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How to Make More of Your Meetings and More Tips for Store Owners

And an exercise where you imagine you’re a hotshot consultant.

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CREATIVITYEmbrace Boredom

Next time you’re waiting in line, waiting in traffic or waiting for someone who is late for a meeting, embrace it instead of immediately looking at your phone or iPad. Unstructured moments can lead to inspiration, creativity, reflection and connection, says Huffington Post co-founder Arianna Huffington.

decision-makingImagine Hiring a Hotshot

Don’t have the money to hire a top industry consultant to come in and turn your business around? No sweat. Just hire an imaginary one on a monthly retainer. That’s the advice of Kat Cole, COO of Focus Brands (Auntie Anne’s, Cinnabon, Jamba Juice, etc). Talking to Inc. Magazine, she says that once a month, she asks herself if a hotshot consultant or manager, someone with amazing tenacity and insight, were to take over the reins at her company, what is the one thing they would immediately see and change. Chances are, you already know what needs to be done, but just need the power of self-distancing to make it clear.

ONLINEPost Inventory Quickly

It’s healthy to view your online inventory as something that is always evolving. As soon as a piece of jewelry is photographed, post it for sale rather than waiting until your entire stock is uploaded to your e-commerce site. “If you wait, it will hold you back,” says sales trainer Kathleen Cutler.

MANAGEMENTPair Confidence with Humility

According to Stanford business professor Bob Sutton, the best leaders have “the attitude of wisdom” — the confidence to act on their convictions and the humility to keep searching for evidence that they are wrong. Yes, you need to carry yourself in a way that shows you are in charge, but it’s vital to couple that strength with a humbleness that admits you will often be wrong, and which encourages people to suggest alternative ways of doing things.

CUSTOMER SERVICEThe 10-5 Rule

If your staff tends to be rather taciturn when it comes to greeting customers or even each other, Christine Porath, a management prof at Georgetown University, suggests adopting the 10-5 rule: if someone is within 10 feet of a customer or another employee, acknowledge the person, make eye contact and smile; if you’re within 5 feet, say hello. It’s an idea she witnessed at a healthcare company, which soon after adopting the rule found improvements in referral rates, patient satisfaction scores, and overall effectiveness. “It makes people feel respected, valued and that they belong,” she says in her book Mastering Civility: A Manifesto For The Workplace.

MANAGEMENTHow to Get Help

There’s a saying that when you don’t ask, “no” is always the answer. To raise your chances of getting a “yes” when asking someone for help, Columbia University’s Heidi Grant recommends in her book, Reinforcements: How To Get People To Help You, that you be specific. Be clear about the kind of assistance you need and why you think that person is best placed to provide that help (don’t ever ask, “Can I pick your brain?”). Don’t apologize for asking for help, and finally, don’t give up; Grant’s studies have shown people are actually more likely to help you if they’ve turned you down in the past.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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