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Tease Out the Secret Skills of Gen Z Hires, Teach Sales Associates About Brand Incentives, and More Tips for June

Plus, the reason why 70 percent is good enough.

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HIRINGDigital Natives Wanted

The modern sales funnel, which begins online, demands a tweaked approach to hiring, says Shane O’Neill, vice president of Fruchtman Marketing. Millennials begin turning 40 this year. Gen Z, who are digital natives, have entered their 20s. “That means if you’re hiring a salesperson, there’s a high probability he or she will come with the technical skills and digital savvy that you need,” he said at a recent INSTORE Live event. O’Neill recommends you search out those skills, such as photography, that bring added value, in the interview process. Then codify that online sales techniques are part of the job from the beginning.

MARKETINGCatch Those College Drop-Ins

It’s back-to-school season and a great time to be a jeweler in a university town. If that’s you, consider advertising in a high-end hotel or setting up a cross-promotion with a nearby restaurant to bring in that visiting parent traffic, recommends Theresa Peregoy, owner of Classic Facets, in Edgewater, CO.

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MANAGEMENT70% Is Good Enough

His recent transgressions aside, Louis C.K. provides wisdom in his humor, such as his take on what to do when you’re struggling to choose a new phone or cable service provider. To get past the analysis paralysis, Louis suggests a simple rule: if you’re 70 percent happy with your decision, just go for it. “That false perfectionism (of trying to make the correct choice) traps you in this painful ambivalence: but it also bleeds into big decisions,” he told GQ magazine. “So my rule is that if you have someone or something that gets 70 percent approval, you just do it. ‘Cause … who the *!#! do you think you are, a god?”

MANAGEMENTUnderstand Brand Incentives

No matter what brands you sell, make sure you know what incentives they offer, and then educate your team on what they are and how to take advantage. The payoff can be surprising, says Lucy Conklin, sales manager for Toner Jewelers in Overland Park, KS. “We have grown our Gabriel & Co. sales a lot this year, and I think a big contributor is that our sales associates are more engaged with the incentives they offer.”

SOFTWARESorry Not Sorry

A lack of assertiveness in your emails can have the effect of diluting an important message. The solution? Just Not Sorry, a free Gmail plug-in that identifies qualifying words and phrases like “I think,” “just,” “I’m no expert,” and “sorry” so you can rework them. Even doing this as a one-off exercise can be beneficial to test your tone so that you better understand the impact your writing has on people.

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MANAGEMENTBuild Yourself a Mental First-Aid Kit

To give yourself a mental boost when things get you down, Allen P. Haines and Bonnie St. John recommend an “emotional first aid kit” that can include old thank-you notes, family photos, and mementos from vacations. In their book, Micro-Resilience: Minor Shifts For Major Boosts In Focus, Drive, And Energy, they say the key is to keep the “kit” in a drawer or some other place where you can retrieve it when things aren’t going your way.

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

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Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

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Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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