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Manager's To Do

Display Advice, Customer Service Tips and More To-Do Items for September

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Sept. 3-9

DISPLAYS Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer — it’s time to change up your window displays to give them more of a focus on your bridal offerings.

SALES  For young customers in particular, having a diamond that is different from “everybody else’s” has become very important, says designer Todd Reed. “Be interested in the diamond’s provenance. Don’t emphasize the four Cs, but rather the fifth C — the character aspect of it, and that’s pretty priceless in a lot of ways.”

STRATEGY Schedule a brainstorming session with staff. We’ve heard of jewelers who help negotiate discounts from bridal vendors in their market, offer gift certificates for wedding day manicures, even kick in for relationship consultations, What can you do to stand out from the crowd?

Sept. 10-16

CUSTOMER RELATIONS Talk to your insurer about what would be involved in letting some VIP customers borrow some nice jewelry for their special days. And it pretty much guarantees they will tell everyone they know what great service you gave them.

MARKETING Do you have an FAQ page on your website yet? If not, get busy. It allows you to show off your expertise and to avoid answering the same questions over and over. 

MERCHANDISING The No. 1 mistake in display, according to Larry Johnson, author of the Complete Guide To Effective Jewelry Display, is hiding the good stuff among the bad. Expensive goods need air to breathe. Make sure your displays give it to them.

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Sept. 17-23

SALES Work out a smartphone strategy for your sales presentations. In short, it should involve an employee offering to snap a photo of the ring on the customer’s finger and then immediately emailing it to her with the ring’s details. In addition to the bio data obtained, this keeps the piece and store top of mind in the browser’s mind, and allows her to easily upload it to social media or forward it to friends and family.

OPERATIONS Draft a cleaning schedule to ensure all your bridal goods are polished, sparkly and freshly ticketed. 

Sept. 24-30

SHOWROOM Consider installing a large mirror in an area with a bit of privacy and inviting a bride-to-be to try on jewelry while she tries on her wedding gown. “It’s easier to get someone to fall in love with it once you’ve gotten them to put it on,” notes retail expert Paco Underhill.

SALES FLOOR Matching the couple with the right salesperson is a crucial part of bridal sales. Reward and track successful T.O.s to ensure the best fit, recommends sales trainer Shane Decker. “Most stores encourage T.O.s but don’t reward them, and salespeople avoid them because they want all the commission,” he says. “If you reward them tangibly, your salespeople will actually do them.”

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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.

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Video: How to Hire the Best People for Your Jewelry Store

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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.

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Day of Unplugging, Near Miss Day and More Important March Dates

Don’t miss your chance to have a parade for Mardi Gras.

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20 There’s a reason the Hare Krishnas hand out flowers before soliciting donations — the awesome hold reciprocity has over humans. The psychologist Robert Cialdini notes in his bestseller Influence that we’re so deeply primed to reciprocate generosity that customers who receive a free gift become far more likely to make a purchase “in return.” Since it’s spring, take a tip from the Hare Krishnas and hand out fresh flowers to customers.

Video: How to Hire the Best People for Your Jewelry Store
Jimmy Degroot

Video: How to Hire the Best People for Your Jewelry Store

Video: Jim Ackerman on Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should
Jim Ackerman

Video: Jim Ackerman on Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should

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Jimmy Degroot

Video: Don’t Miss the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Profits in Your Jewelry Store

4 Day of Unplugging. The challenge: 24 hours without phone or Internet contact. Can you do it? The benefits are said to be surprising.

5 Celebrate Mardi Gras with a bead party. Cook up some red beans and rice, stick on some music and have yourself a parade.

23 Thirty years ago, a mountain-sized asteroid passed within 500,000 miles of Earth — a very, very close call according to NASA. Luckily, we survived and Near Miss Day was born. In thanks, dig up one of your or your sales associate’s recent “near misses” and debate what may have saved the sale. A lower price? More romance? Bruce Willis?

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Single Tasking Day, Red Carpet Season and More Big Dates for February

The essential jeweler’s calendar for the month starts here.

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4 With more than two billion users, you need to be sure you’ve fully explored the potential of Facebook. On the 15th Anniversary of Facebook’s Launch by Mark Zuckerberg and three friends, adopt the company’s motto, “Move Fast and Break Things,” and commit to shaking things up with your social media marketing. Test some sponsored posts. Get absurdly specific with your targeting. Try a contest. Try more video. Follow INSTORE’s Facebook page at facebook.com/instoremag.

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Podcast: How Can Jewelry Stores Stop Losing Their Best Employees?

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10 Red-carpet season rolls on with The Grammys today and The Academy Awards on Feb. 25. Slip into fashion-maven mode and get your customers excited about jewelry’s cutting-edge trends with tweets, snaps, posts and blogs.

14 Love with a touch of panic is one way to look at Valentine’s Day. And not just for the guys. If you need ideas, go to instoremag.com and test out our archive search.

22 On Single Tasking Day, let your brain do what it’s been designed so beautifully to handle — focus on one thing at a time: one conversation, one meal, one task, one baseball game.

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