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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.

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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 Entrepreneur.com. 

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.

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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.”

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Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

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