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Tip Sheet

Dealing with the Summer Slump, Standing Out in Your Marketplace, and More Tips for May

Plus how to apply an “immediacy filter” when deciding whether or not to say yes to an engagement.

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managementDivide and Conquer

Create “areas of pride” in your store to promote a fun spirit of competition and a better knowledge of inventory among the staff, urges John Nicolosi, a GIA Accredited Jewelry Professional. How to do it? “Assign each associate to merchandise, promote and clean a particular area each month,” he says. `

SALESDeal with the Summer Slump

With their hot temperature, people away on vacation, and no “gift giving” holidays in sight, summers can be a challenge for a jeweler. To breathe life into this often-slow period, Toner Jewelers in Overland Park, KS, holds its biggest sale of the year, featuring a large assortment of estate jewelry at 50-70 percent off and other aged goods. “Our best clients wait all year for this event, so it helps get us over the hump of the slow summer months,” says manager Lucy Conklin.

MARKETINGPurple Palm Trees

In his book Purple Cow, marketer Seth Godin argues that you need to do something remarkable to stand out in today’s cluttered marketplace – like using a mascot, handle, brand image that is so distinctive that no one can miss you, or installing a big purple bovine outside your business. That approach has worked for Sherrie’s Jewelry Box in Tigard, OR. “We have palm trees, yes in Oregon, and new passersby will come in just to ask about them, and we will have a new client,” says owner Sherrie Schilling-Devaney.

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MANAGEMENTForce A Real Decision

The next time you ask an employee or partner for their opinion on a business-related matter — say, to rate a job candidate, a new line, or a business proposition — ask them for a score between 1-10 but tell them they can’t choose seven. Seven is a fudge, says speaker and author Kyle Maynard. Force the person to choose between at least an eight — they’re genuinely excited by the prospect — or a six, which usually indicates they’d pass on it.

DISPLAYLighten Up the Mood

Summer is almost here: It’s time to lighten the mood, in your store and showcases. “If I have a larger collection of a certain brand, I’ll switch out the heavier, darker stone pieces and display light and airy pieces for a spring/summer look,” says Krystal Shiklanian, the stylist at Radiant Fine Jewelry in Plymouth, MI.

MANAGEMENTApply an Immediacy Filter

Life is an exercise in prioritization, but it can be hard to remember that when it comes to some vague unfilled time slot weeks away. “When you get an invitation to do something in the future, ask yourself: Would you accept this if it was scheduled for tomorrow? Not too many promises will pass that immediacy filter,” notes WIRED co-founder Kevin Kelly on his blog.

COMMUTINGGet On Your Bike

With gas prices still near historic highs, bikes suddenly look like a great way to get around again. “Plus, it’s just nice,” adds Beth Cevasco of Scott’s Custom Jewelers in Dublin, OH. “We plan on bringing our bikes for after-work rides — gotta enjoy the evenings!”

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When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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