The most important smile in your store might be outside of your store.
Most security guards look bored and unwelcoming. That makes customers expect more of the same inside the guarded doors, writes consultant Bob Phibbs. Interview your security guards as you would an employee and pay more for those who have social skills like smiling and a welcoming attitude.
Take Care of Staff
Getting the most out of your staff often comes down to knowing what excites them most. For the full-timers at Renaissance Fine Jewelry, one of the most popular perks is free parking in often-congested downtown Brattleboro, VT. The store also gives vacation and sick days, plus emergency time off.
James Porte of Porte Marketing thinks jewelers should see watch battery replacements as a terrific opportunity to inquire whether the customer has any broken, unloved or unworn jewelry in their jewelry box. “If yes, hand them a Ziploc bag and tell them to bring the pieces in and you can utilize the diamonds, colored stones and gold and make a new cherished heirloom,” he says. Porte Marketing sells the bags for 75 cents each with a custom label or insert.
Compliments are a great way to get on someone’s good side, but they can also be taken the wrong way if, for example, they highlight something that makes the person feel different (“Oh, that’s an unusual name”). Networking consultant Robbie Samuels thus recommends you say something nice about the accessories they may be wearing, such as a jacket, their sunglasses, and especially their taste in jewelry. “You start things off on good terms, and you avoid being disrespectful or acknowledging something out of their control,” he told Inc.
Say “I Don’t Know”
It’s hard to learn anything if you pretend you already know the answer, says economist and Freakonomics author Stephen Dubner. Once you know what you don’t know, you can start running experiments and gathering feedback. “Experimentation is one of the most basic, useful tools in figuring out how to solve a problem in any sphere,” he told Forbes.
Zappos Hiring Technique
When doing job interviews in person, candidates may encounter several people in your store. Be sure to ask their impression of job candidates when they arrive. As the New Yorker noted in a recent story on the hiring practices of online retailer Zappos, someone may put on a certain face when they meet you, yet treat a receptionist in a condescending manner.
Put the Ring On
It’s never too early to sow the seed of ownership, writes Olympian Diamonds’ Aleah Arundale in her regular email bulletin. “Put the ring on their finger in the first minute of conversation. As you are talking about the diamond, start referring to the diamond as ‘your diamond,’ and soon it will be their diamond,” she says, crediting David’s Jewelry in Hunstville, AL, for the tip.
Get More Shoes
If you’re like a lot of male sale associates, you wear the same pair of leather shoes every day. Jim Kass, VP of operations at the Allen Edmonds shoe company, wants you to stop, for the sake of your shoes and your customers. Your feet sweat all day and the leather soaks it up, he told Business Insider. “They may not seem damp, but they are. And if you don’t give your shoes time to dry, the leather won’t maintain its shape. Plus, they’ll start to stink up faster.” Kass also suggests you store your shoes on wooden shoe trees to absorb the excess moisture.
This article originally appeared in the March 2017 edition of INSTORE.