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Tip Sheet

Beware the Hideousness of Fluourescent Lighting … and More Jeweler Tips

Your customers’ mental state is everything, so don’t use them in your bathroom.





Beware Fluorescents

Your customers’ mental state is everything, so be wary, says design firm Grid/3 International, of using fluorescent lighting in your bathroom. It often makes customers look and feel awful. When they are in that mood they are far less inclined to splash out on something celebratory.


Trim Your Cost

Tax season is almost upon us, which means it’s a good time to buy a shredder. And no we’re not suggesting that because you may have something to hide but because office-supply retailers discount them to lure customers into their stores. You don’t need a top-of-the-line model that chops paper into the tiniest of confetti. One that simply shreds and crosscuts will do the trick.



Feel the Pain

That’s the money-management advice of business guru Tom Peters, who argues that the “ouch factor” of paying for anything goes up by “an order of magnitude” when you’re handing over Bennies or any smaller-denomination notes. Peters suggests you choose a month, and pay in cash whenever possible. “After paying the office supply bill in $20s, I’d bet a pretty penny or 10 that the next month would inaugurate an era of tighter purse strings,” he writes in his blog at


Time the Money

Meetings are an invaluable part of any successful business, but they can also be tremendous time-wasters. If you are worried you’re not getting the most out of your company get-togethers, try using the Meeting Miser from PayScale, a Seattle-based company that collects compensation data. This free, Internet-based widget calculates how much you’re spending or wasting on a meeting. We filled in data for a one-hour meeting in Los Angeles that consisted of a store manager, a jeweler and a sales associate. The cost was $52.20, which seemed a bit on the low side. Nevertheless, having the clock run as you gab should make you more conscious of the time and quality of your meetings.


Snap Away

Every jewelry store owner should have a digital camera within reach, says retail consultant Rick Segel. Next time you hear a compliment from a customer, ask if he or she would mind posing for a photo. “Take that picture, download it to your website and add a quote. It might be ‘I love this store because the people are so knowledgeable.’ And make a display sign out of it. People love testimonials,” he says.



Sprinkle with Imagination

There are business cards made of the finest bonded paper or even clear plastic. But if you really want to stand out, make yours an envelope containing a few shards of coal, with directions for “Do-it-yourself diamonds:”

  • Step 1: Plant in ground.
  • Step 2: Wait several million years.
  • Step 3: Mine, sort, cut, polish.
  • Or, if you don’t have the time, come on down to ________, and we’ll get you fixed up right away.

Lush Lawn and Property Enhancement, a Michigan-based landscaper, used something similar (grass seeds and the line, “Just add water”) and reported business increased 300 percent in just four months.


Don’t Fake Sincerity

“The most common mistake retailers make is when they spend a lot of time telling their staff what to do and what not to do,” says Jeremy Michael, commercial director at British firm Retail Eyes, which tests customer-service levels at thousands of stores every week. The result of that approach is the same half-hearted, scripted welcome you’ll get at a convenience store. A much better approach, Michael told the Scotsman newspaper, is to recruit on the basis of attitude and then let staff deliver the service as they know best. Do focus your training on product knowledge, which along with sincerity, is the top concern of most consumers, Michael said.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].



Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

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