Oct. 31-Nov. 6
OPERATIONS Set separate cut-off dates for special orders, deliveries and appraisals. Make sure every member of staff knows them — there’s nothing worse than promising something you can’t deliver.
MANAGEMENT Create a schedule to ensure you’re ahead on paperwork and display duties (cleaning, tagging, sorting), so that come December, you can focus on the sales floor.
STAFF Schedule a training session or two to prepare sales associates to effectively engage wedding-ring customers during the chaos of the end-of-year selling season. Coach them how to change gears for this important consumer type, so he doesn’t feel rushed or underserved.
MANAGEMENT You and your staff should start soon on your own holiday shopping to get it out of the way. Have business cards for your store handy so you can hand them out to the people you meet.
MARKETING Meet with your marketing team to discuss your Valentine’s Day campaign. It can be easy to forget about the second-biggest jewelry selling day of the year during the busy holiday months.
INTERNET Nov. 30 is a Cyber Monday. While you may not be an online retailer, post some “one-day web-only specials.” People are getting used to the idea of checking their favorite stores for specials on this new retail date.
MANAGEMENT Institute a closing ritual that will keep you sane over the next few weeks. Know when to stop working. Try to end each workday the same way, too. Straighten up your desk. Back up your computer. Make a list of what you need to do tomorrow.
IN-STORE Start feeding holiday songs into the store playlist. At first, aim for every fourth song, and then, over the next six weeks, slowly increase the rotation.
SALES Roll out this year’s spiffs for your salespeople. It doesn’t have to be a cash prize or a 48-inch TV, says sales trainer Harry Friedman. Sometimes a “get out of” card for an unpleasant duty is enough.
Nov. 28-Dec. 4
SELLING Print off wishlists so associates can update you as to where they are in the process of closing the client. “Remember, these are warm leads. They already visited and found items they like. Urgency in follow-up is key,” says Megan Crabtree, president of Crabtree Consulting.
INVENTORY Check your orders and stay on top of your vendors. Timely delivery is critical now. Running out of your core items is almost as bad as ordering too much of a bad seller.
SELLING Get your nails done (that goes for the guys, too). 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.