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Tip Sheet

Teaching Touch in a Virtual World, and More Tips for February

Plus a good reason to keep price points low for Valentine’s.




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merchandisingAim Low This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a time for your lower-end stuff to shine, says Megan Crabtree, president of Crabtree Consulting. “Valentine’s Day is the main hallmark holiday where the average spend has never been over $200 retail,” she notes, suggesting you prepare for the big day by setting up a showcase with items priced under $200 so as to simplify the buying for customers.

SALESTeaching Touch in a Virtual World

Customers may not be able to physically pick up your jewelry when interacting via video or on the telephone, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook the importance of “touch” — the one sense that can’t be conveyed virtually, says consultant Kate Peterson. “We’re not talking about the people who buy online all the time. This is about people who normally need a much more ‘in-person experience,’ and you have to find a way to provide it without being 3 feet away from them,” she says. Peterson recommends you teach your staff how to describe to someone over the phone or a computer screen how a piece of jewelry feels. Is it heavy, light, smooth textured? How do you describe how something feels in your hand?


SALESKeep It Upbeat

With so much bad news in the past year, it is easy to slip into a negativity that runs counter to the upbeat atmosphere conducive to selling jewelry. “People who come to you are all hopeful. Nobody buys a diamond ring for a funeral. You have to realize that when they come in hopeful, they are coming in to escape the news,” says Bob Phibbs, a.k.a. the Retail Doctor. Even if the customer brings up some glum piece of news, it’s important that you know how to pivot the conversation. “Focus on keeping it upbeat in your marketing and on your sales floor,” Phibbs says.

SALESSidestep the Therapy Gig

Do you find yourself getting drawn into the role of couples therapist when dealing with engagement ring purchases? If so, buy copies in bulk of Passionate Marriage by David Schnarch or Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work by John Gottman and include them with every purchase of an engagement ring. Relationship crises aren’t your job to handle, but you can empower people to solve them without getting involved yourself.

INVENTORYYou Can’t Fake Enthusiasm

While successful inventory management is a primarily data-driven game, don’t become overly robotic. It’s hard to fake enthusiasm for product. “When you are excited about something or can put meaning behind why you picked an item to be in your store, your customers will get excited too,” says Karen Hollis, owner of K. Hollis Jewelers in Batavia, IL. “It’s all about making a connection with the customer,” she says.

GENERALFive Friends to the Rescue

Feeling overwhelmed in a social or business situation? Think of your five favorite people, how these are the people whose opinions of you matter, and how they’d support you at this time. The idea is that thinking about “their supportive vibes” can be just the mental boost you need, writes Chelsea Fagan on The Financial Diet blog.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].



When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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