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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: February 2014

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managementPlan Ahead For Your Online Hereafter

The idea of living on in perpetuity in digital form has some appeal, but it’s actually a headache for your surviving family. “Many of your online accounts — from automatic bill payments to eBay — may remain active after you pass away,” says attorney Hillel Presser, author of Financial Self-Defense. It is not enough, Presser says, to merely provide a family member with all of your accounts, log-ins and passwords, as they may not be legally allowed to access them. Instead, he recommends appointing in your will a digital executor — a tech-savvy person who will be able to close or manage accounts in line with your wishes.

Make ’Em Forget Price

Store consultant Kate Peterson thinks jewelers can learn a thing or two from luxury car dealers when it comes to setting standards for your customer. “The experience is nothing short of amazing. They don’t care if you’re buying top of the line or entry level, the experience is the same,” she says, urging that you make it all about the customer, not about the price, not about the product. “When you understand and communicate real value, the price becomes secondary,” she says.

There Is a Place for Negative Feedback

Don’t buy into the argument that there is no place for negative feedback in the workplace, says social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson. Yes, be effusive with praise when someone is learning a new skill — it boosts their confidence and their commitment to the task — but don’t shy from offering “informative” criticism to a seasoned hand. “Negative feedback (e.g., Here’s where you went wrong….), tells you where you need to spend your effort, and offers insight into how you might improve,” she writes on her blog, heidigranthalvorson.com.

marketingStrategic Freebies

John Jantsch recently recounted in his Duct Tape Marketing blog his surprise at finding a free pair of socks and an energy bar included with the pair of running shoes he’d ordered online. Turns out that these “gifts” were placed in the box by strategic partners. Could you offer free gifts from strategic partners when you complete a custom design? A scarf, a small perfume sample, a coupon for a discounted dinner? And could that strategic partner provide a coupon or free samples from you when they deliver a product? A birthstone for a birthday dinner at a local restaurant, a free charm bracelet from the catering hall that hosts a girl’s 16th birthday bash? The possibilities are vast.

The Dark Art of Google Search

Do you ever input keywords into Google to see how your store ranks? If you do, make sure you actually click on your store’s link: “Every time your business appears in the rankings and is NOT clicked, there is a chance that will actually lower your ranking for that term, since it is assumed your site did not appear to offer what the searcher was looking for,” a contributor told a recent edition of Quirk’s Marketing Research Review.

Going Online

What’s the biggest mistake store owners make when they start selling online? It’s to think commerce in the cyberworld runs by the same rules as in their brickand- mortar stores. “Too many retail stores blindly upload all of their jewelry and watches onto a website with full pricing detail,” says James Rubinstein, president of RESULTCO a distributor of brand-name watches that also provides virtual storefronts to brickand- mortar jewelers. Allow price comparison only when you can be competitive, advises Rubenstein “This entices shoppers to visit their local store to view selection and gives the retailer an opportunity to capture the sale.”

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sales floorAssumptive Add-Ons

Do you struggle closing the deal? Sales trainer Harry Friedman suggests that when you reach the trial close phase of your presentation you attach the words “you” or “your” to the item as a way to give customers automatic ownership of it. He also recommends starting each add-on attempt with “How about ….” His formula can be broken down into five parts: How about (1) this perfectly matched (2) pendant (3) to complete the look (4) of your (5) new ring. So here 3 is the add-on, 4 is the “must have” reason, and 5 the assumed understanding the customer is buying it by giving her automatic ownership.

Playing Tag

Price tags that reflect the quality and sophistication of your store aren’t that cheap. It’s why most jewelers are reluctant to scribble on them or attach stickers when they have a sale. Eileen Eichhorn of Eichhorn Jewelry in Decatur, IN, has the answer — generic tags with color dots. “It’s good to use the kind that can easily be attached and removed from an existing tag,” she advises. “Occasionally, instead of tags, we use different color string for distinguishing items. I just think it looks neater.”

Learn From the Pros

Next time you are at the trade show, notice the displays of your vendors, advises Rick Segel, author of The Retail Business Kit for Dummies. “They have to sell to the most difficult audience there is — retailers!” he says. “Notice how they merchandise their products, what emotion they are trying to convey. And then copy that for your store.”

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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