Connect with us

Tip Sheet

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

mm

Published

on

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.

Advertisement

Cold-Calling Secrets

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.

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.

 

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 edition of INSTORE.

Advertisement

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

Aging Inventory Sale? There’s a Science to Maximizing Results

Craig Husar, president of Lyle Husar Designs of Milwaukee, WI, has tried to organize sales of his aging inventory before he let Wilkerson do one for him. “If it had been up to me, I probably would have used the same methods I’ve always used and I would have gotten the same results I’ve always been disappointed with,” he says. After Wilkerson, there’s no going back. “Everything Wilkerson brought to the table just elevated this event higher than anything I’ve ever experienced before.”

Promoted Headlines

Tip Sheet

Save the Boring Jobs for the Office, Watching TV with Purpose, the Trick to Reading More Books and More Tips for July

And never try to treat a gunshot wound with a Band-Aid.

mm

Published

on

personalDo Down Time With Purpose

Approach this summer with more purpose, recommends Greg McKeown, writing in the Harvard Business Review. “That means if you decide to watch TV, really watch it. If you are having a meal, take the time to enjoy the meal.” Of course it also means making a choice: do you want to spend your summer downtime in front of the tube? We’re going to hazard a guess the answer is no. Go schedule some activities that ensure you fully recuperate this summer.

EVENTSMake It LightHearted

Orin Jewelers in Northville, MI, understands that at its heart, shopping for jewelry should be a joyful experience. To support that message, it tries to add a lighthearted touch to city events by doing something fun in the store, say owners Orin and Tina Mazzoni. “Example: when a citywide ban was put on serving wine/drinks to women at the annual Girls’ Night Out, we all dressed as if it were the Prohibition and served root beer and sparkling wine.” How does your fun game compare?

LEARNINGUp Your Reading Game

Want to read more? Try what serial entrepreneur and business author James Altucher does and read about 30 pages of five books each day. Given the average American reads about 250 words a minute, or about a page a minute, that’s two-and-a-half hours. Don’t have that much time? How about 25 pages of three books? That’s little more time than it takes to watch an episode of The Real Housewives Of New Jersey.

PRODUCTIVITYHome Is Where The Creativity Is

Here’s a neat rule to get the most out of your work day (for people in a position to pull it off, meaning business owners): Do creative work at home and boring work, where you may need some compulsion, at the office. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, researchers found that when it came to creative tasks, people were 11 percent to 20 percent more productive outside the lab. For rote and repetitive tasks, however, they were 6 to 10 percent less productive when not in a formal work environment.

SALESIs That So?

In The Patterson Principles Of Selling, Jeffrey Gitomer suggests training yourself to be a better listener by asking a question at the end of your customers’ statements. If you make your own statement, it’s possible you are interrupting. But if you ask a question, you almost have to wait until they’re finished speaking.

SERVICEDon’t Band-Aid A Gunshot Wound

When it comes to repairs, it often pays to look beyond the customer’s specific request, says Bruce Goodheart of Goodheart’s Jewelry in Overland, KS. “Don’t fix one prong when there are 20 other prongs you need to re-tip. You don’t need the headache, and it will show how professional you are. You have a reputation to uphold, and you can’t put a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound.”

Continue Reading

Tip Sheet

Learning to Love PITA Customers and More Tips for June

When starting out, go bold and quirky (just not weird), and the secret to a perfect break.

mm

Published

on

CUSTOMER SERVICEEmbrace the Pain

In his most recent letter to Amazon’s shareholders, CEO Jeff Bezos said one thing he loved about customers is that they are “divinely discontent”. Their expectations only ever “go up,” he said. Eileen Eichhorn, owner of Eichhorn Jewelry in Decatur, IN, said decades working in her family store has taught her something similar about demanding customers: they make excellent references. “Pain-in-the-ass customers send us the best customers.”

STRATEGYBegin With Bold

When trying a new business venture (or even prototyping a new jewelry line), always try the wackier, quirkier stuff first, says Jason Fried, founder and CEO of Basecamp and author of the business bestseller Getting Real. “The deeper you get into a project, the more conservative it tends to get. Stranger ideas are more at home earlier in the process,” he recently wrote on his Twitter feed.

