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Tip Sheet

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.


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.


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.


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



Thinking of Liquidating? Wilkerson’s Got You Covered

Bil Holehan, the manager of Julianna’s Fine Jewelry in Corte Madera, Calif., decided to go on to the next chapter of his life when the store’s owner and namesake told him she was set to retire. Before they left, Holehan says they decided to liquidate some of the store’s aging inventory. They chose Wilkerson for the sale. Why? “Friends had done their sales with Wilkerson and they were very satisfied,” says Holehan. He’d enthusiastically recommend Wilkerson to anyone looking to stage a liquidation or going-out-of-business sale. “There were no surprises,” he says. “They were very professional in their assessment of our store, what we could expect from the sale and they were very detailed in their projections. They were pretty much on the money.”

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