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8 Ways to Make Your Store More Millennial-Friendly



Yesterday’s Plumb Club breakfast featured keynote speaker Jason Dorsey, whom you may have seen mentioned in numerous articles (including in INSTORE) or on TV news networks talking about millennials. He’s a generational expert and the author of Y-Size Your Business. He’s also a pretty fantastic speaker who had some insights on millennials and the newer Gen Z that I hadn’t heard before — or, well, remembered … I do have an aging Gen X brain, after all.

Ralf Kircher

Group Executive Editor, INSTORE

esterday’s Plumb Club breakfast featured keynote speaker Jason Dorsey, whom you may have seen mentioned in numerous articles (including in INSTORE) or on TV news networks talking about millennials. He’s a generational expert and the author of Y-Size Your Business. He’s also a pretty fantastic speaker who had some insights on millennials and the newer Gen Z that I hadn’t heard before — or, well, remembered … I do have an aging Gen X brain, after all.

Here, from his talk, are eight specific things you can do right now to adapt to this terrifying generation:


Use the words “unique,” “special” and “one of a kind” in every sales presentation. The worst thing you can do, Dorsey says, is make a millennial think he or she is going to look like anyone else.


In the selling process, jump to the end and paint a picture of the outcome; show them how great their lives will be once they’ve made a purchase. Dorsey maintains that his research shows the millennial mind is non-linear in its thinking and that they are actually “massively compliant” buyers if you show them the outcome first.


When a millennial asks a question, say, “Wow, that’s a great question.” — no matter how stupid or annoying it may be — “Have you done some research online? I can tell.” (And not “I can tell” in the sarcastic way you may well be thinking!) Affirm millennials by asking them questions yourself.


Give them the VIP intro. Go up, introduce yourself, and then — and here’s the trick — say, “I’d like to introduce you to [X associate].” Dorsey says that millennials’ trust goes up dramatically when a team is working with them. It suggests that “If you buy from us, we’ll all have your back.”


Don’t ask them if they’d like to be photographed with their new purchase. Instead, say, “How about I use your phone to take a picture of you with your new purchase?” They’ll never say no if it’s their own phone. Then say, “Hey, if you’d like, feel free to tag us on the photo if you share it.” They will.


Millennials trust a local connection above all else. They value local over big. Play up your local-ness on your website and in your social media.


Regarding hiring millennials, recognize that the most important day of work in your store is their first. When they show up on their first day, present them with business cards that already have their name printed on them. Dorsey says that many millennials make up their minds about how long they will stay in a job by lunchtime the first day. Make those first few hours unforgettable.


Again on hiring: Millennials will do a background check on you before joining your team. Make your LinkedIn profile likeable to a millennial: Have an approachable photo, impart information in your own profile that suggests you’re a human being and not just a businessperson.

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Jimmy DeGroot

Be Ready for ‘What Do You Have for $100?’ and Other Holiday Questions

As Christmas approaches, the queries you’ll hear from customers are actually pretty predictable, says jewelry store training expert Jimmy DeGroot. Here's how to make sure your team is prepared for the more common ones.

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Commentary: The Business

Hear Those Jingle Bells? They’re Also Wedding Bells

Hiding among the holiday crowds is a key customer who doesn’t want to be rushed.




This story was originally published in the December 2011 edition of INSTORE.

THAT RINGING in your ears is jingle bells! Jewelers around the country are in the midst of the most important selling season of the year. According to J. Walter Thompson, the holiday selling season accounts for nearly 22 percent of annual diamond sales in the United States, meaning it’s still crucial to a successful year for retail jewelers.

Retailers invest months preparing for the season, not to mention dollars! Marketing, merchandising, packaging, special events, and sales training must all be in place.

The other ringing you hear is wedding bells! There is a vital statistic lurking inside that 22 percent number of which you should be aware: various studies show that about 25 percent of engagements occur during the fourth quarter in the U.S., making your diamond bridal business a key part of holiday sales.

Here’s the critical point: amid all the busy-ness of the season, don’t overlook this essential category. Make a list and check it twice. Focus on two important areas: Diamond inventory and the particular temperament of the engagement-ring shopper.

From an inventory/merchandise perspective, jewelers should be over-prepared and ready to present a wealth of options and styles to the engagementring customer. The adage that one can’t sell from an empty wagon applies! Savvy consumers will have scoured the Internet and other retail stores and seen hundreds of ring styles. Their jeweler of choice will have to provide options!

