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Loosen Your Grip on Reality, Write Better Subject Lines, and More Tips for June

The secret to calming down an irate customer? These three words.




Loosen Your Grip on Reality, Write Better Subject Lines, and More Tips for June

managementAppoint an Idea Champion

Ideas are easy. Implementation is the tough part. It’s why top sports marketer Jon Spoelstra argues so fervently for appointing an “idea champion” to pursue the fruit of your brainstorming sessions. “Ideas and projects can get away from you, but if you make someone the idea champion, they’ll passionately breathe life into the idea,” he says in his book Outrageous Marketing. The person doesn’t even need to have expertise in the field — just a belief in the idea’s potential and the support to pursue it.


When a customer shows up with a problem or grievance, the typical human instinct is to respond immediately with a solution, explanation or a justification. But a better approach, says Amanda Ripley, author of High Conflict, is to utter three words: “Tell me more.” Not only does that give you more information about the situation, but it shows you’re listening to their problem. And often that’s all they want — to be heard. And when people feel heard, often the anger and resentment can dissipate, or, even better, in talking through the problem, people come to a solution on their own.


SALESLive in a Fantasy World

Encourage your staff (and even yourself) to loosen their grip on reality, argue marketers Rich Baker and Gary Levitt in a column at MarketingProfs. The result could be truly exceptional service. Ask them to imagine that each customer is someone who would automatically merit preferential treatment — the store’s founder in disguise, for example, or their mother. “With this sort of fantasy in mind, their service should be nothing short of fantastic,” they write.

GROWTHEmbrace the Cringe

Do you feel a slight twinge of embarrassment when you look at some of the custom design work or even the business decisions you made five, 10 or 20 years ago? Embrace it, says James Clear, author of Atomic Habits. “A good indicator of progress is the feeling of slight embarrassment by the quality of your earlier work,” he says.


It takes a special mindset to build a successful company. But left unchecked, the very things that helped make your business a winner can depress your employees and actually harm your business. That is the message from a Fortune Small Business interview with Marshall Goldsmith, author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful. At the top of the list is being too competitive. “Your desire to prove yourself right can come at your employees’ expense, and as a result, good people feel humiliated and eventually leave,” says Goldsmith.


With the presidential campaign heating up and a record-breaking $16 billion estimated to be spent on political messages across all media this year, you may be well advised to book your advertising for the whole year in order to get decent rates, recommend the marketing mavens at Search Influence. While political advertisers mostly rely on local broadcast TV, their ad spending growth is moving toward digital channels, “with politicians utilizing every medium at their fingertips, from paid search to display,” they note.


EMAILWrite a Strong Subject Line

Spend as much time crafting the subject line of an email as the message itself, because the subject line is usually the only thing most people read. That means being descriptive of the contents rather than clever, keeping it short, provoking people’s curiosity and — seeing as you’re going to be investing the time — doing some A/B testing, says, ChimpMail.

INVENTORYThey Are Still Buying

In-store traffic can dry up in the warm months, but there are still jewelry buyers out there and you need to be ready for them, advises Naomi Vargas of Mehaffey’s Jewelry, Haines City, FL. “Summer may be slow, but don’t let your stock get so low that you have no choices for your repeat customers,” she says.



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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