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David Geller

David Geller: Electric Co.

Energize your holiday sales by giving electronics to your store’s highest sellers, suggests David Geller. Would you spend a measly $1,594.95 to have a fabulous Christmas?

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IF YOU’VE BEEN DOUBTING the value of paying commission at all or have thought of making your current commission plan stronger, then read on. Commission plans reward folks for doing their best. Give ‘em twenty bucks and they might smile. But give ‘em a steak dinner at Outback and they just might sell like crazy!

Both rewards cost you only $20, right? But not everyone is money-hungry. Some folks are hungrier for recognition. And some are just plain hungry —and a steak dinner would definitely hit the spot for these.

Have you ever had a sales staff member say “I don’t want commission, I love what I do, and I get goose bumps making people happy”? Yeah, right. See what happens if you give them something they can touch and feel, like a Sony 32” Flat Screen LCD television.

Now we’re cooking! Online at www.circuitcity.com, I found the Sony TV for $599.99. Last year I suggested that a jeweler buy that exact model television and put it in the back of the store at Thanksgiving with a big sign on it reading, “The person with the largest total sales through December 24 gets this TV!”

He had his best holiday season ever. You can, too. You could make this Christmas an “Electronic Christmas”. Buy the following prizes, put them in your back room, along with a sign that reads:

Highest Sales for Christmas by Dollar Volume:

  1. Sony 32” Sony Flat Screen TV ($599.99);
  2. Audiovox 15” LCD TV ($449.99);
  3. Apple iPod Mini personal stereo ($249.49);
  4. Sony Shelf Stereo with 5-CD disc changer ($152.99);
  5. Palm Pilot Zire Organizer ($142.49).

Prices isted are taken from Circuit City. Together, they add up $1,594.95. (You can offer lower- or higher-budget items depending on your sales revenues.) You may want to set a minimum sales level to be eligible for the prizes. (Smart move.) There’s also nothing wrong with having two people hitting a certain sales level and both getting a $599 TV. Your team’s excitement over actually seeing your prizes in the room will be well worth it during December. And imagine how good they will feel taking their reward home on December 24th for their whole family to see.

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What about other staff members who are not out on the sales floor? Simple — if the company reaches its total sales goal, give everyone else either a gift certificate for a flat amount to an electronic store or you could make up the same style of rewards for them. Or give them all a Palm Pilot, cell phone or another prize in that price range. This is not to indicate that back staff is less important than the sales staff. Not at all. But the salespeople are race horses and admin and jeweler staff are usually work horses. And, after all … nothing happens until something is sold.

Be sure to make it fun for your team. Have a chart showing sales for the store and individual sales. You’ve seen charity drives where they have a thermometer and color each segment in as they reach higher and higher dollar goals. Do the same for your store sales — but, in addition to the dollar amounts, paste pictures of the prizes on there too.

You’ll have a great Christmas season and the staff will rise to the occasion. You’ll also be able to see how rewards motivate them.

Then in 2005 we’ll go more in depth how to get your feet wet with a compensation plan with more meat to it.

Quick, turn on HBO. They’re playing Death of a Salesman.

This story is from the November 2004 edition of INSTORE.

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David Geller is a 14th-generation bench jeweler who produces The Geller Blue Book To Jewelry Repair Pricing. David is the “go-to guy” for setting up QuickBooks for a jewelry store. Reach him at david@jewelerprofit.com.

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It Was Time to Make a Decision. It Was Time to Call Wilkerson.

Except for a few years when he worked as an accountant, Jim Schwartz has always been a jeweler. He grew up in the business and after “counting beans” for a few years, he and his wife, Robin, opened Robin James Jewelers in Cincinnati, Ohio. “We were coming to a stage in our life where we knew we have to make a decision,” says Jim Schwartz. He and Robin wanted to do it right, so they called Wilkerson. The best surprise (besides surpassing sales goals)? “The workers and associations really care about helping us move out own inventory out of the store first. It was very important to us.”

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