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The Most Powerful Button on Your Phone, and More Tips for July

Plus 19 words to bring out the best in your employees.

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salesPound for Pound

The most powerful key on your phone is the # button. Why? According to Deb Hiss, whose company Debbie Hiss Consulting provides product and sales training to the jewelry industry, it’s because after leaving a message for your clients, the pound sign will almost always give you the opportunity to listen to your message or delete and start over if you’re not satisfied with it. “How you come across aurally is just as important as the impression you make visually,” she notes.

MANAGEMENTSet the Standard

Employees generally hate reviews. Managers generally hate giving them. What to do? In his book, Culture Code: The Secrets Of Highly Successful Groups, Daniel Coyle recommends using 19 words to bring out the best in the situation and deliver the feedback that will lead to a “dramatic improvement” in performance and effort. The words? “I’m giving you these comments because I have very high expectations and I know that you can reach them.” Why does it work? According to Coyle, it builds trust, signals belonging, and combines high standards with the assurance that people can reach those standards.

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BUYINGGet Show Ready

If you’re off to Vegas next month, Dan Pink, the widely traveled business author and speaker, recommends you follow this routine after checking in: Clear everything off the desk in your room and then establish your own “personal inbox.” To do that, he spreads a small towel on the desk and lays out everything he’ll need each day: his pen, notebook, passport, wallet, show pass, phone, etc. “And every time I come back to the room, I put everything back here so that I’m not always searching for my notebook, for my keys,” he says.

MANAGEMENTSchedule Breaks

A recent Columbia University study makes the case that you’ll be more creative at work – and perhaps more refreshed in your soul – if you schedule your breaks, rather than stopping whenever you feel like it. “Participants who didn’t step away from a task at regular intervals were more likely to write ‘new’ ideas that were very similar to the last one they had written,” the authors explained. So, if you’re hesitant to break away because you feel that you’re on a roll, be mindful that it might be a false impression. It’s notable, too, that the “break” in each case merely involved switching tasks. A change, it seems, really is as good as a rest — so long as you do it on schedule.

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TIME MANAGEMENTSay “Hell Yeah”

Like a lot of small business owners or just about anyone living in 2021, you’re likely often over-committed or just too scattered in your approach to life. You know you should say “no” more often, even to the worthwhile sounding things. But it’s tough. To guide you, entrepreneur and author Derek Sivers suggests this easy-to-remember heuristic: If you’re not saying “Hell Yeah!” about it, say “no.” Everything has an opportunity cost, not just in time but in your attention and energy. “When you say no to most things, you leave room in your life to really throw yourself completely into that rare thing that makes you say, ‘Hell Yeah!’” he says on his blog at sive.rs.

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 | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

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