Engagement-ring customers are not the typical Christmas shopper. They are often walking into your store for the first time after, on average, three months of shopping (according to The Knot 2011 Engagement and Jewelry Study). This consumer is not preoccupied with getting a package under the tree, but rather with making one of the most important purchases of their lifetime. They require your full attention and will not respond well to being rushed just because it’s Christmas and you’re busy. Sales associates must be prepared to give the engagement-ring shopper the time and attention they require.

When making your “list,” be sure to include a training session or two to ready your sales staff to effectively engage the wedding-ring customer during the holiday season. Train them to change gears for this consumer so they don’t feel rushed or under-served. Use all the resources at your disposal to ensure an impressive engagement-ring inventory that will excite your customer. Make sure your collection of loose diamonds includes a good number of 1-carat diamonds, and if possible, have a 2 to 3 carat on hand. Overnight and “in time” inventory is great, but sometimes you can’t make the sale if you don’t have the goods!

That ringing in your ears is jingle bells and wedding bells playing two distinctly different but profitable tunes during this Christmas selling season!

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Dave Richardson

Why Attitude Is More Important Than Experience When Hiring

Hire for attitude rather than just experience.




WHY IT IS TRUE: The key question in hiring a new sales associate is, can this person sell? The second question is, does this person have any jewelry sales experience?

PLAN OF ACTION: Be careful hiring someone with jewelry experience, particularly if that experience comes from different stores over a number of years.

My philosophy has always been this: it is easier to train a good salesperson to sell jewelry than to train someone who knows jewelry how to sell.

Most importantly though, look at the person’s attitude toward selling, enthusiasm for working with customers, and results during their sales career. Chances are you will score a real winner.

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The Digital Doc: Answers to Your Questions About Digital Marketing

Smart Age Solutions takes reader questions about a topic that many jewelers find intimidating.




IN THIS NEW COLUMN, Smart Age Solutions answers jewelers’ questions about how to use digital marketing on the local level to bring in more customers and make more sales. As the company notes, many jewelers do not yet understand just how much power they have to create a dynamic brand in the digital space.

Do you have a question for the Digital Doc? Send it to

Q: I’m really hesitant about putting money into digital ads. I don’t know too much about it and I’m worried I’ll just be wasting money.

A: You are certainly not alone! First, it’s best to do some general research to educate yourself on the basics of digital marketing at the local level. You do not need to become an expert, but it’s important do some preliminary information-gathering before you make a decision. There are many resources online that can give you a basic overview of what you can achieve with different marketing channels (Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc.). Once you’ve done this, start a few conversations with reputable marketing agencies in the industry. These companies can provide you with different packages based on your budget. They can also give you an idea of what activity your marketing dollars will create.

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Jimmy Degroot

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Jim Ackerman

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Gene the Jeweler’s Rule: Never Buy the Same Piece Twice
Gene the Jeweler

Gene the Jeweler’s Rule: Never Buy the Same Piece Twice

Q: How do I know if digital marketing is working? When should I expect a sale?

A: The first step in a digital marketing campaign is to declare your goals. The next step is to get as many qualified online shoppers in your community to visit your website so they can explore your products and services. The easiest things to measure are website traffic and telephone calls. If both increase, great! The sales will follow.

Q: I try to get my team to ask our customers for a review or feedback. I know they make us feel all warm and fuzzy, but how do online reviews help my marketing strategy?

A: There are many advantages a great online review provides. Besides the obvious notion that people trust other people’s opinions of products and services,your online reviews can have a significant impact on how you are treated as an advertiser by platforms like Google and Facebook. Google’s logic is simple: The more that consumers interact with a business online, the more legitimate and relevant they are to their community. The rewards that jewelers can expect for great online reviews are better ad placement, more consistent impressions, and lower costs per click to their website. What this means is that Jeweler A with 200 online reviews spending $1,000 can achieve better results for a lower budget than Jeweler B down the street with 10 reviews spending $10,000.

Pro tip: The big advantage to digital marketing is the ability to change your advertisements on the fly. If something about the advertisement isn’t working, you change the message, branding or event details. If you have ever had to pay to re-skin a billboard, print new catalogs or re-record a radio spot, you will know just how valuable it is to have the power to edit advertisements for little to no cost.

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