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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: August 2007



Seven fresh ideas to better your business

Let them feed the fish; relax those buyers; more.

[componentheading]PESTER POWER[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Feed The Fish[/contentheading]

J.F. Harris in California, MD, has a large koi-filled pond at its entrance that serves as a beautiful aesthetic feature and at the same time leverages one of the most irresistible forces known in marketing: the “pester power” of children. “We keep small bags of fish food in the store and the children are given a bag before they leave. Our ‘regulars’ beg their parents to come back so they can see and feed the fish again,” say Joan and Frank Harris.

[componentheading]G.I.S’ JOE[/componentheading]


[contentheading]Support Our Troops[/contentheading]

More evidence you can’t go wrong by doing good. Barry Siegler, owner of Lee Jewelers in Clevelend, OH, took up a coffee collection for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq after his mailman, whose son is on his third tour to the troubled areas, commented it was tough for the soldiers to get a good cup of coffee. So far Siegler’s effort has seen over 1,000 pounds of coffee and snacks sent to the troops. “We have received both thank-you notes from the soldiers. Some of them really break your heart,” Siegler says. The initiative has been warmly supported by his customers and attracted the attention of local media. “We first had coverage in several local newspapers and radio stations. Then our local Fox station ran the story,” he says.

[componentheading]SMOOTH SELL[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Lubricate Sales[/contentheading]

Johnnie Walker says its Black Label whisky is smooth. But it’s not half as smooth as the marketing at R.F. Moeller Jeweler. The Minnesota retailer brought the drinks maker and Mpls.St.Paul Magazine in as sponsors for a Men’s Night when it opened its Edina branch last year. JW event staff served hors d’oeuvres and scotch, organized a scotch tasting and dispensed whisky wisdom, all while adorned in the store’s jewelry. As the evening wore on, the focus shifted from the scotch to the jewelry. Moeller called the atmosphere “playful,” although we suspect “lubricated” might be a more accurate description as the men tried to outdo each other with their jewelry buys.

[componentheading]SALES AUTOPSIES[/componentheading]


[contentheading]Keep Score[/contentheading]

Smed Inter-national, a Canadian maker of office furniture, wants all staff to understand how big sales happen. So each month it deconstructs a big sale in a feature called “Scorecard” in the company newsletter. Details include how the customer first learned about Smed, what competition it faced, and what roles employees played in clinching the sale. “We point out peculiar things that helped secure the sale,” a Smed official told

[componentheading]INCONSISTENT LAWS[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Shoot Straight[/contentheading]

Trying to sharpen your marketing efforts? Here are two target groups to look out for: Newly promoted workers and recent retirees. Marketing expert James Porte says you can find the first group in the local newspaper or from the human resources departments of big companies in your area. “Send new appointees personalized letters with your congratulations, as well as a gift certificate. That’s a pat on the back that will be hard to ignore,” he says. While splashy celebrations shouldn’t be on the minds of those leaving the workforce, they often are, says psychologist and author Kevin Hogan. It’s known as the Law of Inconsistency and explains why people do things like reward themselves with a cheese and bacon burger after losing 10 pounds, or when opening their retirement account they will buy a new car or new jewelry.

[componentheading]LOFTY IDEA[/componentheading]


[contentheading]Make Space[/contentheading]

Ronnie Miller needed plenty of storage space for his 2,100-square-foot store, MeyerLand Jewelers, in Houston, but didn’t want to give up precious salesfloor space. “My architect came up with an ingenious idea — a 1,000-sq-ft loft, alleviating the need for closets or additional storage areas. The extra space costs us nothing extra in rent,” Miller says.

[componentheading]WEB POTENTIAL[/componentheading]

[contentheading]TRY ‘EM OUT[/contentheading]

Two Web-based services to check out:, which allows you to create e-newsletters using its creative templates; and www.sendthisfile .com, a file-transfer service that’s particularly useful when you have big, graphically intensive files to send.

[span class=note]This story is from the August 2007 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Downsizing? Wilkerson Is Here to Help

Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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