1 RESOLUTION TIME! This year, try an exercise prescribed by trainer Scott Ginsberg. Take a blank card and write one thing you want to achieve in 2017, why it’s important and how you’re going to accomplish it. Slide the card between the pages of an old book. Lastly, make a reminder in your phone to retrieve it in four months. The purpose is to provide a checkup on how you’re progressing with your goals. Sounds simple, but the effect can be profound.

3 On FESTIVAL OF SLEEP DAY, resolve to get seven to eight hours sleep every night. Schedule your bedtime, and start winding down at least 45 minutes earlier. Even small amounts of sleep deprivation take a dramatic toll on our ability to think creatively, work at a high level and keep our emotions in check.

8 THE GOLDEN GLOBES, kick off the red carpet season, so dust off your fashion maven’s beret and scarf. Via emails or blog posts, let your fashion-conscious customers know what trends you expect to see this year. (Need help? Look out for the style blogs at instoremag.com.)

16 NATIONAL NOTHING DAY was initiated by newspaperman Harold Pullman Coffin 45 years ago to provide Americans with one national day when they didn’t have to celebrate anything. A better use for store owners might be to think how they can leverage more “nothing days” to drive traffic. “You don’t need a calendar event,” says industry analyst Ken Gassman. “You can have a sale like ‘The Manager’s Away, So We’re Nearly Giving Jewelry Away! Come in now, before he/ she returns from vacation.’”

18 The 135TH BIRTHDAY OF A.A. MILNE gives us a chance to roll out one of our favorite Winnie the Pooh quotes: “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like ‘What about lunch?’” In the world of customer service, that means something like: “I can solve that for you.”

20 Take advantage of CLEAN OUT YOUR INBOX DAY to do just that. If the need to keep records prevents you from triggering the “nuclear option” (Delete everything! If it’s important they’ll get back in touch), then try a contained tactical strike. Move everything more than one month old to an “Archive” folder. And then be aggressive in filtering every new email that comes in. We want you to see those Brain Squad survey invites.

24 On NATIONAL COMPLIMENT DAY, take your praise up a notch. And don’t just save the kind words for your customers. Email a reporter and tell him you found his article helpful, call a vendor to say you appreciate his educational efforts, and tell a new salesperson you liked the way she handled a turnover. Praise is the best way to modify behavior — and it’s free and inexhaustible.

28 As positive-thinking guru Dale Carnegie noted, people rarely succeed unless they are having fun. That goes double for retail: Who wants to shop where the staff are all so serious and somber? Celebrate FUN AT WORK DAY by rolling out a ceremony to celebrate big sales or a fun new spiff: Offer to be the most successful salesperson’s “Slave for a Day.” And don’t forget to tell customers how much fun you had serving them.


 

 

HAPPY 50TH ANNIVERSARY TO

CB Stark Jewelers, Martha's Vineyard, MA

Fresh from the Museum School of Fine Arts in Boston, Cheryl Barbara (“CB”) Stark (above right) came to Martha’s Vineyard in 1966 to teach silversmithing at an artisans’ collective. She quickly fell in love with the island community, opening a small studio. A few years later, she was joined by Margery Meltzer (above left), a recent philosophy graduate with a penchant for rocks. Together, Cheryl and Margie have built one of the Vineyard’s best-known businesses with two stores and a growing online operation. The two credit their success to their innovative jewelry designs and customer service. The store marked its 50th anniversary with several commemorative charms and catered parties.


BIRTHSTONES

Garnet

Garnet comes in a stunning range of colors, from the luscious green of tsavorite to the Fanta orange of spessartite to the varied brilliance of color-change garnet. Garnet is durable, still mostly untreated and has an unrivalled history as a birthstone that goes back to the 12 tribes of Israel. It is also the second anniversary gemstone.


This article originally appeared in the December 2016 edition of INSTORE

 
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