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Podcast: How Can Jewelry Stores Stop Losing Their Best Employees?

The key ingredients are right culture, right incentives and right training.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 5: HOW CAN JEWELRY STORES KEEP THEIR BEST EMPLOYEES? (33:51 MINUTES)


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IN A TIGHT JOB MARKET where the average person seeks to “reinvent” themselves four or five times their career, what does a jewelry store have to do to keep its very best employees long-term?

That’s the focus of the fifth episode of JimmyCast from jewelry store trainer Jimmy DeGroot of jewelrystoretraining.com. Guest Brad Huisken of IAS Training drops in to talk with Jimmy and co-host Doug Meadows about the practices and policies that will give you a better chance of keeping key employees.

For Huisken (who is also a partner with jewelrystoretraining.com), the three key ingredients are right culture, right incentives and right training.

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A few takeaways from the discussion:

  • Don’t one-size incentives. If you were trying to decide on a $500 reward and offered your staff five different options — 1.) cash; 2.) paid time off; 3.) a gift the employee wouldn’t typically buy for themselves; 4.) $500 in store merchandise; and 5.) $500 in lottery tickets — there’s a good chance different staff members would select each of the the five options. Says Huisken: “Your goal should be to know your people so well individually that you know what moves them individually.” That will allow you to individualize incentives for each team member.
  • Too many jewelers avoid doing quarterly or even annual reviews with their employees because they’re afraid that a face to face discussion of performance means that they’re going to have to increase that employees salary. Big mistake, says Brad. He says: “I just don’t believe in giving a person a raise simply because they lasted another year. You know, god forbid, you’ve got a person that, all they do is answer the phone, but they’ve been with you for 30 years so they’re making $85 an hour.”
  • The problem is that too many employees end up not knowing how they’re doing, which is extremely demotivating. Says Brad: “I go into so many stores, and I say ‘How you doin’ around here?’, and they say ‘Well, I’m not really sure, I don’t get a lot of feedback. In fact, I’m not sure I’m doing a good job at all.’ And that’s just unfair to the employee.”
  • Instead of raises, Brad and Jimmy push incentives — with a combination of personal and team incentives. Says Brad: “You’ve got to have contests, incentives and games going on all the time, all the time, all the time. I think that creates a fun environment and a fun culture within the organization.”
  • Brad tells a great story of a business that had a chronic inability to sell old merchandise. The owner created a huge incentive — a trip to Hawaii if his employees could sell 15 pieces of dated merchandise per month. His staff rose to the challenge and they earned the trip. When the staff returned from their reward journey, the owner told the staff that from now on, since they had proven that they could sell dated merchandise, they would now be required to sell five pieces per month.
  • At the 26-minute mark, Jimmy gets caught up in the excitement of a discussion about the importance of training and extends a special offer to listeners for three months free training from jewelrystoretraining.com. Brad responds, “Gee Jimmy, I didn’t know we were starting a non-profit organization.”
  • One more incentive to train your people from Brad. Staff training is tax-deductible, “so instead of giving your money to Uncle Sam, you can invest it in your business”.

Jimmy DeGroot is a jewelry store manager who has been in the business for over 20 years. Now he spends his time training teams around the world at jewelrystoretraining.com and sharing marketing advice through his blog site at jewelrymarketingguy.com. Sign up for training videos here.

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JimmyCast

Podcast: Wisconsin Salesperson Uses Life Savings to Live Her Dream of Jewelry Store Ownership

“$20,000 seems like a lot of money … until you open a jewelry store,” she says.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 12: KIM GORDON ON LIVING THE DREAM (48:53 MINUTES)


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KIM GORDON is living the dream — it’s the dream of owning her own store, the aptly named Dream Jewelers in Oshkosh, WI.

Gordon has spent most of her career in jewelry sales, having spent more than a decade as an assistant manager at a Kay Jewelers and, after that, another decade as sales manager at Jim Kryshak Jewelers in Wausau, WI. But in 2014, she finally made the leap into jewelry-store ownership, using her life savings to purchase a Wisconsin business called Thimke Jewelers, which she later rebranded as Dream Jewelers.

Gordon shares the story of her journey, and tells you how she’s launched her business in a challenging competitive environment and on an ultra-tight budget. “I had $20,000 in the bank,” she says. “And $20,000 seems like a lot of money … until you open a jewelry store.”

Hear Kim’s full story on the latest edition of JimmyCast, with host Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows.

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Podcast: An Explosive Prank and More Tales of Dumb Things Done in Jewelry Stores

Jimmy and Doug share the 10 dumbest things they’ve seen happen in jewelry stores (including their own).

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 11: THE DUMBEST THINGS WE’VE SEEN IN JEWELRY STORES (34:06 MINUTES)


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IF MAKING MISTAKES is the best way to learn, then the latest episode of JimmyCast promises to be a tremendous learning experience. In the episode, Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows each share five dumb things they’ve seen jewelers do in their jewelry stores.

“This includes us,” notes Jimmy.

“Actually, my list is mostly mine,” says Doug.

Tales shared include a pyrotechnic prank gone wrong (3:40), a store owner who brought in a new sales trainer to work with his team, only to completely sabotage the effort before it even began (11:30), plus an expensive lesson from a jewelry con artist (20:00).

Says Jimmy, “This is a good episode for learning what not to do in your jewelry store.”

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Podcast: Hear Secrets of Cool From the Only Full-Time Employee of America’s Coolest Small Jewelry Store

At least a couple customers a week come in thinking it’s a place to eat.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 10: KATHERINE COTTERILL OF EAT GALLERY (32:35 MINUTES)


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IN THIS MONTH’S episode of JimmyCast, hosts Jimmy DeGroot and Doug Meadows chat with the manager of the winning store in the “Small Cool” division of INSTORE’s America’s Coolest Stores”, EAT Gallery of Maysville, KY.

Katherine Cotterill, manager at EAT Gallery, has had an eclectic past, including more than three years spent in New Zealand and Samoa (2:30). She talks about how she was hired to run the store in 2016 (5:30) by Simon and Laurie Watt, who had opened EAT Gallery in the early 2000s as a side project to their main business, colored gemstone dealers Mayer & Watt.

The discussion continues to cover EAT’s attention-getting (and occasionally confusing to visitors) neon “EAT” sign (9:15), which had previously identified a diner that was a town fixture for 50 years. “We are definitely not a restaurant,” says Cotterill. “But we do say that we’ll feed your soul.”

As for the big question of how many visitors per week come in, thinking it’s a restaurant? “At least a couple a week,” says Cotterill.

Hear more of the conversation — including tips on how to make a tiny business stand out with marketing and product selection (16:00) — in this month’s JimmyCast.

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