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Manager's To Do

Holiday Social Media Tips, How to Keep Spirits Bright, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for December

Be sure your staff are prepared both mentally and physically.

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Dec. 1-7

REPAIRS Make sure all staff are aware of your cut-off dates for accepting repairs and special orders for Christmas. Stick to it even if it means turning down a sale — better that than not to be able to fulfill it. (And if it just absolutely, positively has to be fixed, note your “emergency service” charge and split the cash with your jewelers.)

MARKETING Start posting photos of your two best-selling jewelry pieces on Facebook each day. Post the first when you open, and the other around 3 p.m. Launch three new Pinterest pages: Last-minute gift ideas for her; Last-minute gift ideas for him; Gift ideas under $100. Ask each of your employees to post at least one photo a day to your store’s Instagram account (and don’t forget the hashtags!). Watch for feedback and keep the conversation going.

DIAMONDS Get on the phone to diamond reps and get in more memo diamonds so you have time to work with those early shoppers before the chaos sets in. Every sale you make now in the first half of December is found money.

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Dec 8-14

TRAINING Changes in small behaviors can have huge results. Each day, ask employees to keep in mind one specific behavior. It could be mimicking, maintaining eye contact, smiling, getting customers to try on items, getting permission to follow up, and asking “So … who else is on your list?”

MARKETING Keep phoning customers for wish lists, one-year jewelry tune-ups, etc. If someone’s been on their feet for hours and needs a break, send them to the back to start making those calls.

Dec 15-21

HEALTh “Research studies say that low blood sugar levels are associated with lower overall blood flow to the brain, which means bad decisions,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution. To keep your blood sugar stable, Hyman suggests eating a nutritious breakfast with some protein like eggs, protein shake or nut butters. Then have smaller meals throughout the day.

Dec 22-28

SALES FLOOR Take some of the stress out of last-minute shopping by offering food, drink and good music. Even if you’re not having an official Christmas Eve party, make sure that there’s nourishment (of the literal and spiritual kind) to keep the stress low and the spirits high.

MANAGEMENT Before you close up on Christmas Eve, thank every team member personally for his/her effort.

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Dec 29-Jan 4

CRM 2019 is almost a wrap. Send out thank-you cards to every customer, even those who just bought a battery. For your best customers, make follow-up calls (or send texts for younger customers). “So, how did it go?” If not well, tell them to come in and take advantage of your exchange policy.

RETURNS Say it three times: Returns are good, returns are … Yep, return week is upon us. Handle it well and those customers will return, too.

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

Prep Your Last-Minute Panic Buying Strategy for V-Day and More Manager’s To-Do Items

This is the time to get your strategy in order for the year.

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Feb. 2-8

CRM Want to be top of mind come dates like Valentine’s Day? Send a bouquet of flowers on the birthday and anniversary of every woman customer who has spent over $3,000 in the last two years. Start this week.

FINANCE One of the downsides of never-ending economic growth is a tendency to get sloppy with costs. There are savings just about everywhere — if you are prepared to demand them. Don’t have time to negotiate? Services like BillShark, BillFixers and Billcutterz will do it for you in areas such as your fixed-line telephone, water delivery, even alarm system for a share of the savings.

OPERATIONS Only a week to go until Valentine’s.It’s time to turn that wish-list data into sales receipts. Email spouses and partners. Then get on the phone to follow up.

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Feb. 9-15

FINANCES If your fiscal year ends in December, you should have your financial statements finalized by Feb. 29. Make an appointment to see your CPA.
SALES Feb. 14 falls on a Friday this year. Review your “last-minute panic-buying” strategy. Expect a rush in the afternoon when employees all over the country switch off from work and start thinking about the weekend.

INVENTORY Identify your “white space” — those areas where demand in your market is going unfulfilled by your store. Make a note of what your customers are requesting that you don’t have, like, for example, inventory under the $100 price point. Be ready to fill in the blanks come buying season.

Feb. 16-22

STRATEGY Embark on a strategic review. Look at what your competitors are doing and learn from them, both the good and the bad. Visit their stores and websites, subscribe to their newsletters, and assign someone on staff to clip or screenshot every one of their ads (not just specialist jewelers), and create a scrapbook. With such knowledge, you’ll be able identify what areas to compete in and how to differentiate your store in your ads.

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OPERATIONS Examine your in-store signage. Is it friendly? Is it memorable? If it’s not both, start the process of changing it.

MARKETING Valentine’s is done and dusted. Adjust case content with an eye toward Mother’s Day and graduation season. And don’t forget self-purchasers — they buy throughout the year.

INVENTORY Contact suppliers. Ask if they have merchandise following the holiday season that might be a fit for your market.

Feb. 23-29

STAFF Do you have guidelines for handling complaints? If not, get busy. As much as possible, empower your team to make decisions without you.

MARKETING From here on out, things start to slow. Identify your top customers and make yearlong plans targeting them. Have your sales staff research what, when and how their best 15 (or more) customers buy. Use this information to target their needs and deliver better and more personalized service. Input this information in your customer management database.

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Get Big-Game Ready – The Super Bowl Is Approaching, and More Important Dates for February

It’s a leap year – that means one more marketing opportunity.

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2 The Super Bowl these days is as much a test of a business’s marketing acumen as a sporting event. “Most Valuable” promotions, offers to return the purchase price if a certain point spread is met, men’s events with a former player, Souper Bowl charity drives … the options are almost endless. Make sure you’re game-ready too. America is watching.

2 OK, here we go again (and again, and again … ).It’s GROUNDHOG DAY, and that celebrated meteorologist Punxsutawney Phil will emerge. Offer a discount at 2015 prices if he sees his own shadow.

10 The handwritten-envelope please, and the invitation, and the canapes, and your red carpet commentary … Yes, the OSCARS are tonight. You know the drill.

29 LEAP YEAR DAY only comes every four years, so jump on this sweet little marketing op. Hoppy Hour, anyone?

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Make the Most of Blue Monday and More Important Dates for January

It’s 2020, so make sure your vision is clear.

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20 Combine post-holiday depression with seeing our New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside, and we arrive at a date in the third week of January that has come to be known as BLUE MONDAY, when — according to various media accounts — we are at our most miserable. Fight this annual nadir with a Blues Bash on social media or in-store, featuring your sapphires and other blue jewelry. It could also be a good way to introduce Pantone’s color of 2020 — “Classic Blue”.

1 As we open the year 20/20, take time to give serious thought to your vision. What one bold thing does your business stand for? How clear is it to everyone?

15 On GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER DAY, give your sales associates an allowance to take a customer out to lunch. Their goal should be to learn about them, not to sell them.

28 Celebrate FUN AT WORK DAY by rolling out a ceremony to celebrate big sales or a fun new spiff. And don’t forget to tell customers how much fun you had serving them.

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