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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: August 2006

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Seven fresh ideas to better your busines

Encourage salespeople to remember customers’ preferences; more.

[componentheading]LEAVE YOUR MESSAGE[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Try Voice Marketing[/contentheading]

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.)

[componentheading]LOTTO LUCK[/componentheading]

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[contentheading]Hold A Lottery[/contentheading]

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[componentheading]THE BORROWERS[/componentheading]

[contentheading]MAKE A LOAN[/contentheading]

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.

[componentheading]LEVEL BEST[/componentheading]

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[contentheading]Create More Gradese[/contentheading]

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.”

[componentheading]TRIAL ERA[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Test Staff Knowledge[/contentheading]

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?

[componentheading]PARK LAUGH[/componentheading]

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[contentheading]Warn With Wit[/contentheading]

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.

[componentheading]PROMISED LAND[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Gurantee A Compliment[/contentheading]

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.

[span class=note]This story is from the August 2006 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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