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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: May 2015




Cry Freedom Rings

Ever had a recently divorced customer come in with her ring and ask, What can you do with this? Karen Hollis of K. Hollis Jewelers in Batavia, IL, had a flash: What if she made the woman a ring to celebrate her newfound independence? “I made her a ‘freedom ring,’” she recalled, “And she walked out feeling like a million bucks.” Today, Hollis has turned “freedom rings” into a new category of jewelry for her store. The category has a lot going for it. First, as everyone understands, a divorce is wrenching, no matter how bad the marriage had been. “Freedom rings” turn the negativity of the situation into a positive, celebrating the opportunities of the future, says Hollis.

Multipurpose Space

Taking a lead from the Apple stores, Andrea Riso, the owner of Talisman Collection in El Dorado Hills, CA, installed iPads and low tables in her kids’ corner, along with a nice gemological touch — small gemscopes — when she built her store in 2013. Kids have rarely been a distraction to a sale since.

Souper Bowl

Who needs the Patriots or Seahawks? Radcliffe Jewelers in Baltimore, MD, held their own Souper Bowl: Each employee made a different soup and then everyone in the store voted on their favorite. The event was the latest in a long list of activities held to keep store morale high, says owner John Shmerler. “Our staff always likes an excuse to celebrate. We have theme lunches around holidays (picnic theme for 4th of July, a big holiday potluck in December, etc.).”

Striking a Hammer Blow for U.S.-Made

Christine Marguerite Designs in Boulder, CO, embodies the revival of small-scale U.S. craftsmanship. Says owner Linda Kozloff-Turner: “I offer all non-mined metals, all conflict-free diamonds, and pay all fair labor. Even our hammers are made in the U.S. ” She adds that her ethos is even attracting visitors from a nearby university who are from China and India and want items handmade by her or her staff.

There’s Gold in Them Fairways

Country clubs have proved to be fine prospecting territory for Tyson Homec, owner of Homec Jewelers, in La Quinta, CA. Every month, he joins a group of high-end retailers to visit different golf clubs around his resort community to set up for women lunch-ins. “It only costs me 50 big ones and you can’t touch that kind of exposure — meeting people in person is the best way to get new customers.” The effort is also minimal, he says.

Give Loyal Clients a Head Start

Want to boost participation in your loyalty program? Make people feel like they’ve made progress from the day they sign up. Robert Cialdini, co-author of Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, noted that a car wash offering a loyalty card nearly doubled customer retention by changing its offer from “Buy eight washes, get one free” to “Buy 10 washes, get one free — and we’ll start you off by crediting you for two washes.”


Always Be Coaching

Another consideration to add to the long list of reasons of why top salespeople might not make great managers: In addition to often being goal-driven and individualistic (as opposed to a coach trying to bring out the best in their team), strong salespeople are usually optimists — they expect positive outcomes and bounce back from rejection well. That’s great on the sales floor, but can be a problem when you need someone who should be conservative when it comes to planning. “Because socially optimistic salespeople tend to emphasize the upside and be blind to potential pitfalls, their forecasts may be less reliable than that of their more realistic peers,” notes columnist Jim Elliot.

Beware the Ketchup

Stores and homes can be secured. The weak link for jewelers is often travel, says Howard Herzog, president of International Jewelers Block Insurance. And the threat usually comes when you’re least expecting it, as the result of a distraction. “The most common types are splashing ketchup or other food on a target, dropping coins or bills and telling the target that his or her money is on the floor. The thieves then offer to help the target and move swiftly to take advantage of any opportunity,” Herzog says. If your line is insured and in your possession, your loss will be covered, he says. “Trouble begins when you leave your line unattended in your car, room or elsewhere, even for a second.”

Dollar in the Pot

Here’s a quick way from our Brain Squad to ramp up excitement on Saturdays: Each staff member places a dollar in a pot and guesses the number of customers who will walk in the store that day. The pot grows quickly and is soon large enough to buy someone lunch or dinner … and it keeps everyone’s eyes on the door.







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