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Calendar for Jewelers: October 2015

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Groucho Marx on men and women

Go ahead, you have our permission to share this future meme with your male customers.

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Facebook has made it increasingly harder to reach all your fans without generating high levels of engagement. Images score highly in this regard. And an easy way to get more images on your homepage is to post graphic quotes: On October 2, the 125th anniversary of Groucho Marx’s birthday consider something like this from the comic genius: “Man does not control his own fate … The women in his life do that for him.” For a young man choosing to devote his life to one person, it’s surprisingly profound.

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


6 Mark the debut of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 15 years ago by holding your own forensic investigation of a recent engagement-ring sale that went bad. Discuss what went wrong, what the warning signals were, and what other approaches could have been tried. Nail that sales killer.

11 Need a break? Five minutes of goofing off on YouTube provides healthy mental relief, say studies. In line with our bridal theme this month, we urge you to mark the 40th anniversary of SNL’s premiere today with its take on men discussing marital bliss (See instr.us/8153; you may decide not to share it with clients).

UPCOMING EVENTS

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Oct. 12-13 International Watch & Jewelry Guild (IWJG) Show, Brooklyn, NY

Oct. 13-16 Luxury Miami, Miami, FL

Oct. 14-16 Centurion, South Beach, FL

Oct. 15-18 Jewelers International Showcase (JIS) Show, Miami, FL

Oct. 26-28 JA Special Delivery New York, New York, NY

Oct. 24-26 Gold/Italy, Arezzo, Italy

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12 Build Your Business With Business Card Week is held to highlight the power of those mini billboards. But sales trainer Dave Richardson says be careful you’re not using them in a way that hurts your bridal sales, specifically by writing down too much information on the back of the card. “The customer then uses that to gain leverage with a competitor,” he says. Richardson recommends you limit the information to the stock number of the item you’ve shown.

13 On National Face Your Fears Day, a simple exercise for you. Think of something you can’t take action on because of fear. Not sure whether to invest in your own diamond brand, try a guerilla marketing campaign, fire that nice but unproductive associate … Now imagine the absolute worst that could happen as a result of making that decision. Then ask yourself, can you deal with that? Often the idea of the pain is worse than the pain itself. Don’t put off that decision one more day.

16 It might not surprise you to learn National Boss Day, held to give workers the chance to show their admiration for their employers, was not invented by an employee (but rather the daughter of the CEO of the State Farm Insurance Co., who wanted workers to know how hard her dad worked). Nevertheless, it’s a good chance to build bonds with staff and show you’re actually a pretty regular guy or gal. Set a big bridal season target for your team and offer to shave your hair off if they achieve it. Sometimes non-financial awards work fine.

Celebrate customers' love notes

Have your customers submit their love notes so you can put them on a billboard.

25 With exactly two months to go until Christmas and probably 40 percent of both your engagement rings sales and your total jewelry sales to be done for the year, are your troops suitably fired up for the challenge? Have you given them the freedom to “make the deal”? Have you built team spirit so turning over is fun and easy? If you need help, you could do worse than channel Kenneth Branagh in Henry V (instr.us/8154). That today also happens to be St. Crispin’s Day and the 600th anniversary of Henry’s victory at Agincourt makes for a nice coincidence. “He that outlives this day …

31 If threshold resistance is an issue at your store, especially with nervous young men, Halloween is the date for you. How hard can it be to discuss buying a diamond ring with someone dressed like Khal Drogo?


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

105th anniversary of Tivol jewelry store

105 Years: Tivol

Kansas City, MO

Over its 105 years in business. Kansas City-based Tivol has done it all: provided jewelry to presidents and royalty and collaborated on jewelry designs with Hollywood A-listers. It nevertheless still has a soft spot for young men looking for a humble ring. “I know that young guys usually aren’t comfortable in a jewelry store. So when I see them come in — and they’re obviously shopping for an engagement ring — I approach them on common ground, saying something like, ‘I know some of this stuff is expensive. It’s kind of unfair that we’re young and haven’t got much money,’ says Hunter Tivol McGrath, the son of CEO Cathy Tivol and the fourth generation Tivol to work in the store. “Being understanding of their situation puts them at ease and, ultimately, that selling style works best,” he says.


Opal is the birthstone for October

B I R T H S T O N E S

Opal

Opal stands almost alone among gemstones for its noncrystalline nature. The multi-colored stones have a rich history, and were collected by ancients around the world. In Europe, the stone fell from favor in the 19th century due to a literary trend in which the opal-wearing heroine invariably came to a sticky end. They have since bounced back, and some black opals now cost more per carat than diamonds. Opals are given to mark the 14th wedding anniversary.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Not GOB (Going Out of Business) but TMM (Too Much Merchandise)? It’s Wilkerson To the Rescue!

