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Manager's To Do

Calendar: February 2011

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February takes its name from the Latin for “purify.” Maybe it should have been called “Cor-anuary” because this is clearly the month of the heart. It is American Health Month, Mend a Broken Heart Month and also home to Women’s Heart Week and St. Valentine’s Day (which we’ll get to in a bit). So do as the Go Red For Women campaign suggests and get involved in an event. At the very least, put together a display of garnet, spinel or even ruby earrings and don some red on Feb. 4.

[dropcap cap=2] Well, it’s Groundhog Day… AGAIN. If life in your store feels like you’re having the same day … over, and over… do something about it. Try a trunk show, get in a coach, join the local chamber of commerce – anything that you may have previously viewed with skepticism. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=3] Chinese New Year launches the Year of the White Rabbit, a time to trust your intuition. And when is that? When it’s an area where you have experience or when you’ve been presented with too many options. When people overthink situations, they tend to make bad choices, according to research in the Journal of Consumer Research. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=6]There was a time gridiron was played by men with cauliflower ears and few teeth, and nobody needed to ask if that was a pair of 5-carat brilliant-cut diamond earrings the lineman was wearing. Today, football and in particular, the Super Bowl, offers something for everyone – touchdowns, fashion, cool ads and an occasionally controversial half-time show. To get in on the action, you could try hiring a former player to come in and sign autographs and pose for photos on the day. Pennsylvania-based King’s Jewelry did that last year at one of their events with former Steeler Robin Cole providing the excitement. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=7] In the run-up to Valentine’s Day there are a number of calendar dates designed to play off the Big Red One: Dump Your Significant Other Week, Satisfied Staying Single Day (Feb. 11), Rejection/Risk Awareness Week (Feb. 7-14), International Flirting Week (Feb. 13-19) …. Ignore them and focus on generating anticipation for V-Day. Goldworks in Chapel Hill, NC, did something similar last year with a particularly cool pre-Valentine’s event: a chocolate-tasting buffet. Lots of fun and a winner with customers. [/dropcap]

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[dropcap cap=7] International Networking Week means it is time to put your glad-handing skills to work. If the idea of working a room of strangers makes you queasy, start with smaller clubs where you’ll find people who share similar interests to yours. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=8] James Dean would have been 80 today if he hadn’t died young and left a handsome legacy. If cool is you’re thing, he could be the peg. How about a Rebel Without a Cause/Jewelry Without a Reason party?  [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=8]Get your customer to laugh and you’re halfway to closing the sale. That’s the thinking behind Laugh and get rich day, which was created by regular INSTORE columnist Rick Segel. Of course, it’s not just about the bottom line. Humor fosters creative thinking and better communication, generates loyalty and just makes work a better place to be for all.  [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=13] Red-carpet season reaches its zenith this month with, first, the Grammy’s today, and then the Academy Awards on Feb. 27. Slip into fashion-maven mode and get your customers excited about jewelry’s cutting-edge trends with a series of e-mail bulletins on what’s hot. Maybe even hold your own Oscar-watching party. Invite your guests to walk down the red carpet, sip special cocktails and win prizes for correctly picking the most honorees.   [/dropcap][dropcap cap=14]Aim Cupid’s arrow at a younger demographic this year. Valentine’s Day is a terrific opportunity to get the 45-and-under crowd into your store for the first time. In your marketing stress three things: That you’re approachable; that your bench jeweler can create unique gifts (this demographic loves personalization), and that flowers die, jewelry lives on (they like value too.)  [/dropcap]

[h4]Calendar Dates[/h4]

Feb 2011

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[li]Feb. 1-6
AGTA GemFair Tucson
Tucson, AZ[/li]

[li]Feb. 18-22
Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show
Palm Beach, FL[/li]

[li]Feb. 20-22
AccessoriesTheShow Pavilion
New York, NY [/li]

[li]Feb. 22-23
The American Craft Wholesale Show
Baltimore, MD [/li]

[li]Feb. 25-28
Inhorgenta 2011
Munich, Germany [/li]

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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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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.”

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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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Calendar

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.

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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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