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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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Why National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day Matters to Your Store, and More Important Dates for October

Don’t miss your chance to capitalize on Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month.

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1 Research estimates that 85 percent of an individual’s financial success can be attributed to their “human engineering skills” — that is, their ability to communicate and lead. During EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AWARENESS MONTH, improve your ability to make others feel valued and understood. It requires good listening skills, empathy, and a commitment to inspire positive feelings.

1 At the start of CO-OP AWARENESS MONTH, weigh up the pros and cons of using co-op dollars for holiday advertising and make a decision based on your circumstances.

9 A little-appreciated fact: Teddy Bears look great in diamonds. On NATIONAL BRING YOUR TEDDY BEAR TO WORK DAY, feature a few bling-wearing teddies in your cases.

29 Today, THE INTERNET TURNS 50. If your online presence is little more than an electronic brochure for your store, sit down and map out a more aggressive online strategy.

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Manager's To Do

Holiday Planning, Social Media Tips And More To-Do Items for Managers in October

Be sure to clean your entire inventory and props — correctly.

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Sep. 29-Oct. 5

CRM The gifts you give your best customers are your chance to show off your imagination and skills as a retailer. Engraved glasses customers can take home from a store event, embossed golf balls, toy jewelry or stickers for the kids, charm bracelets with unusual words … your goal should be something memorable.

EVENTS Set aside two evenings for a private client sale in late October. Which new pieces are likely to excite your best customers?

Podcast: When a Planned Purchase is a Style Mistake, Honesty Always Pays
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Podcast: When a Planned Purchase is a Style Mistake, Honesty Always Pays

Podcast: Ben Smithee Isn’t Just Another Social Media ‘Influencer’
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Podcast: Ben Smithee Isn’t Just Another Social Media ‘Influencer’

Podcast: Wisconsin Salesperson Uses Life Savings to Live Her Dream of Jewelry Store Ownership
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Podcast: Wisconsin Salesperson Uses Life Savings to Live Her Dream of Jewelry Store Ownership

Oct. 6-12

SOCIAL MEDIA Go through your social media pages, especially Pinterest, and make sure they are up to date. The last thing a 2019 holiday season shopper wants to see is something from 2018. (Unless it’s vintage).

HALLOWEEN Trick or treat! If you don’t have plans for an event, look to see what the neighborhood merchant association is planning.

Oct. 13-19

COLLATERAL Run an inventory check of your non-merchandise to make sure you don’t run out of things like toilet paper, paper towels, bags, cleaning cloths and stationery.

FINANCING Still can’t offer consumer credit? Get that application done!

Oct. 20-26

INVENTORY Double-check that you’re well-stocked in the price-points you sell most. Consider how you can take advantage of the holiday season to move pieces that are showing their age.

SECURITY Alert your staff to be on the lookout for pickpockets, distraction gangs and other sneak thieves. Check security camera angles and function.

Oct. 27-Nov. 2

MERCHANDISE Steam and/or ultrasonic clean entire inventory and props. Larry Johnson recommends using Simple Green cleaner (diluted 50/50 with water) to lightly clean all leatherette displays. “Don’t rub too hard or you’ll remove the fabric topcoating,” says the author of The Complete Guide To Effective Jewelry Display. Once the cleaning is done, re-display to create interest and desire and accommodate new arrivals.

CLIENTELING Phone customers to set appointments to create wish lists or to show off new merchandise. From here on in, your daily schedule should be sales calls first, paperwork last.

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Manager's To Do

A Trick to Selling More Platinum, And Other Manager’s To-Do Items for September

And here are some great tips for infographics in your store.

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Sep. 1-7

INVENTORY The economy may be slowing a tad, but the wealthy keep getting richer. That is allowing more people to trade up from the standard 1-carat diamond engagement ring. But to sell 2-, 3-, or 4-carat pieces, you need to have a few on hand, says David Brown of the Edge Retail Academy. Start experimenting with more expensive bridal sets.

MARKETING Conduct an advertising review. If it’s bridal sales you desire, put that shotgun away. Pick one or two advertising media, based on their reach and return on investment, and concentrate on them. That requires courage and perseverance, but it’s the surest way to break through the chatter and win that key top-of-mind presence in your local market that will deliver engagement ring sales.

Sep. 8-14

STAFF Few things are more important to staff than having the sense that their work matters. As bridal season approaches, make it a constant refrain in your strategy meetings: you’re helping people with one of the most important decisions of their life.

SHOWROOM “It’s remarkable,” says merchandising expert Sally Furrer, “how often diamond areas are underlit in stores.” Crank up the lights.

Sep. 15-21

TRAINING The rise of the bead phenomenon in the last decade caused many jewelers to cut back on diamond sales training. If that happened in your store, look to bring in a trainer who specializes in bridal goods. It’s a whole different skill set.

MARKETING Twitter’s search function, along with free applications like TweetDeck, can be great tools for market research and lead generation. Start monitoring your competitors’ brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them and you. Set keywords related to bridal sales in your market and don’t be afraid to follow up (unsolicited messages from strangers is a fact of life in the Twitter-sphere).

Sep. 22-28

SOCIAL Want to take your social media efforts to the next level while educating your clientele about bridal in a way they’ll remember? Think infographics. Whether charting the evolution of diamond cuts or providing tips on ring cleaning, infographics are a great shareable way to communicate your message. Try these free infographic websites: Piktochart.com, Venngage.com, Easel.ly.

SALES Want to sell more platinum? Highlight its staying power. Keep an old white-gold ring and an old platinum one behind the counter to show customers what happens to the two metals after a few years. One of platinum’s strengths is the durability of its white color, which won’t fade or change (like an enduring love, hint, hint) and will continue to complement a diamond, as opposed to white gold, which fades to yellow.

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