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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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When It’s Time for Something New, Call Wilkerson

Fifty-four years is a long time to stay in one place. So, when Cindy Skatell-Dacus, owner of Skatell’s Custom Jewelers in Greenville, SC decided to move on to life’s next adventure, she called Wilkerson. “I’d seen their ads in the trade magazines for years,’ she says, before hiring them to run her store’s GOB sale. It was such a great experience, Skatell-Dacus says it didn’t even seem like a sale was taking place. Does she have some advice for others thinking of a liquidation or GOB sale? Three words, she says: “Wilkerson. Wilkerson. Wilkerson.”

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Why National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day Matters to Your Store, and More Important Dates for October

Don’t miss your chance to capitalize on Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month.

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1 Research estimates that 85 percent of an individual’s financial success can be attributed to their “human engineering skills” — that is, their ability to communicate and lead. During EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AWARENESS MONTH, improve your ability to make others feel valued and understood. It requires good listening skills, empathy, and a commitment to inspire positive feelings.

1 At the start of CO-OP AWARENESS MONTH, weigh up the pros and cons of using co-op dollars for holiday advertising and make a decision based on your circumstances.

9 A little-appreciated fact: Teddy Bears look great in diamonds. On NATIONAL BRING YOUR TEDDY BEAR TO WORK DAY, feature a few bling-wearing teddies in your cases.

29 Today, THE INTERNET TURNS 50. If your online presence is little more than an electronic brochure for your store, sit down and map out a more aggressive online strategy.

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Manager's To Do

Holiday Planning, Social Media Tips And More To-Do Items for Managers in October

Be sure to clean your entire inventory and props — correctly.

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Sep. 29-Oct. 5

CRM The gifts you give your best customers are your chance to show off your imagination and skills as a retailer. Engraved glasses customers can take home from a store event, embossed golf balls, toy jewelry or stickers for the kids, charm bracelets with unusual words … your goal should be something memorable.

EVENTS Set aside two evenings for a private client sale in late October. Which new pieces are likely to excite your best customers?

Podcast: When a Planned Purchase is a Style Mistake, Honesty Always Pays
Over the Counter

Podcast: When a Planned Purchase is a Style Mistake, Honesty Always Pays

Podcast: Ben Smithee Isn’t Just Another Social Media ‘Influencer’
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Ben Smithee Isn’t Just Another Social Media ‘Influencer’

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

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

Oct. 6-12

SOCIAL MEDIA Go through your social media pages, especially Pinterest, and make sure they are up to date. The last thing a 2019 holiday season shopper wants to see is something from 2018. (Unless it’s vintage).

HALLOWEEN Trick or treat! If you don’t have plans for an event, look to see what the neighborhood merchant association is planning.

Oct. 13-19

COLLATERAL Run an inventory check of your non-merchandise to make sure you don’t run out of things like toilet paper, paper towels, bags, cleaning cloths and stationery.

FINANCING Still can’t offer consumer credit? Get that application done!

Oct. 20-26

INVENTORY Double-check that you’re well-stocked in the price-points you sell most. Consider how you can take advantage of the holiday season to move pieces that are showing their age.

SECURITY Alert your staff to be on the lookout for pickpockets, distraction gangs and other sneak thieves. Check security camera angles and function.

Oct. 27-Nov. 2

MERCHANDISE Steam and/or ultrasonic clean entire inventory and props. Larry Johnson recommends using Simple Green cleaner (diluted 50/50 with water) to lightly clean all leatherette displays. “Don’t rub too hard or you’ll remove the fabric topcoating,” says the author of The Complete Guide To Effective Jewelry Display. Once the cleaning is done, re-display to create interest and desire and accommodate new arrivals.

CLIENTELING Phone customers to set appointments to create wish lists or to show off new merchandise. From here on in, your daily schedule should be sales calls first, paperwork last.

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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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