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Manager's To Do

Capitalizing on Valentine’s Engagement Sales, March Madness and More March To-Dos

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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Mar. 3-9

BUDGETING Time to get started on making a budget for the 2019 buying season and get ready to trade in old inventory for new inventory. Also, if possible, have an inventory reduction sale to get rid of the dated inventory before going to Vegas.

SALES FLOOR Beware the ex-brides of March! Divorce filings are highest this month. Do you have a script ready explaining why the resale value of an engagement ring may not meet the customer’s expectations? If not, get busy.

A Packed Store Like the Day Before Christmas? Wilkerson Makes It Happen
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Oprah-Endorsed Online Jewelry Retailer to Launch IPO in ‘Near Future’ (Video)
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Oprah-Endorsed Online Jewelry Retailer to Launch IPO in ‘Near Future’ (Video)

Video: Here’s a Great Way to Use Personal Stories in Your Jewelry Marketing
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Video: Here’s a Great Way to Use Personal Stories in Your Jewelry Marketing

MARKETING Remember all those clients who bought engagement rings in advance of Valentine’s Day? Call to see what their plans are for wedding bands.

Mar. 10-16

MERCHANDISE It’s March. Embrace the madness. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Finals starts on March 17 and runs through to April 8. It’s a great chance to clear out old inventory with a quick Sheer Madness Sale! At the very least, organize a pool for staff.

SHOWROOM Is your custom area as friendly as it could be? Does it feature a gallery highlighting past designs, portraits of satisfied customers, updated displays, appropriate lighting, a signature scent?

Mar. 17-23

MARKETING Hold a Prom Dress Party. Encourage girls to bring their dresses into the store and try on jewelry with the dress. Identify pieces to excite them at prices that will entice a sale (that means jewelry with a big look for less money).

MERCHANDISING Pull out your promotional calendar and view it from the perspective of using the events to manage and reduce specific inventory. Annual customer appreciation sales, trunk shows, open houses, and repair/jewelry remodeling events can all give your finances an even greater boost if you execute them with a view to moving certain items.

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MANAGEMENT Download a time tracker to your phone and start logging how you spend your work life — not because there’s much value in the record you create, but because the very act of recording can have a powerful psychological impact, leading you to use your time much more efficiently. (Warning: Brace yourself to be alarmed at how you fritter away time.)

Mar. 24-30

SHOWROOM In one analysis of a university building in Oregon, workers on the greenery-facing side took 19 percent fewer sick days. It apparently has to do with how we evolved to function best in nature-rich settings. If you can’t knock a side wall out to provide a view of the glorious outdoors, buy a few potted plants to place around your sales floor.

PERSONAL Take an inventory of your tech use and evaluate each item for its usefulness, working on the assumption that if something can’t justify itself, it’s out. Exit the social networks you barely use and get rid of the apps that, when you think about it, have no benefit. Yep, that means Candy Crush may have to go.

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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A Packed Store Like the Day Before Christmas? Wilkerson Makes It Happen

Deb Schulman says once she and her husband, Ron, decided to retire, she could feel “the stress start to leave.” The owners of B. Alsohns Jewelers in Palm Desert, California, the Schulmans had heard about Wilkerson over the years and contacted them when the time was right. Wilkerson provided the personalized service, experience and manpower it took to organize their GOB sale. “We are so impressed with the way Wilkerson performed for us,” says Ron Schulman, “I’d send high accolades to anyone who was interested.”

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Make the Most of Blue Monday and More Important Dates for January

It’s 2020, so make sure your vision is clear.

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20 Combine post-holiday depression with seeing our New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside, and we arrive at a date in the third week of January that has come to be known as BLUE MONDAY, when — according to various media accounts — we are at our most miserable. Fight this annual nadir with a Blues Bash on social media or in-store, featuring your sapphires and other blue jewelry. It could also be a good way to introduce Pantone’s color of 2020 — “Classic Blue”.

