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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 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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A Good Idea for Thanksgiving, and More Important Dates for November

Includes a fitting tribute to the quiz show Twenty Questions.

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2 The quiz show TWENTY QUESTIONS MADE ITS DEBUT on national television on this day 70 years ago. Mark the occasion by brainstorming 20 questions to get your customers talking. Sami Fine Jewelry in Fountain Hills, AZ, came up with a list that ranged from icebreakers like “What kind of pets do you own?” to those with a specific sale in mind: “How would you like to be a hero for under $100?”

19 Mark management expert PETER DRUCKER’S BIRTHDAY by saying no to something that you feel is vaguely important, but if you were to be brutally realistic, you don’t have time for.

28 Get in the spirit of THANKSGIVING by sending a goodie bag to your best 50 customers (be sure to include a coupon). It’s likely they provide an outsized contribution to your success.

29 It’s showtime! BLACK FRIDAY marks the traditional start of the shopping season. Spur your holiday sales with a special coupon mailed to your customer list.

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Manager's To Do

Considering Store Layout, Guilt-Easing Gift Ideas, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for November

And here’s a key scheduling tip for your holiday email marketing.

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Nov 3-9

STORE LAYOUT Look out for store fixtures that are too tall to allow shoppers to look across and take in your store. Fixtures that restrict visibility through the space kill the “spirit” of a store and the impulse to buy.

INVENTORY Investigate vendor spiffs. Your suppliers want their lines to succeed this season, so take advantage of the incentives they offer.

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ONLINE Mobile devices are expected to drive about 70 percent of all Christmas-related retail traffic this year. Test your website and any apps to ensure the customer experience on tablets and phones is working as well as on desktops. It often doesn’t.

Nov 10-16

MARKETING Post your advertising schedule in the back room. Make sure your staff is fully aware of what promotions will run when.

SALES Find “guilt-easing” gift ideas to go with gift cards or certificates. For bigger certificate amounts, have a “real” gift — like Belgian chocolates or a bottle of wine — close at hand that you can bundle in free.

Nov 17-23

MARKETING With only four weeks to go until Christmas, step up your email campaigns to twice per week. Schedule campaigns on Thursdays or Fridays to stimulate purchases over the weekend, when conversion rates typically peak.

MERCHANDISING Impulse buys can come in many price ranges and store locations. Rethink the way you normally position these items.

STAFF Show your team how much you appreciate their efforts. Take them out for an activity or nice meal. Team-building will make it easier to get through the weeks ahead.

Nov 24-30

GOODWILL Play Santa: Sneak a little gift into every wrapped item.

OPERATIONS Starting today, hold a short staff meeting every morning, keeping everyone informed on progress. Single out a separate item each day and discuss the best way to present it. Keep the meetings short and make sure they end on an upbeat note.

TRAINING Coach your associates to steer more. Urge them to ask about the colors that spouses or partners wear, whether they prefer gold or silver, and if they favor big or small earrings. Advise them to keep the number of recommendations limited.

MANAGEMENT You should now be in full holiday-season mode. For last-minute tips and promotional ideas, go to your own INSTORE archives (or our past issues at instoremag.com/digimag).

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Why National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day Matters to Your Store, and More Important Dates for October

Don’t miss your chance to capitalize on Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month.

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1 Research estimates that 85 percent of an individual’s financial success can be attributed to their “human engineering skills” — that is, their ability to communicate and lead. During EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AWARENESS MONTH, improve your ability to make others feel valued and understood. It requires good listening skills, empathy, and a commitment to inspire positive feelings.

1 At the start of CO-OP AWARENESS MONTH, weigh up the pros and cons of using co-op dollars for holiday advertising and make a decision based on your circumstances.

9 A little-appreciated fact: Teddy Bears look great in diamonds. On NATIONAL BRING YOUR TEDDY BEAR TO WORK DAY, feature a few bling-wearing teddies in your cases.

29 Today, THE INTERNET TURNS 50. If your online presence is little more than an electronic brochure for your store, sit down and map out a more aggressive online strategy.

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