“I wish my team created its own personal trade business.”
As an online jewelry store trainer, this is one of the biggest wishes I hear from jewelers.
So I thought I’d create an outline for your store to begin its very own personal trade program, enabling your people to bring in scads of business.
Set up the environment. Most jewelers aren’t physically set up for their people to individually market themselves. There are no sit-down workstations with computers where a person can work uninterrupted. You need to create an environment that enables a person to sit down at a computer with a telephone and a work area for writing and keeping files and records. This area can be directly on the sales floor or it can be a room in the back, off the floor.
Set aside time. I realize this is retail and retail is chaos. But I’ve seen successful stores plan their personal trade time at certain times of the day such as after set-up and before the store opens. It can also be actual scheduled time off the sales floor in a back room where exponentially more work can be done uninterrupted. Not ideal, but better than nothing, I’ve also seen stores economize their time by having a work station in the “sweet spot” so they are able to be on the floor, ready for customers, yet still be able crank out some communications. The goal is for a disciplined, scheduled time. Just like anything you want to be successful at, you have to schedule it.
Everybody Does It. A plan will be more successful if everyone is involved, including the manager. It needs to be ingrained into your culture where everyone holds each other accountable. This is a creative process and does not work if it’s mandated. Everyone needs to buy into the idea that this is agood thing for the entire store.
Start Small. If it’s complicated or too much too do, it won’t work. Pick one thing and perfect it. For example, plan to reach out to your repair customers from the last month with a satisfaction call. A plan as simple as this can really create some great and profitable conversations. Eventually your daily plan can build to something like this:
- Customer satisfaction calls.
- Follow up on current projects in the works. (Don’t let this monopolize your time or be the only thing you do.)
- Facebook/Instagram post about something interesting.
- Email past engagement customers about referrals.
- Hand out one business card outside the store and start one conversations about jewelry by asking people to tell their story.
- Create a short video for your store’s YouTube channel, vlog and website about a commonly asked question you get.
Make it part of the Job Description. Developing personal trade should be an integral part of your team’s job description. Owners should have an open mind to it and not be too restrictive or demanding of the activities. I mention this because there still are bosses out there that are in the physical production mindset rather than the creative production mindset. They get angry when they don’t see their people doing something such as wiping cases or arranging jewelry. The job of creating personal trade is really where the money is made and should be encouraged and rewarded.
A Team Plan. Have a group discussion talking about the importance of people developing their own business within your business. Stress that for this to work, everyone needs to buy into the idea and that they have to work together as a team supporting one another. Although it’s called personal trade, not everyone is at the store all the time, so they need to be able to rely on one another with good communication and teamwork to get the sale for the store and not just the individual. Also, allow the team to build their own plan. They will be much more effective implementing the plan they create (and also change as they grow) than with a top-down directive.
Get Started Now. Don’t worry about a perfect plan. Get started now to get a few wins as soon as possible. This will get your team excited and create momentum for them to continue. The plan will be perfected as they go along. They’ll recommend changes and suggest things. One of the neatest things they will excitedly share is, “This is what really worked for me!” Those are profitable words to hear.
Reward It. Regardless of how you pay your people, condone and reward this behavior. Contests are always fun and of course money always works. I’ve always made it my goal as a manager to pay out the highest commission or profit- sharing checks possible. You’ll find that if people are rewarded generously, they will continue that activity.
Developing personal trade is not a program in a box for you to buy. It has to be built and nurtured from within your store. It all starts with the owner and their attitude toward it. Then allow for team creation and buy-in followed up with a daily plan. Get a program like this going and watch what happens to your sales and your team’s attitudes. I know you’ll be very happy with the result.
JIMMY DEGROOT is a jewelry store manager who has been in the business for over 20 years. Now he spends his time training teams around the world at jewelrystoretraining.com and sharing marketing advice through his blog site at jewelrymarketingguy.com. Sign up for training videos here.
This story is an INSTORE Online Extra.