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Podcast: JimmyCast Takes on the Paradigm Shift in Jewelry Store Marketing

What do you do when what used to work isn’t working anymore?

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 1: PARADIGM SHIFT (25:55 MINUTES)


Welcome to the first episode of JimmyCast, a new podcast from the INSTORE Podcast Network.

If you’re a regular consumer of INSTORE Online, then you probably know of Jimmy DeGroot. He produces the Jewelry Store Possible series of educational videos as well as the Gene the Jeweler series of satirical clips.

With JimmyCast, “The idea is we’re going to talk real,” Jimmy explains.  The show also features Doug Meadows of David Douglas Diamonds in Marietta, GA.

“We’re going to get at the real issues and talk about those things that could be a bit uncomfortable to talk about in a general publication setting,” he says. Jimmy is a highly experienced jewelry store manager who spends his time training teams around the world at jewelrystoretraining.com and sharing marketing advice through his blog site at jewelrymarketingguy.com.

In the inaugural episode, Jimmy and Doug talk about how things have changed in the jewelry retail business, and how to adapt when the old ways stop getting results. Doug even gets specific about how he is reinventing his own business.

“We have to try something different,” Doug says, “because what used to work in the past isn’t working.”

Listen to this and other industry insights on JimmyCast! You can catch the video version below.


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Show Notes/Show Chronology

Here are show notes of the conversation between Jimmy DeGroot and Doug Meadows.

  • 1:14 Doug talks about his store’s origins, and his move to warmer climes.
  • 1:59 Is David Douglas Diamonds the typical jewelry retailer in the U.S.?
  • 2:12 On the two types of jewelers.
  • 2:50 On the paradigm shift in how jewelry businesses are run.
  • 3:56 On the days when jewelers were selling “those big mambo herring-bone necklaces.”
  • 4:55 A discussion of the days when, as a jeweler, you hardly had to advertise at all, and yet everything was good.
  • 6:20 On how this podcast came to be.
  • 6:45 Doug talks about how he is reinventing himself. “We have to try something different, because what used to work in the past isn’t working.”
  • 9:00 On grassroots marketing efforts that work in the absence of a large marketing budget.
  • 12:06 Doug talks about the time he “went stupid” and expanded a grassroots marketing program to his whole county –including over 100 schools. He’s since cut back to 27 schools.
  • 14:24 “There is no magic marketing pill. No matter what it is, it’s still consistent work. A lot of work.”
  • 15:22 On what’s working for David Douglas Diamonds. Hint: “If you Google ‘moissanite Atlanta,’ nine times out of 10 we’re going to be the first organic search that shows up.”
  • 17:00 Doug on why he embraced moissanite 20 years ago.
  • 17:35 On the importance of getting more customers through the door, buying at lower price points.
  • 20:30 A discussion of “that guy who is lying to his girlfriend about moissanite.”
  • 21:10 An inspirational story of a guy who embraced inbound marketing by answering questions on his blog.
  • 23:08 Doug explains, “I’m constantly asking myself, ‘What is it that a customer is asking and how can we answer it?'”

Jimmy DeGroot is a jewelry store manager who has been in the business for over 20 years. Now he spends his time training teams around the world at jewelrystoretraining.com and sharing marketing advice through his blog site at jewelrymarketingguy.com. Sign up for training videos here.

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JimmyCast

Podcast: Would Your Customer Drive Hundreds of Miles for a Lab-Created Diamond?

Jimmy and Doug talk with Joy Janssen of e-commerce oriented family retailer Eco Diamond.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 7: WOULD YOUR CUSTOMER DRIVE HUNDREDS OF MILES FOR A LAB-CREATED DIAMOND? (31:43 MINUTES)


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WANT TO KNOW MORE about selling lab-created diamonds? In the latest episode of JimmyCast, Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows talk with Joy Janssen of Eco Diamond, a family-owned jewelry retailer based in Little Chute, WI.

In addition to selling lab-created gems, Eco Diamonds is unusual for a family-owned retailer in its emphasis in selling online. (Joy and her husband, Ben, have backgrounds in e-commerce.) While the company has a physical showroom where it takes appointments as well as a limited numbers of walk-in customers, most of its sales are initiated online.

In the discussion, Doug shares his progress along the path of selling more lab-created gemstones (3:40), including a time diamonds made from human remains. Joy talks about the progress of lab-created gem sales she has seen since launching her business in 2011 (6:00), noting that they have grown slowly in the Midwest but are gaining momentum.

She talks about a moment where she became more confident her business would succeed, telling the story of selling a $14,000 diamond to a customer in Washington (9:30). And she explains the thought behind selecting her company name (and URL) over other options (10:40). Later, she explains the visual differences between HPHT diamonds and CVD diamonds (13:40).

Doug wonders how we cut through the propaganda that both sides — marketers of natural gemstones versus marketers of lab-created gems — are throwing at jewelers (15:40).

