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Tip Sheet

Encourage Salespeople to Remember Customers’ Preferences and More Tips

Plus, hold your own lottery!





If you’re sending an important piece of direct mail (for example, a high dollar-value, no-purchase required gift coupon prior to the holiday season), you’ll get better response levels by calling the customers to let them know they’ll be receiving this very special offer in the mail. If the idea of making so many phone calls is daunting (or flat-out impossible), now there are companies like SmartReply that can create voice-marketing messages designed to sound like real calls. Thousands of calls can be made in minutes. (Calls are generally made between 10 a.m and 4 p.m. to improve the chances they’ll be caught by an answering machine.)

LOTTO LUCKHold a Lottery

Everybody likes to play the lottery. Why not hold your own — complete with official scratch-off game cards just like they use in instant lotteries. You’ll find them at PromoProduct Remember: the more valuable the prizes, the greater the frenzy.


Krombholz Jewelers, in Cincinnati, OH, offers key customers of its exclusive Private Salon Versailles the opportunity to borrow important jewelry for major events like weddings. How important? One in-demand item is a platinum diamond Riviera necklace with a 20-carat total carat weight.

LEVEL BESTCreate More Gradese

Are your store’s titles limited to Owner (that’s you!), Sales Manager, and then a bunch of random sales associates? It shouldn’t be, says Marcus Buckingham, author of First, Break All the Rules. Having additional grades creates an inspirational framework for higher achievement. You can do something as simple as following the law-firm model — having junior, and senior, and executive sales associates. Or, as seen in real estate and other high-sales businesses, you could have a “Million-Dollar Roundtable” and “Presidents Club.”

TRIAL ERATest Staff Knowledge

Another way to establish grades for salespeople is to test their knowledge. As a consultant for a major brewing company, Buckingham devised a program to test a critical skill for a good bartender (remembering customers, by face, and their favorite drinks.) Bartenders who could remember a total of 100 different customers and their favorite drinks would be named members of “The 100 Club” — with a cash prize and a special button to wear on their uniform. There were additional levels, rising up to the world-class “500 Club”. But Buckingham under-estimated — eventually, an English bartender surprised everybody by becoming the first member of “The 3,000 Club.” Could you come up with a similar program for your store?


This year’s INSTORE “America’s Coolest Stores” winner, Underwood’s Fine Jewelers in Fayetteville, AR, does the big things right — as evidenced by its award. And it also does the small things well too — as shown by the fun, and yet firm, signs you’ll find in their parking lot.


PROMISED LANDGurantee a Compliment

The best product guarantee we’ve heard in a while comes from jewelry designer Barbara Weinreb, displaying her wares at a “Shecky’s Girls’ Night Out” shopping event. Her guarantee: “If you don’t get a compliment within 30 days, we will buy it back …” Weinreb claims to have only bought back three pieces ever.

Abe Sherman is the CEO of BIG - Buyers Intelligence Group. BIG designs solutions for the merchandising challenges facing retail jewelers and manufacturers. BIG utilizes a data analysis tool, Balance to Buy, to help consult with clients and customize their individual experiences and results.

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Retirement Made Easy with Wilkerson

The store was a landmark in Topeka, Kansas, but after 80 years in business, it was time for Briman’s Leading Jewelers to close up shop. Third generation jeweler and owner Rob Briman says the decision wasn’t easy, but the sale that followed was — all thanks to Wilkerson. Briman had decided a year prior to the summer 2020 sale that he wanted to retire. With a pandemic in full force, he had plenty of questions and concerns. “We had no real way to know if we were going to be successful or have a failure on our hands,” says Briman. “We didn’t know what to expect.” But with Wilkerson in charge, the experience was “fantastic” and now there’s plenty of time for relaxing and enjoying a more secure retirement. “I would recommend Wilkerson to any retailer considering a going-out-of-business sale,” says Briman. “They’ll help you reach your financial goal. Our experience was a tremendous success.”

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