As much as you no doubt love your employees, they also probably bug the heck out of you with certain habits, such as a sales associate rambling on about the minutia of the latest press release from GIA or a jeweler who is always late in finishing custom orders. To ensure these “faults” don’t start to dominate your view of these workers, view them through the “theory of weakness,” which suggests people’s flaws are merely the downside of their positive traits. As this video from the School of Life YouTube Channel (instr.us/9161) explains, your top sales associate might blather, but it’s because he’s passionate about his work. Your jeweler might deliver late jobs because he’s a perfectionist. That doesn’t mean you should stop working with them to improve their performance, but any change done in a positive environment is likely to produce better long-term results.
This article originally appeared in the September 2016 edition of INSTORE.
Love in the Air
➤ Every so often, the Cosmopolitan casino in Las Vegas uses its flashy LED billboards to display bold artwork, like giant love notes to the masses written by British artist Tracey Emin. They offered viewers some “moments of magic” to tell their friends about, Lisa Marchese, the casino’s marketing director, told Yahoo news. Sounds like a perfect idea for a jeweler’s billboard.
➤ The best results from tips often come from small tweaks, Denise Oros, owner of Linnea Jewelers in La Grange, IL, discovered this when she started texting soon-to-be fiancés. “On a fluke I started sending them short iPhone videos of me setting their hand-picked diamonds. Huge hit! The positive feedback on the instant replay bragging rights was immediate, and then the unexpected results of recommendations for good buddies came pouring in,” she says.
➤ Do you think of your staff as “payroll,” “employees,” “human resources” or “talent”? Author Seth Godin thinks you should view them as “talent,” arguing that such an understanding holds the key to success in today’s skills-based business environment.
➤ Learn from success, psychologist Leslie Sherlin tells Fast Company. “Most of the time, we are just happy we finish it, so we move on,” explains Sherlin. “We need to think through that success. What caused me to succeed? What state of mind was I in?” When you document processes — such as a big engagement ring sale — identify the methods that worked best and then build a system for your workflow.
➤ People often lack confidence when buying diamond jewelry, so ensure everything about your store puts them at ease. Most important, your staff should express that they’re there to help, says retail researcher Paco Underhill. “What is most poignant is recognizing they have come in and realized they have no idea even the questions they should be asking.”
Get Over Yourself
➤ Good salesmanship requires getting out of your comfort zone. Marketing expert Ben Angel suggests this: Get over it. It’s not about you. “When you’re focused on your own fears and discomfort, you’re paying less attention to what the customer needs,” he says in a video on Entrepreneur.com. (See the video below.) “The simple truth is, you’re being selfish.”
➤ When it comes to portable diamond testers, cleanliness is next to truthfulness. Keep the tip clean by rubbing it against bond paper and don’t let it overheat, which gives false readings, says Keith Sessler, president of manufacturer Starstruck.
➤ Is a scheduled public speaking engagement — possibly a summary of the four Cs to a high school class — freaking you out? Spend some time with Public Speaking for Google Cardboard. The app simulates a 360-degree stage complete with a captive audience that can make you feel like you’re giving a real presentation. While it might seem a little silly, it’s a handy way to get used to the feeling of standing in front of a crowd before the real thing. Go to instr.us/9162 to get started. The app is free.
➤ A jewelry store and especially its bridal area should exude refinement and cleanliness, but some areas are too hard to clean with a typical duster or vacuum nozzle. For such nooks and crannies, blinds and even the dust-covered leaves of pot plants, don a pair of white cotton gloves, suggests Consumer Reports. The gloves cost just $8 for five pairs on Amazon. And you can toss them in the wash when you’re done.