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Sandwich Board Surprise, Making Time for Others and More Tips for July

What to do in your store this month to perform your best.




Sandwich Board Surprise, Making Time for Others and More Tips for July

Get Time By Giving It

Here’s a novel suggestion for those who feel they are in a constant race against the clock to get things done: Make some time for others.

“While it might seem counterintuitive to sacrifice some of the very things you think you don’t have enough of, our research shows that giving a bit of time away may, in fact, make people feel less pressed for time and better able to tick things off their to-do,” Cassie Mogilner Holmes, an associate professor at UCLA and Michael Norton, a professor at Harvard told the Wall Street Journal.

Working with Words

Words don’t only describe; they also have the power to delineate, evoke emotion and shape a mindset. Consider Dutilles Jewelry Design Studio’s use of the word “working” in their “About Us” page: “We are a working jewelry store. We pride ourselves on our ability to perform all types of repairs, from simple to complex … In our store, you can actually speak to the person who will be working on your jewelry.” This Lebanon, NH, store is not the place to come to be sales-clerked. The message is further reinforced by an ad campaign that focuses on the tools used in the shop. 

Repair the Relationship

“Never charge your best customers for repairs of merchandise unless you’re positive of abuse. Even fix jewelry they purchased elsewhere for no charge,” says Barry Benowitz, owner of Gail Jewelers in Palm Desert, CA. Jewelry is a relationship business, and such deeds are well worth their cost in terms of the lifetime value of a customer.

Repetition is Your Friend

There’s a reason infomercials drag on forever: our human weakness for pattern recognition. We’re programmed to think that something we’ve heard repeatedly is more important than something we’ve heard only once. “If you have a well-honed idea and you’re simply trying to market it better, get comfortable saying the same thing multiple times,” writes Martin Zwilling for 

Strategic Unselfishness

Scott Lefcourt and his team at Scottsdale Fine Jewelers in Arizona are big believers in not counting the cost of your good deeds. “We have probably given away way too many freebies, but we believe that in the long run, it has given us an excellent reputation. From honoring out-of-date warranties to making house calls, we always try to be as accommodating as possible. We call it ‘strategic unselfishness,’” he says.


Unleash the Sandwich Board 

The UnOptical, an independent eyewear retailer in San Diego, CA, has elevated sidewalk interruption outside his store to a fine art. A sandwich board sign says, “Check Out the Big Package.” People stop, pose for pictures with it and sometimes post them online. “You have to get people to stop in front of your store,” says owner James Wojcicki. A water bowl for dogs serves the same purpose: “The dog will stop every single day, and then the humans stop and look in the store.”



When There’s No Succession Plan, Call Wilkerson

Bob Wesley, owner of Robert C. Wesley Jewelers in Scottsdale, Ariz., was a third-generation jeweler. When it was time to enjoy life on the other side of the counter, he weighed his options. His lease was nearing renewal time and with no succession plan, he decided it was time to call Wilkerson. There was plenty of inventory to sell and at first, says Wesley, he thought he might try to manage a sale himself. But he’s glad he didn’t. “There’s no way I could have done this as well as Wilkerson,” he says. Wilkerson took responsibility for the entire event, with every detail — from advertising to accounting — done, dusted and managed by the Wilkerson team. “It’s the complete package,” he says of the Wilkerson method of helping jewelers to easily go on to the next phase of their lives. “There’s no way any retailer can duplicate what they’ve done.”

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