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Liven Up Your Big Presentation With a Naked Pic and More Tips for April

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Add Some “Oops!”

Doing a PowerPoint or other computer presentation for a custom design client? Break the ice by “accidentally” dropping an incorrect slide into your show. Entrepreneur magazine’s Ultimate Small Business Marketing Guide tells of one speaker whose show was interrupted by a picture of himself … as a baby, in a bathtub, naked. The crowd roared as the speaker feigned embarrassment, saying “Hmm, I wonder how that got in there.” And what could have become a ho-hum speech instantly became memorable.

Nail the Small Details

Details matter in fine jewelry, right down to the tips of your fingers. “Nails are part of the presentation and must be as attractive as the jewelry they are selling,” says Christine Matlack of E.G. Landis Jewelers, Boyertown, PA, who also requires her staff to wear the type of jewelry they sell. “It is a style industry, let’s look like it!” she says.

Oh, One More Thing …

If you suspect someone is being less than straight with you, keep asking innocuous, open-ended questions, a la Columbo, says tip website Barking up the Wrong Tree. A liar naturally wants to keep a lie simple, it notes. The fewer details they have to come up with that are all consistent, the easier it is to be convincing. “Unexpected questions they’re not prepared for are the best. Anything that mentally exhausts someone is good,” says the column.

The Rule of $100

There’s a widely held belief in retail that “dollar off” discounts are more effective than percentages. But Jonah Berger, author of the business bestseller Contagious, adds a proviso: When setting a sale price, remember the “Rule of $100,” he says. For prices under $100, use a discount percentage (25 percent off!). For prices over $100, use a straight dollar figure ($250 off, regular price $1,000!). It’s a premise you should investigate with some A/B testing.

Animal Intelligence

Here’s a great collaboration: the local veterinarian, especially if he’s new to town and looking to build his business. Tyson Homec, owner of Homec Jewelers in La Quinta, CA, didn’t have to look far to find such an ally — his brother is a vet. The pair held an “Ask the Vet Day” during which customers could bring in their pets for a quick check up at no charge. “It was a real big hit. I’ll be doing it every year now,” says Homec.

Cold-Calling Secrets

Anyone want to take a guess what this means? “S.W., S.W., S.W., N.!”

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The answer, according to David Fischer, the owner of a Sandler Training sales-instruction franchise, is “Some will. Some won’t. So what, next!”

That is the approach you need to take to telephone prospecting, he told The New Yorker. Cold-calling is about technique, mindset and numbers, he says. And it helps if you don’t take rejection to mean anything.

Negotiate Hard

Next time you have to hammer out pricing with an engagement ring buyer, sales rep or media agent, be sure they are sitting on the hardest chair in your store. According to research by a team at Sloan School of Management, sitting on a hard chair versus a soft one significantly lowers negotiating ability. And give them a hot drink to hold. That gives them a warmer and better impression of you, says another article in Science magazine.

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

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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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