SALES FLOOR The Safe Option
Got a clueless guy looking to buy a gift for a girl he doesn’t know that well? Suggest a bracelet or necklace, say psychologist and jewelry marketing expert David Weiman and celebrity stylist Jenny Ricker. “Choose jewelry that will catch her eye throughout the day,” Weiman told Men’s Health magazine, adding that you can explain this will provide a constant reminder of the gift giver through the day. Earrings should be saved for anniversaries, and rings avoided until he’s given her The Ring, the pair said.
Advertisements that carry traceable codes are a fairly common method of determining which ads are generating store traffic. Sales trainer Harry Friedman suggests taking it one step further and creating coupons that are coded to a particular salesperson as a way to encourage the cultivation of personal relationships (which is one of the best ways to grow sales). Here’s how it works: Each time a sales associate sends a thank-you note, include a coupon/voucher that is coded. Tally the coupons at the end of the month or quarter and reward the associate who generates the most.
Does your after-hours message direct customers to a website or provide another way for customers to contact you, or does it just say “We’re closed,” which provokes a “duh!” from sales trainer Jeffrey Gitomer. “Customers want an initial feeling of warmth,” he writes in his new book 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling, adding that during the day it is critical to get a human voice on the phone. “If a computer answers your phone, everything I have said (about building relationships) is worthless,” he writes, adding: “Your friendliness or lack of it will determine your future.”
MANAGEMENTTrial by Rejection
Salespeople need to be able to handle rejection. So when Rob Rawson hires salespeople for his remote staffing company, Staff.com, he starts by turning them down. After initial interviews, Rawson calls the candidates he wants to hire and tells them he doesn’t think they have what it takes. About 75 percent of applicants accept the rejection outright or become overly defensive — and thereby fail the test. On the other hand, the 25 percent who fight to make their case tend to be golden, he told Inc.com.
The Right Motivation
Get it where you can. That was the conclusion of a story in The Atlantic on the mental tricks that Olympic athletes use to stay motivated during training. Whether it’s focusing on the financial return, a rivalry, feelings of competence or something else, make a note of whatever it is that gets you through your low points and keep leveraging it. “The point is that you can’t say some motivations, like money, are inherently inferior (to intrinsic motivation),” the story quotes psychologist Steven Reiss as saying.
Beads of Time
Need more motivation? Buy 30,000 plastic beads, one for each day of your life, and two jars, one to represent your future and one your past. Then each morning, move one bead from one jar to the other. Pioneering video games designer Chris Crawford recently told the Kotaku blog it’s “a daily call to arms and a ceremony to inspire action.”
Nancy and David Fine Jewels in Millburn, NJ, has always tested diamonds to ensure they are the real thing when taking jewelry in for repair work. The wisdom of that practice was underscored recently when a repeat customer came in to have her diamond studs — insured for $60,000 — reset in a handmade setting. The studs, which had been left overnight with another jeweler a few months before, showed a negative reading. “Had we not tested her diamonds in front of her, we would have been held responsible for them not being diamonds,” says David Stone.
Call it a victory for lies over truth. In a study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, researchers found that the human brain performs better if its owner has been told he is getting enough sleep — “placebo sleep,” as they called it — regardless of the actual quality of their Zs.
A clever idea to build and reward your customers’ engagement with your store from Krombholz Jewelers: Via Facebook, the Cincinnati jeweler invited its followers “to be the first to name everyone in this 1991 Krombholz staff photo and win a $50 gift certificate to our store.” It took less than two days to get a winner. (Photo: facebook.com/krombholzjewelers)