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Management and Staff

Management is about bringing out the best in your business and your people. It’s the second part that is so, so difficult. Here, store owners and managers reveal a bit about how they do it.

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56. What do you feel is the best use of your time?

The Big Survey: Management and Staff

57. What actually takes up most of your time?

The Big Survey: Management and Staff

58. If you had to take leave of your store for a year and the only communication you could have with employees was a single sentence, what would you write?

  • Do what you love and it will never be work.
  • Treat every customer like you would want your mother to be treated.
  • Please don’t let the store burn down.
  • Remember to make customers, not sales.
  • Don’t forget to feed my frogs.
  • You all know what you’re doing, keep doing it.
  • May God help you.
  • Kick ass and it will be reflected in your paychecks.
  • Put your phones down!
  • Make sure the customer is happier when they leave the store than when they came in.
  • Open up, sell, lock up and repeat.
  • Do the right thing, say what you’ll do, and do what you say.
  • Please don’t let my children starve.
  • Behave yourselves but have fun, too.
  • Don’t f— around.
  • You only get one chance to make a good impression.
  • I trust you.

59. Please tell us a time you came up with the perfect riposte to a rude or clueless customer … but didn’t deliver it in time (or because you were just too good mannered).

  • Customer says, “I was thinking, for the third change on a custom piece …” I wanted to say stop that.
  • I wouldn’t risk the reputation I have built over so many years to replace a small diamond of yours with a CZ.
  • Husband says: “What’s the cheapest thing in here?” Answer: “You, sir. You.”
  • “If I’m going to give something away, it will be to someone I like.”
  • When a client asks, “How do I know you won’t switch my diamond,” I tell them “We charge for that!”
  • “There is a defect here, but the defect is not in the jewelry …”
  • A customer said her dentist could have done a better job with a CAD design than we did. Later, I said after she smiled, maybe he should try, because he obviously isn’t good at dentistry.
  • “You need to go back to New York …”
  • “And how exactly did that purchase on Wish work out for ya?”
  • Lady said she was going to have my job. I told her, “Believe me, you don’t want my job. I have to put up with people like you”. Almost got fired over it.

60. If you have full-time employees, did any quit in the last 18 months?

The Big Survey: Management and Staff

61. If so, what was the reason?

The Big Survey: Management and Staff

62. How many of your staff do you think would leave for a 15 percent pay increase from another store?

The Big Survey: Management and Staff

63. Which of the following key areas of business have you found easiest to improve?

Rate of stock turn
28%
Store traffic
10%
Sales per employee
5%
Average ticket
26%
Closing ratio
20%
Add-ons
11%

64. If you work with any family members, please tell us the funniest or strangest thing that’s ever happened, either between you or that you both (or all) experienced.

  • My dad was swearing like crazy in his office, adjacent to the bridal section. I, with a straight face, apologized to the customer for his Tourette’s syndrome. Boy did I get cussed at for that one!
  • We have pulled a wrapped Christmas gift (for my sister) from under the tree at home and sold it on Christmas Eve!
  • I started at the age of 18 and hired my mom as my staff. Try going without Mom’s food when there is a disagreement!
  • I work with my dad, and he always calls me Troyki on the sales floor. My name is Troy, and I tell him over and over that is not professional. “Let me get Troyki for you!” SMH
  • Our customers assuming my wife and I were together before we actually were.
  • The cutest thing recently has been our grandson’s inquiry “What did you sell today?” (He’s 9) That’s one of the first things he asks.
  • Grandson pushed the panic button instead of the door buzzer and was surprised when the police came.
  • I was using our large melting torch, and as I turned off the gas, it popped and was very loud. My wife screamed bloody murder.
  • Many clients think all staff are related to me.
  • When I call vendors, they think it’s my son; it’s like I don’t even exist.
  • When we were younger in our business, a woman tried to set my husband up on a date with her granddaughter in front of me. She didn’t realize we were married.
  • Customers assuming my mother-in-law was my wife or that my wife was my sister. They basically knew it was a family run store and it was funny how they put the relationships together.
  • My son and I did a 36 hour turn around driving 12 hours to pick up a laser. We didn’t kill each other!
  • Twin granddaughters confused the buyers.
  • Everyone thinks I am my father when I answer the phone.
  • Customers call my sister my mom.
  • People keep asking me if my dad is here. He is actually my husband and is really only 5 years older than me!
  • Customers thinking I’m my father’s wife!!! Ugh!
  • I work with my wife. At the advice of our legal team, I will not be answering this question now or in the future.
  • People asking me if my wife is still married.
  • When a recently widowed customer asked us to clip his toenails! After the eeewwww moment we all laughed for weeks!

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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