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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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Manager's To Do

A Trick to Selling More Platinum, And Other Manager’s To-Do Items for September

And here are some great tips for infographics in your store.

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Sep. 1-7

INVENTORY The economy may be slowing a tad, but the wealthy keep getting richer. That is allowing more people to trade up from the standard 1-carat diamond engagement ring. But to sell 2-, 3-, or 4-carat pieces, you need to have a few on hand, says David Brown of the Edge Retail Academy. Start experimenting with more expensive bridal sets.

MARKETING Conduct an advertising review. If it’s bridal sales you desire, put that shotgun away. Pick one or two advertising media, based on their reach and return on investment, and concentrate on them. That requires courage and perseverance, but it’s the surest way to break through the chatter and win that key top-of-mind presence in your local market that will deliver engagement ring sales.

Sep. 8-14

STAFF Few things are more important to staff than having the sense that their work matters. As bridal season approaches, make it a constant refrain in your strategy meetings: you’re helping people with one of the most important decisions of their life.

SHOWROOM “It’s remarkable,” says merchandising expert Sally Furrer, “how often diamond areas are underlit in stores.” Crank up the lights.

Sep. 15-21

TRAINING The rise of the bead phenomenon in the last decade caused many jewelers to cut back on diamond sales training. If that happened in your store, look to bring in a trainer who specializes in bridal goods. It’s a whole different skill set.

MARKETING Twitter’s search function, along with free applications like TweetDeck, can be great tools for market research and lead generation. Start monitoring your competitors’ brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them and you. Set keywords related to bridal sales in your market and don’t be afraid to follow up (unsolicited messages from strangers is a fact of life in the Twitter-sphere).

Sep. 22-28

SOCIAL Want to take your social media efforts to the next level while educating your clientele about bridal in a way they’ll remember? Think infographics. Whether charting the evolution of diamond cuts or providing tips on ring cleaning, infographics are a great shareable way to communicate your message. Try these free infographic websites: Piktochart.com, Venngage.com, Easel.ly.

SALES Want to sell more platinum? Highlight its staying power. Keep an old white-gold ring and an old platinum one behind the counter to show customers what happens to the two metals after a few years. One of platinum’s strengths is the durability of its white color, which won’t fade or change (like an enduring love, hint, hint) and will continue to complement a diamond, as opposed to white gold, which fades to yellow.

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Yarr! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day and More Important Dates for September

“I’ll be paying top dollar for whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chest.”

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19 Many jewelers seem to have forgotten what a lucrative earner gold buying can be. Luckily, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is here to remind you. Yarr, have some fun with your advertising. “Yes, me hearties, Cap’n Jack Black Diamond has gone straight. I’ll be paying top dollar for your doubloons, old lockets or whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chests. Come see the Cap’n before the sharks get ye.”

01 On NATIONAL NO RHYME (NOR REASON) DAY, challenge your customers on social media to come up with words that can’t be rhymed. Three you can probably put to good use in your posts that day are “spirit,” “silver” and “woman.”

06 Today is FIGHT PROCRASTINATION DAY, and if you’re one of the many afflicted, try this trick: when jotting down a to-do item, keep rephrasing it until it involves the use of your limbs: “Pick up phone and call …”, “Open laptop and search for …”

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Remembering Woodstock, The Little One’s First Day in Kindergarten, and More Useful August Dates

You’re always busy, but this month, get things done.

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19 Mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by doing something in its spirit: keep a journal of everything you do, broken down into 30-minute increments. At the end of each workday, assign a value — 1, 2 or 3 (the lowest) — to your time, and at the end of the week, evaluate the results. They may well surprise you. Obviously you want to be spending at least half your time on No. 1s.

1 August is GET READY FOR KINDERGARTEN MONTH. On the first day of school, invite all new kindergarten moms to come in for mimosas and snacks. They can reward themselves for surviving this milestone.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

15 Fifty years ago today, the promise of free music, a good time, and … umm … a pretty good shot at “getting lucky” drew 400,000 young people to WOODSTOCK, NY. To many folks, that’s much the same promise that jewelry makes (minus the music). Roll back the years with a store party.

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