter of months. Why? 

Without knowing the details of the sale, that’s hard to judge. When you lose a big sale, it can be tempting to try to banish it from your mind. But a better strategy, says sales trainer Dave Richardson, is to heave its offending carcass onto the cold slab and call a sales inquest. “You want to examine what mistakes were made, what you could have done differently, and how you could have reacted to certain comments and objections brought forth by the buyer,” says Richardson. Perhaps there was absolutely nothing you could have done to save the sale. But if you review it with advisers or other staff, you may well learn one of those lessons that only failure seems to teach.

How can I improve my website to boost bridal sales?

The great thing about digital technology is that it can give even a small retailer the reach and power that was once the preserve of huge corporations. The downside is that it requires constant updating to stay relevant. Refresh your website at least every two years and do tweaks every six months to ensure your SEO is up to date.

“For your website to look up to date, it should be photo-driven, have a white background and simple lines. Large format photos can make a powerful impression,” says Carley Roney, co-founder and chief content officer of the XO Group.

Other recommendations:

  • Streamline your website so visitors can quickly find brands and styles they like.
  • Show off the range of your selection, including examples of your custom work. And give people at least a hint of your prices; otherwise, they may not dare set foot in your store.
  • Tell visitors how to get to know you better through prominent links to your Facebook page.
  • Educate, don’t sell.
  • Finally, view your website as just one component of a larger digital marketing effort. Open the doors through social media and blogs. Offer to send them educational emails and look into following them wherever they go with retargeting, Yes, it helps to be a bit of a stalker.

This article originally appeared in the September 2017 edition of INSTORE.