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Smart Managers: Lara Bergset

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Smart Managers: Lara Bergset

BY JOSH WIMMER

 

 

Published in the October2012 issue

STORE NAME: Idar
LOCATION: Victoria, BC
EMPLOYEES: 6

Lara Bergset began working for her father, Idar, at age 12. About a decade later, she was managing the store. “I started by cleaning the toilets,” she jokes. “And I still clean the toilets.” Now 43, she runs a tight ship in the Cool Store’s compact 250-square foot showroom, selling Idar’s handmade designs alongside longtime employee Lance Glenn, and designing the shop’s ads and window displays, among other things. “I love all customers, even the crazy ones. I like designing, too. But my favorite part is selling,” she says. “Every time you make a sale, it’s so much fun, because that’s the adrenaline rush.”

SALES TECHNIQUE: This sounds superficial, but I focus on being their friend. I’m trying to win their trust. I ask about their family. I ask what they do. It makes my job fun! But ultimately, it is about making a living.

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MOTIVATION: When we have a good sales day, we go out for dinner and it’s on the business credit card. Unfortunately — or fortunately! — we can end up eating out too often.

BEST BOOK: Rhinoceros Success, which I read about in INSTORE. It teaches you to not be so sensitive. Because I’m so close to what we do, I used to take everything quite personally. Now I have a thicker skin.

BEING BLONDE: People assume I’m stupid all the time. They want to talk to Lance even though I know more about jewelry than he does. I used to take offense. Now I don’t notice it. I just want us to make the sale.

DISPLAYS: More is better. We’re on a busy street, and it catches people’s eyes. We’ll fill up the whole bottom of the window with stuff like gum balls or candy hearts or rocks.

PITFALL: Trying to please everyone. You have to focus on your customer base, rather than hoping to attract every possible client. And you can’t have the best product and the best service and the best price — just pick two and focus on those.

ENDING A PARTNERSHIP: If you know it’s going to happen, just do it as soon as you can. The longer you put it off, the worse it will be.

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LOYALTY: I usually give good customers 2 percent off — my mother’s gonna kill me for saying that. And every year we do a Christmas pin. Most people buy those, but special customers get them for free.

PET PEEVE: Customers asking me to copy pieces from pictures they’ve brought in off the Internet. Our designs are copyright- protected, and so are other designers’ works.

GETTING INTO THE BIZ: You have to come up with a concept. You can’t just buy and sell anymore. It takes more than just opening a store these days.

“You can’t have the best service, price and product. pick two.”

Continue Reading
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Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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Smart Managers: Lara Bergset

mm

Published

on

Smart Managers: Lara Bergset

BY JOSH WIMMER

 

 

Published in the October2012 issue

STORE NAME: Idar
LOCATION: Victoria, BC
EMPLOYEES: 6

Lara Bergset began working for her father, Idar, at age 12. About a decade later, she was managing the store. “I started by cleaning the toilets,” she jokes. “And I still clean the toilets.” Now 43, she runs a tight ship in the Cool Store’s compact 250-square foot showroom, selling Idar’s handmade designs alongside longtime employee Lance Glenn, and designing the shop’s ads and window displays, among other things. “I love all customers, even the crazy ones. I like designing, too. But my favorite part is selling,” she says. “Every time you make a sale, it’s so much fun, because that’s the adrenaline rush.”

Advertisement

SALES TECHNIQUE: This sounds superficial, but I focus on being their friend. I’m trying to win their trust. I ask about their family. I ask what they do. It makes my job fun! But ultimately, it is about making a living.

MOTIVATION: When we have a good sales day, we go out for dinner and it’s on the business credit card. Unfortunately — or fortunately! — we can end up eating out too often.

BEST BOOK: Rhinoceros Success, which I read about in INSTORE. It teaches you to not be so sensitive. Because I’m so close to what we do, I used to take everything quite personally. Now I have a thicker skin.

BEING BLONDE: People assume I’m stupid all the time. They want to talk to Lance even though I know more about jewelry than he does. I used to take offense. Now I don’t notice it. I just want us to make the sale.

DISPLAYS: More is better. We’re on a busy street, and it catches people’s eyes. We’ll fill up the whole bottom of the window with stuff like gum balls or candy hearts or rocks.

PITFALL: Trying to please everyone. You have to focus on your customer base, rather than hoping to attract every possible client. And you can’t have the best product and the best service and the best price — just pick two and focus on those.

Advertisement

ENDING A PARTNERSHIP: If you know it’s going to happen, just do it as soon as you can. The longer you put it off, the worse it will be.

LOYALTY: I usually give good customers 2 percent off — my mother’s gonna kill me for saying that. And every year we do a Christmas pin. Most people buy those, but special customers get them for free.

PET PEEVE: Customers asking me to copy pieces from pictures they’ve brought in off the Internet. Our designs are copyright- protected, and so are other designers’ works.

GETTING INTO THE BIZ: You have to come up with a concept. You can’t just buy and sell anymore. It takes more than just opening a store these days.

“You can’t have the best service, price and product. pick two.”

Advertisement

Continue Reading
Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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