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Commentary: The Business

Jeff Unger: Dive In

Do more than wait for a bite, advises Jeff Unger.

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I MET A JEWELER in St. Petersburg, FL, who loves to fish.  

You’re saying no big deal. Yeah, but Gary Sanchez of Diamonds Direct Fine Jewelers spear-fishes. He doesn’t hang on the dock or the deck of a boat drinking a beer in the Florida sun. No, he dives down into the fish’s home and pulls it out of the water himself. He gets to select his dinner as opposed to waiting for the bite that might never come.  

That got me thinking: How are we running our businesses? Like a spear-fisherman or the guy soaking up the sun on the deck? Most of us run our businesses like the latter: baiting our hook with advertising and direct mailing, waiting for the bite from the customer to walk through the doors of the store.  

The retailer who dives into his community and networks at local golf, tennis or social clubs is spear-fishing for business. He does not have to worry about the one that got away. He’s also enjoying a sport or hobby while picking up business. To him, he’s working at having fun while making money. 

His store is everywhere he goes. The more time he spends out of the store the more new customers he makes. I know that wives sometimes complain about us on the golf course ? time away from home, office or having too much fun. But some of my best sales to retailers have been when I’ve gotten them away from the store and into my water, the golf course. Instead of putting all your marketing money in standard advertising, spend that money on membership at a golf or tennis club. Get out of the store and get involved in the marketing of your store. Do like my friend and go spear-fishing. Pull in the big one in 2007.

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Jeff Unger was the president and co-owner of B & N Jewelry (d.b.a. Alisa Unger Designs) and a long-time INSTORE contributor. He passed away in February 2019 after a valiant 10-year battle with cancer.

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