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