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Manager's To Do

Learning Google Docs, Holding a Leo Party and More Manager’s To-Do Items for August

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Jul. 30 — Aug. 5

MARKETING A girl’s first day of high school might just be the occasion for Dad to get her a “grown-up” piece of fashion jewelry. Do you know what the must-have items are for high school kids this year?

CUSTOMER SERVICE Try saying “yes” to clients whenever you can, says Theresia Oreskovic of Peter & Co. Jewelers (Avon Lake, OH). “We try to be ‘yes men,’” she says. “I make it a habit not to say ‘no’ right off the bat, even though customers can come up with the craziest requests.”

Aug. 6-12

TRAINING This week’s topic: Selling to those with limited budgets — students, working mothers, young professionals: it’s usually most of the people in your market.

SALES August is the year’s top birthday month. But instead of holding a bash for everyone with an August birth date, focus on their astrological sign (mostly Leo). People tend to see more similarities between themselves and those of the same sign. It should make for a great party. Roar!

Aug. 13-19

TECH Engage your online critics. Even if you detest review sites, it’s worth opening a business owner account on Yelp, City-search, and any other website on which your customers are talking about you. Registering generally allows you to correct inaccuracies, receive alerts when you are reviewed, and respond to your critics in a gracious, reasoned manner.

MANAGEMENT Just about everybody believes they need to improve their speaking skills. Yet just about nobody wants to do the one thing that can help them improve fastest: to listen to recordings of their voices. Christy Fletcher, a spokesperson for QVC, advises you use this trick: Don’t play the recording back immediately. “Record something. Wait a day. Then listen to your voice,” she says in a column for eHow.

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Aug. 20-26

STAFFING Hire support and sales staff for the holidays now. If it’s part-timers, start with a few hours a week to ensure they are up to speed when the holidays arrive.

DISPLAYS Call a few suppliers and issue them a challenge: I need to redo X cases for $Y. What can you do for me? “Most display companies have some items (returns, show samples, etc.) around they will be happy to sell at a discount,” says display consultant Larry Johnson. 

Aug. 27-Sep. 2

INVENTORY Review client-purchase histories so you’re ready to make recommendations once the holiday season begins. 

INTERNET With all the social media sites that come and go (MySpace, anyone?), it’s easy to have dated store information floating around the Web in inactive accounts. Clean up your digital profile by closing down those accounts. Services such as NameChk.com can help you track down your errant accounts.

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

A Trick to Selling More Platinum, And Other Manager’s To-Do Items for September

And here are some great tips for infographics in your store.

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Sep. 1-7

INVENTORY The economy may be slowing a tad, but the wealthy keep getting richer. That is allowing more people to trade up from the standard 1-carat diamond engagement ring. But to sell 2-, 3-, or 4-carat pieces, you need to have a few on hand, says David Brown of the Edge Retail Academy. Start experimenting with more expensive bridal sets.

MARKETING Conduct an advertising review. If it’s bridal sales you desire, put that shotgun away. Pick one or two advertising media, based on their reach and return on investment, and concentrate on them. That requires courage and perseverance, but it’s the surest way to break through the chatter and win that key top-of-mind presence in your local market that will deliver engagement ring sales.

Sep. 8-14

STAFF Few things are more important to staff than having the sense that their work matters. As bridal season approaches, make it a constant refrain in your strategy meetings: you’re helping people with one of the most important decisions of their life.

SHOWROOM “It’s remarkable,” says merchandising expert Sally Furrer, “how often diamond areas are underlit in stores.” Crank up the lights.

Sep. 15-21

TRAINING The rise of the bead phenomenon in the last decade caused many jewelers to cut back on diamond sales training. If that happened in your store, look to bring in a trainer who specializes in bridal goods. It’s a whole different skill set.

MARKETING Twitter’s search function, along with free applications like TweetDeck, can be great tools for market research and lead generation. Start monitoring your competitors’ brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them and you. Set keywords related to bridal sales in your market and don’t be afraid to follow up (unsolicited messages from strangers is a fact of life in the Twitter-sphere).

Sep. 22-28

SOCIAL Want to take your social media efforts to the next level while educating your clientele about bridal in a way they’ll remember? Think infographics. Whether charting the evolution of diamond cuts or providing tips on ring cleaning, infographics are a great shareable way to communicate your message. Try these free infographic websites: Piktochart.com, Venngage.com, Easel.ly.

SALES Want to sell more platinum? Highlight its staying power. Keep an old white-gold ring and an old platinum one behind the counter to show customers what happens to the two metals after a few years. One of platinum’s strengths is the durability of its white color, which won’t fade or change (like an enduring love, hint, hint) and will continue to complement a diamond, as opposed to white gold, which fades to yellow.

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Yarr! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day and More Important Dates for September

“I’ll be paying top dollar for whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chest.”

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19 Many jewelers seem to have forgotten what a lucrative earner gold buying can be. Luckily, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is here to remind you. Yarr, have some fun with your advertising. “Yes, me hearties, Cap’n Jack Black Diamond has gone straight. I’ll be paying top dollar for your doubloons, old lockets or whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chests. Come see the Cap’n before the sharks get ye.”

01 On NATIONAL NO RHYME (NOR REASON) DAY, challenge your customers on social media to come up with words that can’t be rhymed. Three you can probably put to good use in your posts that day are “spirit,” “silver” and “woman.”

06 Today is FIGHT PROCRASTINATION DAY, and if you’re one of the many afflicted, try this trick: when jotting down a to-do item, keep rephrasing it until it involves the use of your limbs: “Pick up phone and call …”, “Open laptop and search for …”

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Remembering Woodstock, The Little One’s First Day in Kindergarten, and More Useful August Dates

You’re always busy, but this month, get things done.

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19 Mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by doing something in its spirit: keep a journal of everything you do, broken down into 30-minute increments. At the end of each workday, assign a value — 1, 2 or 3 (the lowest) — to your time, and at the end of the week, evaluate the results. They may well surprise you. Obviously you want to be spending at least half your time on No. 1s.

1 August is GET READY FOR KINDERGARTEN MONTH. On the first day of school, invite all new kindergarten moms to come in for mimosas and snacks. They can reward themselves for surviving this milestone.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

15 Fifty years ago today, the promise of free music, a good time, and … umm … a pretty good shot at “getting lucky” drew 400,000 young people to WOODSTOCK, NY. To many folks, that’s much the same promise that jewelry makes (minus the music). Roll back the years with a store party.

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