1 As we open the year 20/20, take time to give serious thought to your vision. What one bold thing does your business stand for? How clear is it to everyone?

15 On GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER DAY, give your sales associates an allowance to take a customer out to lunch. Their goal should be to learn about them, not to sell them.

28 Celebrate FUN AT WORK DAY by rolling out a ceremony to celebrate big sales or a fun new spiff. And don’t forget to tell customers how much fun you had serving them.

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Manager's To Do

Holiday Social Media Tips, How to Keep Spirits Bright, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for December

Be sure your staff are prepared both mentally and physically.

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Dec. 1-7

REPAIRS Make sure all staff are aware of your cut-off dates for accepting repairs and special orders for Christmas. Stick to it even if it means turning down a sale — better that than not to be able to fulfill it. (And if it just absolutely, positively has to be fixed, note your “emergency service” charge and split the cash with your jewelers.)

MARKETING Start posting photos of your two best-selling jewelry pieces on Facebook each day. Post the first when you open, and the other around 3 p.m. Launch three new Pinterest pages: Last-minute gift ideas for her; Last-minute gift ideas for him; Gift ideas under $100. Ask each of your employees to post at least one photo a day to your store’s Instagram account (and don’t forget the hashtags!). Watch for feedback and keep the conversation going.

DIAMONDS Get on the phone to diamond reps and get in more memo diamonds so you have time to work with those early shoppers before the chaos sets in. Every sale you make now in the first half of December is found money.

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Dec 8-14

TRAINING Changes in small behaviors can have huge results. Each day, ask employees to keep in mind one specific behavior. It could be mimicking, maintaining eye contact, smiling, getting customers to try on items, getting permission to follow up, and asking “So … who else is on your list?”

MARKETING Keep phoning customers for wish lists, one-year jewelry tune-ups, etc. If someone’s been on their feet for hours and needs a break, send them to the back to start making those calls.

Dec 15-21

HEALTh “Research studies say that low blood sugar levels are associated with lower overall blood flow to the brain, which means bad decisions,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution. To keep your blood sugar stable, Hyman suggests eating a nutritious breakfast with some protein like eggs, protein shake or nut butters. Then have smaller meals throughout the day.

Dec 22-28

SALES FLOOR Take some of the stress out of last-minute shopping by offering food, drink and good music. Even if you’re not having an official Christmas Eve party, make sure that there’s nourishment (of the literal and spiritual kind) to keep the stress low and the spirits high.

MANAGEMENT Before you close up on Christmas Eve, thank every team member personally for his/her effort.

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Dec 29-Jan 4

CRM 2019 is almost a wrap. Send out thank-you cards to every customer, even those who just bought a battery. For your best customers, make follow-up calls (or send texts for younger customers). “So, how did it go?” If not well, tell them to come in and take advantage of your exchange policy.

RETURNS Say it three times: Returns are good, returns are … Yep, return week is upon us. Handle it well and those customers will return, too.

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Cyber Monday, Tick Tock Day and More Important December Dates for Jewelers

Be ready with the right questions on Christmas Eve.

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24 Jewelry: a gift that communicates thoughtful reflection, even when it’s bought at 6:55 p.m. on CHRISTMAS EVE. A certain kind of man knows this. He’s the Last-Minute Man, and there are a lot of them (21 percent of men don’t even start their shopping until the Saturday before Christmas). Coupled with their tardiness, they tend to be clueless. Coach your employees to ask about the colors that spouses or partners wear, whether they prefer gold or silver, and if they favor big or small earrings.

2 CYBER MONDAY is the No. 2 shopping day, reaching $7.9 billion in sales last year. Be sure to highlight a few specials on your website. Shoppers will be looking for them.

4 ROCKEFELLER CENTER HITS THE SWITCH on its landmark Christmas tree today. You should too. Customers want to see lights, decorations and reindeer carved from ice.

29 Today is TICK TOCK DAY as 2019 winds down. Quickly knock off one or two of those important but not urgent things that have been loitering on your to-do list.

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