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The Power of Feedback … and More Jeweler Tips for November

Magnets help with gem identification; partner with other business; more.





Praise Quick, Praise Often

Guessing performance would improve if workers received more immediate feedback, researchers at Appalachian State University configured the handheld units of 23 stock replenishers to show them how they were doing against labor standards at the end of each task. The result: Employee performance leapt 24 percent and was maintained during the 10-week study, which was cited by warehousing magazine Modern Materials Handling (yes, we’re regular readers). What’s it mean for you? Always be on the lookout for positive staff behaviors you can compliment and reinforce.


Warm Your Muse

As the last embers of summer flicker and fade during the run-in to winter, make a genuine effort to get out for a stroll on those rare warm days. “Getting outside for at least 30 minutes a day when the weather is warm and sunny can improve mood, memory and promote creative thinking,” Metropolitan Home writes, citing research done at the University of Michigan.



Partner Up

Marketing guru Seth Godin is a big advocate of partnering with other businesses. He notes, for example, that an accountant could sponsor the business section of a nearby independent bookstore. “Slip a bookmark and business card into every personal finance book the store sells … it’s the right message at the right time,” he says. As for jewelers: How about a book-mark-shaped gift certificate in every book in the bridal or fashion section?


Get Tips From the Big Boys

For all their shortcomings, big companies do some things, like advertising and marketing, well. To keep abreast of what’s working for them, and what might work for you, check out Media Post, which tracks what the big boys are doing with traditional and online advertising. Another similar website is Ad Rants.



Add Iron to your Presentation

The International School of Gemology has published a video on the use of magnets to identify gemstones (natural rubies, for example, contain iron, while synthetics do not). While this concept is not new, IGS has found a neat way of demonstrating it, using a simple setup of water and float that could be easily added to a colored-stone sales presentation. See the video.


Snap the Moment

From the betrothal-trend frontlines of New York, something you may want to mention to that young man plotting his proposal: a paparazzi-style photo ambush. Sounds a little creepy (so not for everyone), but the idea is to have that tenderhearted moment recorded by a hiding photographer so it can be shared later with friends, family and if need be, virtual strangers on MySpace. Just pray she doesn’t say no.



Paint It On

Ever wished you could install an in-store feature with a splash of paint a la Roger Rabbit conjuring a tunnel? Now you can. Rust-Oleum’s Dry Erase Paint allows you to turn a wall, a cupboard door or just about any other surface into a memo board. The paint produces a white surface that can be written or drawn on with a marker pen and then erased. A kit to cover a 7’ x 7’ area costs about $24.


Know Your Constituents

From the political beat: U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is accompanied at all times by his most trusted advisers, Joe and Eileen Bailey. The Baileys live in Massapequa, NY, and are in their mid-40s. He’s an insurance agent, she works part-time in a doctor’s office. They hate property taxes, fear terrorism and worry the country is losing its values. Oh, and one more thing, they’re completely imaginary. Schumer created the couple to advise him on middle-class concerns. Though you’re not running for office, imaginary advisers could also help you make better decisions for your constituents … sorry, we mean customers.



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