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Manager's To Do

Calendar: April 2015



Celebrate Tax Day


Thanks to Tax Day at the heart of April, the month has become home to a series of money-management dates including National Financial Literacy Month, Financial awareness month and 1 cent day. But for all the advice thrown our way, when it comes to money, the vast majority of us continue to be our own worst enemies. We don’t open 401(k) plans, we incur fees because we “forget” to pay our bills on time, we run credit card balances … and then there are all those less-than-prudent business decisions we make. If you don’t have a CPA who specializes in small business or another neutral finance pro guiding your decisions, book a consultation today.

This article originally appeared in the March 2015 edition of INSTORE.


Otto Von Bismarck, credited with uniting Germany, introducing Europe’s first social welfare program, and the following quote, “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes; the wise man learns from the mistakes of others,” was born on this day in 1815. Mark the 200th anniversary of Otto Von Bismarck’s birth (and April Fool’s Day) by re-reading our July 2014 feature, Lessons Learned (


April 18-20 Smart Jewelry Show, Chicago, IL

April 22-25 AGS Conclave, New Orleans, LA


April 25-27 JIS Show, Miami, FL

April 27-28 IWJG Show, Brooklyn, NY

Ann Landers knew a thing or two about feuds — she didn’t talk to her twin sister, (Dear) Abby, for years. It may have been why she was such an advocate of Reconciliation Day. While grudges, feuds and recalled slights can occasionally be good motivators, they mostly just consume time and energy. Today, think of a relationship (commercial or personal) that soured, and write a note to that person saying you’d like to bury the hatchet, or just wish them the best. Even if it doesn’t work out, it’s an issue you won’t waste any more time stewing over.

The 155th anniversary of Rene Lalique’s birth represents a terrific opportunity to educate your customers about art nouveau jewelry, which has enjoyed a nice revival in the last few years. Maybe bring in an arty glassmaker for a trunk show.

National Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into 2015 women must work to earn what men earned in 2014. Invite your women customers to come in to commiserate and reward themselves fairly for their hard work, because broadly speaking, society is not in much of a hurry to do it.


The inquiry, “Would you like fries with that?” earns McDonald’s millions of dollars a year. There’s much to learn about the art of upselling from the world’s biggest burger chain, which opened its first branch in Des Plaines, IL, on this day in 1955. The most important is: Don’t suggest add-ons just for the sake of profit or getting rid of unwanted inventory. Customers will see right through you. Instead, determine which products go well together because of style or price point (don’t go higher than 25 percent for the second item), and have your selling points prepared. If you can show the value in your fries, your clients will see it too.

Former Mayor Richard J. Daley called Chicago “the city that works.” We’d like you to think of working smart when you think of the Windy City. As with previous SMART Shows, the 2015 event will provide lots of education (the sessions begin today), peer-group activities, and fun competitions. And let’s not forget a carefully edited vendor list to match your buying needs. Start clearing your cases now.

What you may not know about Paul Revere is that he was one of you: a silversmith and engraver. Mark the 240th anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride into the history books with a “mid-night” sale. Hang a lantern above your door, and stay open late with some extra special offers.

So you’re no Joe Cocker. Don’t let that stop you. The organizers of National Karaoke Week claim the benefits of singing along to synthetic tunes in public are increased self-esteem, stress release and when done with the staff, improved bonding through shared experience.

S T O R E    A N N I V E R S A R I E S

jewelry store anniversaries Sorg Jewelers

115 Years: Sorg Jewelers

Goshen and Elkhart, IN

Sorg Jewelers’ 115-year history is a point of pride for its third- and fourth-generation owners but the family has also been careful not to live in the past, notes VP Darin Sorg. While outside, 16-foot art-deco neon signs hint at an elegant past, the business has continued to evolve, most recently upgrading its location in Downtown Goshen, IL, and relocating a second store to a more vibrant part of nearby Elkhart. The family credits the business’s longevity to a simple formula that combines expertise, value and customer trust.


Diamond is April's birthstone


There is a rational case to be made for eschewing diamonds, but it just melts when exposed to the Hard One’s bright, shining charm. It’s been the same way since they first washed up on Indian river banks more than 2,500 years ago. The word diamond derives its name from the Greek adamas, meaning unconquerable and indestructible, like a marriage that lasts into its 60th year.



Gene the Jeweler

Gene the Jeweler Gets Kicked Out of the Studio

In the latest episode (#42) of Gene the Jeweler, Gene is going about his business, recording a new episode. But that doesn’t last long. Four-time NFL Pro Bowl leading rusher Ahman Green walks in, and Gene finds that his time in the studio is over — whether he likes it or not. (See more Gene the Jeweler episodes at

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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.




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:,,

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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Yarr! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day and More Important Dates for September

“I’ll be paying top dollar for whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chest.”




19 Many jewelers seem to have forgotten what a lucrative earner gold buying can be. Luckily, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is here to remind you. Yarr, have some fun with your advertising. “Yes, me hearties, Cap’n Jack Black Diamond has gone straight. I’ll be paying top dollar for your doubloons, old lockets or whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chests. Come see the Cap’n before the sharks get ye.”

01 On NATIONAL NO RHYME (NOR REASON) DAY, challenge your customers on social media to come up with words that can’t be rhymed. Three you can probably put to good use in your posts that day are “spirit,” “silver” and “woman.”

06 Today is FIGHT PROCRASTINATION DAY, and if you’re one of the many afflicted, try this trick: when jotting down a to-do item, keep rephrasing it until it involves the use of your limbs: “Pick up phone and call …”, “Open laptop and search for …”

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Remembering Woodstock, The Little One’s First Day in Kindergarten, and More Useful August Dates

You’re always busy, but this month, get things done.




19 Mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by doing something in its spirit: keep a journal of everything you do, broken down into 30-minute increments. At the end of each workday, assign a value — 1, 2 or 3 (the lowest) — to your time, and at the end of the week, evaluate the results. They may well surprise you. Obviously you want to be spending at least half your time on No. 1s.

1 August is GET READY FOR KINDERGARTEN MONTH. On the first day of school, invite all new kindergarten moms to come in for mimosas and snacks. They can reward themselves for surviving this milestone.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

15 Fifty years ago today, the promise of free music, a good time, and … umm … a pretty good shot at “getting lucky” drew 400,000 young people to WOODSTOCK, NY. To many folks, that’s much the same promise that jewelry makes (minus the music). Roll back the years with a store party.

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