MARKETING Invite any and all customers to bring their diamond ring in for a free professional cleaning. What’s the investment cost? Time and cleaner. And you’ve probably got a bit of the former to spare right now.
SALES “I cringe when I hear, ‘How are you?’ I absolutely cringe," says Gennifer Flaxman of Bernie Robbins in Marlton, NJ (PICTURED). "I take the old school approach to building rapport — I comment on someone’s hair or jacket — because if you’re genuine about it, it really works.”
CUSTOMER RELATIONS Master “trick packaging” — gift wrapping that makes the recipient think they’re getting something else. It’s a great way to build relationships with gift buyers.
MARKETING Hire a pro (or ask a talented amateur) to take photos of your store and team. These are valuable marketing tools you can use in a variety of situations: when meeting new vendors at trade shows, dealing with local press, or even submitting your store into next year’s “America’s Coolest Store” contest.
TRAINING If you’ve always associated lounging on the couch watching QVC with gross unproductivity, think again. The presenters on shopping channels are highly-trained, they have extensive product knowledge, the ability to forge a connection with customers and a “story” about what they’re selling. These are things so many salespeople elsewhere are missing.
SAFETY Stage an advanced fire drill. Simulate a blocked exit and unconscious staff member. Critique staff performance.
EQUIPMENT Check all gemological testing equipment to make sure it’s calibrated properly,
SALES FLOOR Replace worn counter pads used to demonstrate jewelry. Tattered or battered tools hurt the perceived value of your products.
OPERATIONS Get your inbox organized, with some help from productivity guru Dave Allen. From now on, view your inbox as a repository solely for “Active” tasks, meaning things that need addressing. Everything else should be deleted or viewed as a “Reference” matter (receipts, photos, thank-you notes from customers — and archived; you can find them when you need them).
WEBSITE Improve your 404 error page. The Web has a ton of fun and clever examples that could inspire you to come up with something memorable.
INDUSTRY If you haven’t visited for a while, log on to instoremag.com and spend some time at our constantly improving website — more, news, advice and dialog than ever, and lots of archived material as well.
SELF-IMPROVEMENT What’s the best month to try to change your life? It’s just ahead of us, in August. Unlike the stressful New Year period, in August the kids are back at school, people have returned from vacation and it’s easy to establish a routine that supports your new goals.
OPERATIONS Streamline your working life. Throw out all the stuff from storage under the showcases, says Ruth Mellergaard, principal at design firm GRID/3.
This article originally appeared in the July 2017 edition of INSTORE.