To our growing list of unlikely places to meet potential customers, Phillip Bosen of Bosen Associates recommends your local CrossFit class. He cites the following three reasons: 1) It isn’t cheap, but those who become regulars are committed to investing in themselves (ideal clients); 2) The sense of belonging to a tribe is quickly forged when you sweat and accomplish goals together; which in turn supports 3) People buying from people they know (You!). And you’ll get fitter, which is not a bad side benefit.
Reframing the Internet
Many jewelers lament the transparency that the Internet has brought to pricing and jewelry sales. But Alex Weil of Martin’s Jewelry in Manhattan Beach, CA, thinks they should welcome it instead. “We find it makes things easier when clients come in already knowing what to expect on prices and what they would like to purchase,” he says. “It remains up to us to provide the experience and fulfillment of the request.”
Build Better Sellers
If you’re a young store and don’t yet have a standout salesperson on your team, a good way to help create one is by sending staff members to other stores to watch their great salespeople in action. Have a relationship with a non-competing jeweler with outstanding salespeople in your state or region? Write a letter to them, starting with “Hey, I’d like to ask you for a really big favor ...”
Quickest Draw Wins
Ready, aim, fire. That was overwhelmingly the approach of successful U.S. entrepreneurs, according to University of Virginia business scholar Saras Sarasvathy: The successful ones rarely made long-range business plans and scorned market research. Instead, they went for quick wins — a few sales, then a few more.
Concede Fast, Lose Fast
Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator David Davis’s management textbook, How To Turn Round A Company, offers some interesting takes on how to come out on top in business talks. His list of golden rules includes “quick negotiations are very bad for one party or the other” and “losers make the first concession on major issues.” Instead, he recommends making “piecemeal concessions with a declining concession pattern. Make the opposition work for their concessions, and when the deal is struck, make them feel that they have done well.”
Hold Off On the “To” Field
Have you ever sent an email to the wrong person — like a long, sarcastic lament about a demanding customer … to that very customer? To prevent that from happening again, email app maker Sanebox suggests leaving the “To” field blank until you’ve proofread your email. It’s a small step that can save you enormous embarrassment.
No Surprise Firings
An employee should never be surprised to learn they are being fired. If their first response is “Why, why me?” the fault lies with poor management, says Jack Welch, explaining that it was obviously never made clear to the individual that he or she wasn’t measuring up. Says Welch: “You tell the bottom 10 [percent] where they stand, and if they don’t improve, you tell them to go. You want to field the best team; the only way you’re going to do it is by having the best players.”
Pretend You’re at Home
Monique Breaux, lead designer with Posh Interiors in Lafayette, LA, says that increasingly, owners of sophisticated retail environments are looking to incorporate elements of residential design as they seek to make their spaces elegant but not intimidating. So, if you’re planning an update, consider consulting a designer who has experience designing upscale home interiors.
This article originally appeared in the July 2017 edition of INSTORE.