Connect with us

Ask INSTORE: August 2008

Published

on

Advice for advertising on cable, preparing your team for the holidays, and the best way to tag jewelry.

[h3]Target main selling seasons for successful TV advertising[/h3]

[dropcap cap=Q.][h4][b]How do I get the biggest bang for my buck if I advertise on cable?[/b][/h4][/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=A.]For television, your best approach is to advertise most heavily around the main selling seasons, says Rosabel Tao of ad agency Spot Runner. “In Q1 and Q2, those include Valentine’s Day, and spring, which includes several big gift-giving events like Mother’s Day, graduations and bridal,” she says.

But it’s also important to note that these different calendar dates demand different approaches. For Valentine’s Day specifically, jewelers should launch an aggressive campaign in the few weeks leading up to the actual holiday, Tao says. In contrast, for spring, “flighting” — which refers to creating a longer campaign that is on TV for a couple of weeks and then off for a couple of weeks — is a better tactic. When it comes to the vital holiday season, retailers shouldn’t wait until December to advertise because while most gift-buyers make their actual purchase in December, they make their decision in November. “So, it’s important to start a campaign in early November, using television and/or radio as the mass awareness vehicle and supporting it with focused efforts like online, direct mail and events as the calendar moves closer to Dec. 25,” she recommends.[/dropcap]

[componentheading]TRAINING[/componentheading]

Advertisement

[contentheading]Cleats and Bibs[/contentheading]

[h4][b]What’s the best way to prepare my team for the holidays?[/b][/h4]

Think cleats and bibs. That’s Kate Peterson’s advice. “Conditioning camp for the NFL begins in July, even though the season doesn’t officially begin until September,” notes Peterson, adding that you would do well to implement a similar training regimen. Here’s the pre-season workout she recommends:

1. Individual coaching and conditioning (performance review, planning and learning)
2. Team coaching and practice (store meetings, team classes, etc.)
3. Scrimmages (role plays and floor coaching during and after actual customer interactions)
4. The real thing.
So how should you proceed? Start now with objective and concise performance reviews, advises Peterson, a professional trainer. Include clearly defined expectations for the upcoming season and goal setting — both sales and client development — for the fall. After that, spend the ensuing days and weeks monitoring performance, coaching for improvement, and looking for needs that might require supplemental staffing or realignment.

[componentheading]PERSONNEL[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Leaving on a Good Note[/contentheading]

Advertisement

[h4][b]My best salesperson just gave her notice. How should I handle it?[/b][/h4]

Professionally. This is most likely not personal, so don’t react as if it were. Marching her to the door is simply bad for business, and a tad ungrateful considering the business she’s brought you. It will also hurt general staff morale and there’s a good chance you’ll need the departing employee to tie up a host of loose ends. Further, a hot or hasty response denies you the chance to make a counteroffer. Often there’s something other than money that can “make it work” for the salesperson, so ask her. If the relationship can’t be salvaged, part cordially and then get to work on identifying what made her such a successful salesperson. Call up her biggest customers and ask what they liked best about working with her. Make notes that can go in your training manual or that you can use for hiring purposes. If she is leaving to work for a competitor and you didn’t make her sign non-disclosure and non-compete agreements when she joined, well, that’s another lesson you’ve learned from this episode.

[componentheading]MERCHANDISING[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Tag and Release[/contentheading]

[h4][b]What’s the best way to tag jewelry?[/b][/h4]

One of the most readily heard excuses in jewelry stores for less than sparkling jewelry is, “I didn’t’ want to have to retag the merchandise.” Well, get better tags, meaning a durable material — probably a plastic substrate — marked with indelible ink. You don’t want tags that are so large they overshadow the jewelry but they need to be large enough to carry supporting information. That means the identity and grade of the gem, the total weight (and average grade) of accent gems, the metal, a code for the vendor and, of course, the SKU# are all important. If the staff has leeway to discount dated merchandise, the date of introduction into inventory should be coded. If the staff is commissioned on gross profit, the cost should be coded too. RFID technology is slowly moving into jewelry stores but remains rather expensive for small stores. Keep on eye on it though.

Advertisement

[componentheading]EMPLOYMENT[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Agency Expectations[/contentheading]

[h4][b]What should I expect of a staffing agency?[/b][/h4]

Suzanne DeVries, president of Diamond Staffing Solutions in Derry, NH, suggests that at the very least the agency should have experience in jewelry because of the special web of connections that bind the industry. The agency should also provide:

1. A candidate profile, with a solid work history.
2. Three to five reference checks, including neutrals not provided by the candidate. 
3. Background, credit, and driver’s license check, as well as the ability to do drug testing.
4. The willingness and ability to answer any questions you have about the candidate. 
5. A clear and concise placement agreement detailing the scope of engagement and all fees,
6. A warranty by which it will “fix any failure” either by refunding the fee or by replacing the candidate.

[span class=note]This story is from the August 2008 edition of INSTORE[/span]

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

She Wanted to Spend More Time with Her Kids. She Called Wilkerson.

Your children are precious. More precious than gold? Absolutely! Just ask Lesley Ann Davis, owner of Lesley Ann Jewels, an independent jewelry store that — until the end of 2023 — had quite a following in Houston, Texas. To spend more time with her four sons, all in high school, she decided to close her store. Luckily, she was familiar with Wilkerson and called them as soon as she knew she wanted to move on to bigger, better and more family-focused things. Was she happy with her decision? Yes, she was. Says Davis, “Any owner looking to make that life change, looking to retire, looking to close, looking for a pause in their career, I would recommend Wilkerson. Hands down!”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular

Ask INSTORE

Ask INSTORE: August 2008

Published

on

Advice for advertising on cable, preparing your team for the holidays, and the best way to tag jewelry.