Doug and Jimmy both share their admiration of Joy’s business, with Jimmy saying that her model would be what he would do if he started his own jewelry store now— mom-and-pop, prototypes, with an online emphasis (20:00).

While the guys make a bit of fun of the quaintly-named (and quaintly-sized) Little Chute, WI, Joy shares one impressive landmark near her store (22:50). She then shares some thoughts on why customers would drive across several states to work on a jewelry design with her (23:30).

Doug speculates on future paths and future sources of disruption in the jewelry business (27:00). He then asks if Joy has any advice for bench jewelers who want to get into lab-created and online sales, and Joy shares her answer. (28:20).

On the subject of innovation, Jimmy recommends a book to read (30:00) called They Ask, You Answer.

Watch the video version of the podcast below.


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JimmyCast

Podcast: When Is It Time to Let an Underperforming Employee Go?

The weird twist: They’re often the top producer in the store.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 6: WHEN TO LET AN EMPLOYEE GO? (29:39 MINUTES)


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IN THIS MONTH’s episode of JimmyCast, Jimmy DeGroot and Doug Meadows talk about one of their least favorite things — firing staff.

It’s one of the toughest things a store-owner has to do. But once you determine that someone is dragging your business down, you can’t ignore the issue and need to take action. Says Jimmy: “The predominant situation is one who does not play well with others. This can be anything from people who think they know it all, they’re not coachable, they’re not manageable, they do things their own way. And then there are people who are very much an island unto themselves, and these are sales-stealers, people who in general create discord among the group. Here’s the really weird twist … so often, they’re the top seller, they’re the top producer in the store.”

Jimmy and Doug discuss how you determine whether someone is holding your business back, the steps you should take once you decide there is an issue, and the results you can expect to see once you make the difficult call to end a problem employee’s tenure with your company.


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JimmyCast

Podcast: How Can Jewelry Stores Stop Losing Their Best Employees?

The key ingredients are right culture, right incentives and right training.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 5: HOW CAN JEWELRY STORES KEEP THEIR BEST EMPLOYEES? (33:51 MINUTES)


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IN A TIGHT JOB MARKET where the average person seeks to “reinvent” themselves four or five times their career, what does a jewelry store have to do to keep its very best employees long-term?

That’s the focus of the fifth episode of JimmyCast from jewelry store trainer Jimmy DeGroot of jewelrystoretraining.com. Guest Brad Huisken of IAS Training drops in to talk with Jimmy and co-host Doug Meadows about the practices and policies that will give you a better chance of keeping key employees.

For Huisken (who is also a partner with jewelrystoretraining.com), the three key ingredients are right culture, right incentives and right training.

A few takeaways from the discussion:

  • Don’t one-size incentives. If you were trying to decide on a $500 reward and offered your staff five different options — 1.) cash; 2.) paid time off; 3.) a gift the employee wouldn’t typically buy for themselves; 4.) $500 in store merchandise; and 5.) $500 in lottery tickets — there’s a good chance different staff members would select each of the the five options. Says Huisken: “Your goal should be to know your people so well individually that you know what moves them individually.” That will allow you to individualize incentives for each team member.
  • Too many jewelers avoid doing quarterly or even annual reviews with their employees because they’re afraid that a face to face discussion of performance means that they’re going to have to increase that employees salary. Big mistake, says Brad. He says: “I just don’t believe in giving a person a raise simply because they lasted another year. You know, god forbid, you’ve got a person that, all they do is answer the phone, but they’ve been with you for 30 years so they’re making $85 an hour.”
  • The problem is that too many employees end up not knowing how they’re doing, which is extremely demotivating. Says Brad: “I go into so many stores, and I say ‘How you doin’ around here?’, and they say ‘Well, I’m not really sure, I don’t get a lot of feedback. In fact, I’m not sure I’m doing a good job at all.’ And that’s just unfair to the employee.”
  • Instead of raises, Brad and Jimmy push incentives — with a combination of personal and team incentives. Says Brad: “You’ve got to have contests, incentives and games going on all the time, all the time, all the time. I think that creates a fun environment and a fun culture within the organization.”
  • Brad tells a great story of a business that had a chronic inability to sell old merchandise. The owner created a huge incentive — a trip to Hawaii if his employees could sell 15 pieces of dated merchandise per month. His staff rose to the challenge and they earned the trip. When the staff returned from their reward journey, the owner told the staff that from now on, since they had proven that they could sell dated merchandise, they would now be required to sell five pieces per month.
  • At the 26-minute mark, Jimmy gets caught up in the excitement of a discussion about the importance of training and extends a special offer to listeners for three months free training from jewelrystoretraining.com. Brad responds, “Gee Jimmy, I didn’t know we were starting a non-profit organization.”
  • One more incentive to train your people from Brad. Staff training is tax-deductible, “so instead of giving your money to Uncle Sam, you can invest it in your business”.
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