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A Tip for Referrals, Selling High-Dollar Items, and More Advice for Managers for August

And now’s the time to connect with local magazines about holiday jewelry editorial features.

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Marc Majors

Aug. 2-8

STRATEGY What’s the biggest problem facing your store today? Now what is the smallest thing you can do to respond to that? What are you waiting for?

MARKETING It’s only by a slim margin, but August is the year’s top birthday month. How about taking a tip from one of the literary hot sellers of the last decade, The Necklace: Thirteen Women And The Experiment That Transformed Their Lives, and see if “fractional” diamond gifts would work in your market? (The story is about a group of friends who shared a fabulous diamond necklace, one month at a time.)

Aug. 9-15

TRAINING Focus on high-ticket items. The economy is in a period of fluctuation, which requires a slightly more nuanced approach to presenting expensive items. Staff shouldn’t assume no one can afford expensive items, but at the same time, people are looking for value and deeper symbolism in their jewelry purchases.

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SALES If your salespeople still end every sale with the phrase, “Be sure to let your friends know where you got it,” it’s time for an update. Sharing on social media and review sites is becoming key today. Work on phrasing with staff. Make sure all your social media channels are listed on business cards.

PERSONAL Schedule a short break for sometime in September. If you’ve been more or less stuck at home or in the store for most of the year, do your mental health a favor and try to get away and go somewhere else for a few days. It could be your last chance to do so this year.

Aug. 16-22

MARKETING It’s been one of those years where you find out who your real friends and best customers are. Plan a client appreciation party in October/November. It should support sales come December.

INVENTORY The disruption to the trade show calendar this year means those late regional shows will be more important and likely more comprehensive in 2020. Finalize your fall open-to-buy and scour the fashion and trade mags for product ideas to be ready for the last trade shows of the year (there’s a string of events scheduled for October).

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DISPLAYS One of the great untapped resources of too many small businesses is the staff itself. Hold a Christmas window display contest with a $100 Visa gift card as the prize.

Aug. 23-29

MARKETING All types of media outlets, from local newspapers to blogs, prepare gift guides to help their readers with holiday ideas. Find out the deadline for these guides (for magazines it is often four or more months out) and start pitching some unique suggestions. Your custom design service could be one. The editorial calendars for most major, trade and regional magazines can usually be found on their websites.

MARKETING Wish lists are among the effective tools you can roll out ahead of the holiday season. Think of new ways to get them in the right hands (wallet-sized cards, Facebook campaigns, prize drawings, bribes).

SHOW ROOM Draft a cleaning schedule for all cases and inventory that covers the next three months.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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