EVENTSBirthday Gifts Welcome

What month was your company born? Throw a birthday party and ask your customers to bring “gifts” of testimonials that you can use in your marketing. Including such third-party recommendations on your website and in your ads is one of the best ways around to convince others that your store is, indeed, the best place to shop, says Entrepreneur magazine’s Idea Site For Business.

HUMAN RESOURCESDivine Your Own Dress

Siegel’s Jewelry in Paso Robles, CA has solved its dress code issues by simply leaving it up to the staff. It’s part of a bigger strategy to emphasize the employees’ individual talents and unique tastes. “We think it is better for them to be different from one another and create a balanced set of skills and talents, than to all offer the same things,” says owner Ken Siegel. “Employees are happiest when they can be themselves and are encouraged to develop their own self in a safe and happy environment.”

STORE EXTERIORThe Big Picture

First thing to do before slapping a mural on the side of your building? See if the government will pick up part of the bill. Joe Declet of Fins and Skins in Pinellas Park, FL, got tired of telling new customers to look for the “ugly orange building,” so when his lease came up for renewal, he negotiated the right to add the mural. Working with a local artist, he now has a 30- by 50-foot mural depicting a coral reef — and the city offset his expense with a $1,500 grant as part of a beautification program.

MANAGEMENTBreaking Breaks

The most important thing to understand about breaks is that they are not a deviation from performance; they are part of performance, says Dan Pink in his latest business best seller, When: The Scientific Secrets Of Perfect Timing. “And the most restorative breaks are social rather than solo, outside not inside, moving instead of stationary, and fully detached rather than semi-detached.”

Continue Reading

Tip Sheet

Make Sure You’re Part of Your Charitable Giving, And More Tips for May

You’ll get to meet more people and feel better about your involvement.

mm

Published

on

CUSTOMER SERVICEIn the Kid’s Corner

Adults needn’t be the only ones who view jewelry stores as houses of goodies. In addition to its well-appointed kids’ corner, Renaissance Fine Jewelry in Brattleboro, VT, provides customers’ children with gift-wrapped presents to make them feel special, too. “They will remember the stuffed animal or the funky handbag they got at Renaissance Fine Jewelry,” says owner Caitlyn Wilkinson.

PERSONAL Go Gray

Worried your relationship with your phone is less than healthy? Switch your display from color to grayscale, recommends Catherine Price in her book How To Break Up With Your Phone. (This is apparently so threatening to phone makers’ addiction business model, it’s hidden five levels deep on the iPhone: go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Display Accommodations > Color Filters.) Instantly, your phone is vastly duller. Try it for a day.

CHARITY Sell On Site

When you’re asked to donate to local charities, make sure to choose only events that allow you to personally participate, says Dianna Rae High of Dianna Rae Jewelry in Lafayette, LA. This way, you’re building relationships, rather than just donating an item to sit on a silent auction table. For example, when the local ballet asked High to sponsor their annual event, she paid the sponsorship fee and asked if she could set up a small table of jewelry for sale with a percentage of sales going to the ballet. “The women loved it, we sold a lot of jewelry, I met new people, and the ballet received more than if I had just paid the sponsorship,” High says.

STRATEGY Good Citizens

If you refer to potential customers as “prospects” or “targets,” Seth Godin urges you to stop and instead call them “citizens.” His argument is based on the view that the conventional marketing terms don’t reflect the way power has shifted in the marketplace. “Citizens are no longer the weak, isolated pre-consumers in front of a TV set in 1971, with few options. Now, they appear to be holding all the cards. It sounds a bit pretentious, but then, so do most terms marketers use.” You can’t help but become a little more humble and respectful, Godin says, when you use this term.

TIME MANAGEMENTLeave the Mess for Now

If you typically feel the urge to straighten your desk before you can start on meaningful work, The Guardian’s Oliver Burkeman suggests a simple rule: reschedule. “If your job permits it, schedule a daily deck-clearing hour — but at 4.30 p.m., not 9 a.m.,” he says. “It’s time to abandon the secret pride we procrastinators feel in having completed 25 small tasks by 10 a.m.; if they’re not the right tasks, that’s not really something to be proud of.” Instead, Burkeman recommends the timeworn advice to work on your most important project for the first hour of each workday.

MANAGEMENTMore Donuts

Want to add some fun to your store? Take a tip from Sherrie’s Jewelry Box in Tigard, OR, where “you’re never late to work if you bring donuts,” owner Sherrie Devaney says.

Continue Reading

Most Popular