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Manager's To Do

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

GOB Sales are Emotional — Here’s How to Stay on Track!

When Moyer Jewelers of State College, PA, decided to close its doors, Wilkerson was there to “keep the train moving forward.” With dedicated professionals and incomparable selling skills, the Wilkerson experience was one that third-generation jeweler Lori Moyer would recommend to any of her peers. “They really cared about our success at the end of the event. I recommend them highly.”

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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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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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