[h3]Target main selling seasons for successful TV advertising[/h3]

[dropcap cap=Q.][h4][b]How do I get the biggest bang for my buck if I advertise on cable?[/b][/h4][/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=A.]For television, your best approach is to advertise most heavily around the main selling seasons, says Rosabel Tao of ad agency Spot Runner. “In Q1 and Q2, those include Valentine’s Day, and spring, which includes several big gift-giving events like Mother’s Day, graduations and bridal,” she says.

But it’s also important to note that these different calendar dates demand different approaches. For Valentine’s Day specifically, jewelers should launch an aggressive campaign in the few weeks leading up to the actual holiday, Tao says. In contrast, for spring, “flighting” — which refers to creating a longer campaign that is on TV for a couple of weeks and then off for a couple of weeks — is a better tactic. When it comes to the vital holiday season, retailers shouldn’t wait until December to advertise because while most gift-buyers make their actual purchase in December, they make their decision in November. “So, it’s important to start a campaign in early November, using television and/or radio as the mass awareness vehicle and supporting it with focused efforts like online, direct mail and events as the calendar moves closer to Dec. 25,” she recommends.[/dropcap]

Advertisement

[componentheading]TRAINING[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Cleats and Bibs[/contentheading]

[h4][b]What’s the best way to prepare my team for the holidays?[/b][/h4]

Think cleats and bibs. That’s Kate Peterson’s advice. “Conditioning camp for the NFL begins in July, even though the season doesn’t officially begin until September,” notes Peterson, adding that you would do well to implement a similar training regimen. Here’s the pre-season workout she recommends:

1. Individual coaching and conditioning (performance review, planning and learning)
2. Team coaching and practice (store meetings, team classes, etc.)
3. Scrimmages (role plays and floor coaching during and after actual customer interactions)
4. The real thing.
So how should you proceed? Start now with objective and concise performance reviews, advises Peterson, a professional trainer. Include clearly defined expectations for the upcoming season and goal setting — both sales and client development — for the fall. After that, spend the ensuing days and weeks monitoring performance, coaching for improvement, and looking for needs that might require supplemental staffing or realignment.

[componentheading]PERSONNEL[/componentheading]

Advertisement

[contentheading]Leaving on a Good Note[/contentheading]

[h4][b]My best salesperson just gave her notice. How should I handle it?[/b][/h4]

Professionally. This is most likely not personal, so don’t react as if it were. Marching her to the door is simply bad for business, and a tad ungrateful considering the business she’s brought you. It will also hurt general staff morale and there’s a good chance you’ll need the departing employee to tie up a host of loose ends. Further, a hot or hasty response denies you the chance to make a counteroffer. Often there’s something other than money that can “make it work” for the salesperson, so ask her. If the relationship can’t be salvaged, part cordially and then get to work on identifying what made her such a successful salesperson. Call up her biggest customers and ask what they liked best about working with her. Make notes that can go in your training manual or that you can use for hiring purposes. If she is leaving to work for a competitor and you didn’t make her sign non-disclosure and non-compete agreements when she joined, well, that’s another lesson you’ve learned from this episode.

[componentheading]MERCHANDISING[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Tag and Release[/contentheading]

[h4][b]What’s the best way to tag jewelry?[/b][/h4]

Advertisement

One of the most readily heard excuses in jewelry stores for less than sparkling jewelry is, “I didn’t’ want to have to retag the merchandise.” Well, get better tags, meaning a durable material — probably a plastic substrate — marked with indelible ink. You don’t want tags that are so large they overshadow the jewelry but they need to be large enough to carry supporting information. That means the identity and grade of the gem, the total weight (and average grade) of accent gems, the metal, a code for the vendor and, of course, the SKU# are all important. If the staff has leeway to discount dated merchandise, the date of introduction into inventory should be coded. If the staff is commissioned on gross profit, the cost should be coded too. RFID technology is slowly moving into jewelry stores but remains rather expensive for small stores. Keep on eye on it though.

[componentheading]EMPLOYMENT[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Agency Expectations[/contentheading]

[h4][b]What should I expect of a staffing agency?[/b][/h4]

Suzanne DeVries, president of Diamond Staffing Solutions in Derry, NH, suggests that at the very least the agency should have experience in jewelry because of the special web of connections that bind the industry. The agency should also provide:

1. A candidate profile, with a solid work history.
2. Three to five reference checks, including neutrals not provided by the candidate. 
3. Background, credit, and driver’s license check, as well as the ability to do drug testing.
4. The willingness and ability to answer any questions you have about the candidate. 
5. A clear and concise placement agreement detailing the scope of engagement and all fees,
6. A warranty by which it will “fix any failure” either by refunding the fee or by replacing the candidate.

[span class=note]This story is from the August 2008 edition of INSTORE[/span]

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

She Wanted to Spend More Time with Her Kids. She Called Wilkerson.

Your children are precious. More precious than gold? Absolutely! Just ask Lesley Ann Davis, owner of Lesley Ann Jewels, an independent jewelry store that — until the end of 2023 — had quite a following in Houston, Texas. To spend more time with her four sons, all in high school, she decided to close her store. Luckily, she was familiar with Wilkerson and called them as soon as she knew she wanted to move on to bigger, better and more family-focused things. Was she happy with her decision? Yes, she was. Says Davis, “Any owner looking to make that life change, looking to retire, looking to close, looking for a pause in their career, I would recommend Wilkerson. Hands down!”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular