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Manager's To Do

Brush Up Your Credentials, Double-Check Pricing on Hot Sellers, and More Manager’s To-Dos for August

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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Jul. 28 – Aug. 3

INTERNET Need a tech project? Learn how to integrate the tools on Google Docs so you can easily share store information (training tips, store manual, rosters) among staff.

MANAGEMENT This is a good time of year to consider your employees’ salaries. According to a study by Dale Carnegie Training, 26 percent of engaged employees would leave their current job for just a 5 percent increase in pay. Don’t lose great people because you’re underpaying them, especially in the current tight market.

Aug. 4-10

SYSTEMS Write scripts for greeting customers: what to show them, handling take-ins, getting wish-list information.

MARKETING People defer to authority (it allows them to think less about decisions requiring specialized information). Don’t assume your expertise is self-evident. Get those credentials up on the wall, and on your website with a brief explanation in your About Us page about what it takes to attain them.

Aug. 11-17

MARKETING Hospitals, nail salons, spas, fitness centers, car dealers, realtors … there’s a number of businesses that have surprising potential to be a great marketing partner with a jeweler during the lead-in to the holidays. Draw up a shortlist and reach out.

STAFF A good way to help create a standout sales team is by sending staff members to other stores to watch their great salespeople in action. Have a relationship with a non-competing jeweler with outstanding salespeople in your state or region? Write a letter to them, starting with “Hey, I’d like to ask you for a really big favor …”

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Aug. 18-24

MARKETING Hire a pro to take new photos of your store and your staff while everyone is tanned and happy. These are valuable marketing tools you can use when meeting new vendors at trade shows, dealing with local press, or even entering next year’s America’s Coolest Store contest.

PRICING If you’re like a lot of smaller jewelers, you may be underpricing a proven seller compared to your competition. “Fast-sellers in particular need to be fully priced,” says the Edge Academy’s David Brown. This week, spend time researching what prices your best-selling items are achieving across the industry and make sure you are realizing their full potential.

Aug. 25-31

FINANCE According to our Brain Squad surveys, only about 50 percent of independent jewelers offer some form of financing, and among those who do, most say the programs are an effective way of supporting sales. Investigate the options offered around the industry.

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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