With a remodeling project looming, the time was right for Steve and Linda Hammalian, owners of Little Treasure Jewelers in Gambrills, MD, to call in the Wilkerson pros. The couple needed to liquidate excess, aging inventory. Steve says he’d totally recommend them. “Wilkerson offered a comprehensive solution in terms of advertising, in terms of on-site presence and for their overall enthusiasm. They’re also really nice people.”

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Manager's To Do

Add These Dates to Your To-Do List to Ensure a Productive May

Mother’s Day, the Vegas shows, summer and more guarantee it will be a busy month.

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May 5-11

SALES Everything should be in place for Mother’s Day (May 12). Remind salespeople that it’s a fantastic opportunity for add-on sales in the form of matching jewelry. What have you bundled for dad and daughter to buy together for Mom?

PLANNING If you’ve typically taken your annual vacation in July, why not shake things up a bit and opt for vacation in August this year? Who knows what your community’s jewelry needs are like in July if you’ve never really been present.

STRATEGY Vegas bound? (JCK begins May 31.) Hunker down with your POS system. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve at the show. What are your goals? To attract female self-purchasers, expand your bridal clientele with new bridal product, increase margin with in-house branded collections? (And keep an eye out for our June trends guide toward the end of the month at instoremag.com — it could be a huge help.)

May 12-18

MANAGEMENT Start meeting with staff at least monthly to share three “good things” to build on and three “development areas.”

MARKETING Your best customers are your current customers. Identify your 200 top customers. Draft a plan to market to them in the second half of 2019.

SECURITY Hotels in Vegas make it clear they are not responsible for loss or theft of items brought into their property. If you travel with goods, look into getting insurance.

May 19-25

OPERATIONS Hurricane season is ahead in many parts of the country. Run through a checklist to ensure that your bad weather protocol is up to speed.

BUYING This year, be organized and professional in front of your vendors in Vegas — prepare all your reports and forms. Re-confirm your appointments, and get cell phone numbers so you can contact them if you need to.

May 26-June 1

BUYING In Vegas, make a point to visit the Design Atelier at Couture and The Design Center at the JCK Show. The talented designers in these sections create jewelry unlike anything you may have seen, which will engage your most consistent clients while also opening up new markets.

SHOP Slow season project: Take photos of all waxes not already in your CAD library and add them.

MERCHANDISING With summer on the way, Larry Johnson says redo the props in your showcases to give a fresh look. Throw away those seashells in the pearl case and replace them with props that show your customer all the places in town where she can wear those beautiful pearls.

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May Day, Sea Monkey Day and More Important May Dates

One is a day to remind yourself that ultimately, you’re selling emotional benefits.

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1 Elsewhere, the proletariat may be standing shoulder-to-shoulder on May Day, singing “L’Internationale” to show solidarity with their daily toil, but in the good ol’ U.S. of A, that’s not considered politically correct. In place of class struggle, tell your staff you want to hear what can be done to make your store a better place to work. Ask your employees to come up with three small things each that would make their working days more pleasant. Implemented right, small things can go a long way to making employees feel empowered, involved and happy to be at work.

4 AUDREY HEPBURN, who was born on this date 90 years ago, did more for little black dresses and diamond earrings than anyone else in history. Mark the occasion with an invitation-only morning event with your favorite customers.

14 The BIRTHDATE OF THE BUDDHA is a perfect time to focus on what works and let go of the rest. Invite input, keep an open mind, and act to de-clutter.

16 It helps to be smart in your marketing, but bold is so much better. Remember that today as the world celebrates SEA MONKEY DAY — a briny nod to the power of selling emotional benefits.

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Siblings Day, National Volunteer Week and More Important April Dates

Seize on this date to own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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10 Sure, sometimes they wouldn’t surrender the TV remote, and you had to wear red because they got the blue top, and they never seemed to do their fair share of the dishes … But they are also the only other people on the planet who understand what weirdos your parents are. On National Siblings Day, remind your customers of all this. Siblings are like the best friends we never asked for but are really glad we have. They deserve a nice surprise gift — in red.

7 On National Volunteer Week, pick up litter on roadsides or in your local creek, serve food to homeless, repaint the children’s shelter; do something to give back to your community.

14 On Be Kind to Lawyers Day, send a cheery note of thanks to yours for their hard work keeping your business safe from legal jeopardy.

30 Those honored on National Honesty Day are given “Abes” to mark their commitment to truthfulness. Sponsor an event at a local school. Own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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