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Manager's To Do

Bring in Those Larger Diamonds for the Holidays … and More Business To-Dos for November

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Oct 30-Nov 4

VIP SERVICES Fancy your fashion chops? Offer a personal styling service to clients. Simply invite your best customers to come in with the outfits they intend to wear and promise to find the perfect earrings (or whatever) to complete the look.

STOCK Make up last-minute stocking stuffers — nature rock key chains? Eyeglass chains with beads? High-end dog-tags for dogs?

MANAGEMENT Create a schedule to ensure you’re ahead on paperwork and display duties (cleaning, tagging, sorting), so that come December, you can focus almost exclusively on the sales floor.

Nov 6-11

NETWORKING Go to whatever parties and small business events you’re invited to. Meeting people face-to-face is the best way to ensure that when they think of gifts for the holidays, they’ll have a “real person” to go to!

PROCEDURES Study your parking lot. Devise and publicize a policy on staff parking. What do you do if a car needs to be towed?

INVENTORY Arrange now to have larger diamonds in your store ahead of the Christmas week engagement season. Says Terry Chandler, president of Diamond Council of America: “The engagement ring customer wants to see and touch the diamond in real time and often won’t wait for the ‘overnight’ shipment. Don’t reach into your sleigh and come up empty-handed!”

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Nov 13-18

WEBSITE Update your site with seasonal elements and feature gift ideas including one special every few days. Highlight your wish-list function.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH Reach out to local charities to identify a family that is in need and organize an internal store drive to help make their Christmas special.

ONLINE Keep posting your event schedule on your social media outlets — email and mailed invites can go astray.

Nov 20-25 

MARKETING Nov. 24 means Black Friday and also one month to go until Christmas. Send a reminder: There are only 28 more shopping days until Christmas.

STAFF Part-timers ask the same questions over and over because they weren’t trained on basics. Come up with the most common things that go wrong and prepare answers.

SHOWROOM Start feeding holiday songs into the store lineup. At first, aim for every fourth song, and then over the next five weeks slowly increase the rotation.

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Nov 27-Dec 2

GENERAL Trim down your high heels. Shoe-repair specialists can shorten most stilettos by up to half an inch and still maintain the shoe’s original pitch and alignment for between $8 and $15. 

INVENTORY Check your orders and stay on top of your vendors. Running out of your core items is almost as bad as ordering too much of a bad seller.

MERCHANDISING Narrow your assortments. Your strongest sellers in October and November are most likely to be the key items that will drive your business in December.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Manager's To Do

Holiday Social Media Tips, How to Keep Spirits Bright, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for December

Be sure your staff are prepared both mentally and physically.

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Dec. 1-7

REPAIRS Make sure all staff are aware of your cut-off dates for accepting repairs and special orders for Christmas. Stick to it even if it means turning down a sale — better that than not to be able to fulfill it. (And if it just absolutely, positively has to be fixed, note your “emergency service” charge and split the cash with your jewelers.)

MARKETING Start posting photos of your two best-selling jewelry pieces on Facebook each day. Post the first when you open, and the other around 3 p.m. Launch three new Pinterest pages: Last-minute gift ideas for her; Last-minute gift ideas for him; Gift ideas under $100. Ask each of your employees to post at least one photo a day to your store’s Instagram account (and don’t forget the hashtags!). Watch for feedback and keep the conversation going.

DIAMONDS Get on the phone to diamond reps and get in more memo diamonds so you have time to work with those early shoppers before the chaos sets in. Every sale you make now in the first half of December is found money.

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Dec 8-14

TRAINING Changes in small behaviors can have huge results. Each day, ask employees to keep in mind one specific behavior. It could be mimicking, maintaining eye contact, smiling, getting customers to try on items, getting permission to follow up, and asking “So … who else is on your list?”

MARKETING Keep phoning customers for wish lists, one-year jewelry tune-ups, etc. If someone’s been on their feet for hours and needs a break, send them to the back to start making those calls.

Dec 15-21

HEALTh “Research studies say that low blood sugar levels are associated with lower overall blood flow to the brain, which means bad decisions,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution. To keep your blood sugar stable, Hyman suggests eating a nutritious breakfast with some protein like eggs, protein shake or nut butters. Then have smaller meals throughout the day.

Dec 22-28

SALES FLOOR Take some of the stress out of last-minute shopping by offering food, drink and good music. Even if you’re not having an official Christmas Eve party, make sure that there’s nourishment (of the literal and spiritual kind) to keep the stress low and the spirits high.

MANAGEMENT Before you close up on Christmas Eve, thank every team member personally for his/her effort.

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Dec 29-Jan 4

CRM 2019 is almost a wrap. Send out thank-you cards to every customer, even those who just bought a battery. For your best customers, make follow-up calls (or send texts for younger customers). “So, how did it go?” If not well, tell them to come in and take advantage of your exchange policy.

RETURNS Say it three times: Returns are good, returns are … Yep, return week is upon us. Handle it well and those customers will return, too.

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Cyber Monday, Tick Tock Day and More Important December Dates for Jewelers

Be ready with the right questions on Christmas Eve.

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24 Jewelry: a gift that communicates thoughtful reflection, even when it’s bought at 6:55 p.m. on CHRISTMAS EVE. A certain kind of man knows this. He’s the Last-Minute Man, and there are a lot of them (21 percent of men don’t even start their shopping until the Saturday before Christmas). Coupled with their tardiness, they tend to be clueless. Coach your employees to ask about the colors that spouses or partners wear, whether they prefer gold or silver, and if they favor big or small earrings.

2 CYBER MONDAY is the No. 2 shopping day, reaching $7.9 billion in sales last year. Be sure to highlight a few specials on your website. Shoppers will be looking for them.

4 ROCKEFELLER CENTER HITS THE SWITCH on its landmark Christmas tree today. You should too. Customers want to see lights, decorations and reindeer carved from ice.

29 Today is TICK TOCK DAY as 2019 winds down. Quickly knock off one or two of those important but not urgent things that have been loitering on your to-do list.

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A Good Idea for Thanksgiving, and More Important Dates for November

Includes a fitting tribute to the quiz show Twenty Questions.

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2 The quiz show TWENTY QUESTIONS MADE ITS DEBUT on national television on this day 70 years ago. Mark the occasion by brainstorming 20 questions to get your customers talking. Sami Fine Jewelry in Fountain Hills, AZ, came up with a list that ranged from icebreakers like “What kind of pets do you own?” to those with a specific sale in mind: “How would you like to be a hero for under $100?”

19 Mark management expert PETER DRUCKER’S BIRTHDAY by saying no to something that you feel is vaguely important, but if you were to be brutally realistic, you don’t have time for.

28 Get in the spirit of THANKSGIVING by sending a goodie bag to your best 50 customers (be sure to include a coupon). It’s likely they provide an outsized contribution to your success.

29 It’s showtime! BLACK FRIDAY marks the traditional start of the shopping season. Spur your holiday sales with a special coupon mailed to your customer list.

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