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Tip Sheet

Inactive Customers Can Mean Renewed Profits, Make To-Do Lists and More Tips

Plus, who to hire for the summer.





This year, go upmarket when you hire a summer casual, suggests Find an intern at a large marketing company or even a marketing major at a local college and ask him to take you on as a “client.” For a small fee or possibly for free, he should be able to give you exposure to cutting-edge marketing ideas and ways to implement them in return for some real-world experience to bolster his CV.

REMAINS OF THE DAYTomorrow To-Do Today

What do you do with the last 15 minutes of the day? Answer e-mails, schedule meetings, linger on the sales floor before closing? A better way to spend the time is to draw up a to-do list for the next day. Be specific and jot down things you’ll do from the moment you enter the store. It’s a great way to get the new day off to a productive start.

GOTCHA!!Nail Those Deadbeats

If you’re chasing overdue-credit clients who are playing hard-to-get, try reaching them on their home phone just before the finale of American Idol, a snowstorm, or any other occasion when they are likely to be homebound. And once you have them on the line, assume the role of a friendly financial adviser. “Generation X is focused on escaping any kind of pain or responsibility,” collection consultant Roger Willis told the New York Times. “You have to sell them on the benefit of taking responsibility and the consequences if they don’t.”

A WELCOME LAUGHAnimate Your Cards

Here’s an original Instore idea: Cool name cards. Use a cartoon like this one to tell people what you do. Not only would it be memorable but it says: Come to my store and have some fun. We don’t take ourselves too seriously.


Knowing where your customers come from is a crucial part of knowing where to buy ad space or air time, especially in rural areas. Tom Egelhoff, author of Small Town Advertising, suggests regularly monitoring your car lot and the license plates of your customers to see how much out-of-state traffic your store is attracting.


Many successful businesses follow a curve in which they pursue ever-more lucrative customers as they become more established. This makes sense. The best customers are usually at the high end, and it pays to develop a business model that responds to their needs. But it also means other customers get left behind. If you have a slightly more upmarket competitor in your area why not ask for the names of its “inactive” customers? Offer to buy the lists or share the profits if you make a sale. This could give you access to customer lists that were built up over decades for basically nothing, says marketing consultant Jay Abraham.


GET YOUR SPEAK ONJoin Toastmasters

Think Toastmasters is for people who are good at public speaking? No way! Many of them are terrible, which is probably the best thing about the club. For a few bucks a month you can join and polish your oratory skills in a friendly, non-intimidating environment. The clubs are everywhere (see, so go visit a few to see which one you’d feel most comfortable in and get to work on your introductory speech. How you spent the summer in 1973 is a popular topic.

READ DEMONImagine An Elf

Want to write convincing ad copy? Jay Conrad Levinson, author of Guerrilla Marketing, suggests you imagine an evil elf sitting on your shoulder, screeching “I don’t believe that!” every time you write a sentence that tests credibility.

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.



Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

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