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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: November 2006

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Six fresh ideas to better your business

Remember the power of shame; looking for eye-catching advertising; more.

[componentheading]RAIN CHECK[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Bet On The Sun[/contentheading]

Alan Perry, a jeweler in Wilmington, NC, offers a money-back guarantee on diamond rings if it rains at least one inch on the couple’s wedding day and the rings are purchased a minimum of 100 days before the wedding. This promotion has a potentially risky lottery aspect to it, but it’s hard to argue with the results — Perry told Glamour magazine his sales had quadrupled since he started the program.

[componentheading]IMAGES THAT STICK[/componentheading]

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[contentheading]Paste It On[/contentheading]

If you’d been in Toronto in September and came across this woman lying unconscious at the bottom of the staircase (pictured, right), you’d have rushed down to help, right? If you had, you’d have found yourself staring down at a life-sized decal and a message reading: “Know what to do. www.redcross.ca/.” Could you use a similar approach to get attention for your business — perhaps a briefcase full of sparkling diamonds spilled onto the floor? Or perhaps a romantic image of a couple embracing after he’s given her a ring?

[componentheading]HOLIDAY HIRE[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Recruit At Home[/contentheading]

Finding talent in a small town is difficult — after all, most of the “best and brightest” prospects have moved elsewhere to work. Marketeer David Wolfe suggests this strategy to try to win some of them back — advertise your openings during “homecoming” holidays like Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving.

[componentheading]MORNING LESSONS[/componentheading]

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[contentheading]Listen and Test[/contentheading]

Does your team listen to sales tapes each morning during set- up? Smart move, says trainer Dave Richardson. Now, make sure your staff is truly getting the lessons on the tapes. Ten minutes before opening, bring everyone together and ask two questions:

1. What was the best idea you got from listening to the tape?
2. How will you use it today and this week?

By doing this, says Richardson: “Not only will they learn (or relearn) something of value, but they will have a plan to put it to work immediately.”

[componentheading]BRIGHTER OUTLOOK[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Get Previewed[/contentheading]

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Studies show more than 70% of Outlook users check email through their preview pane alone. Which means there’s a good chance that those big, gorgeous HTML emails you’re designing are not getting seen in anything resembling their full glory. Trying to get better click-through rates, Heidi Hess, program manager for the Sierra Club, tinkered with the group’s newsletter for optimal viewing in Outlook’s preview mode rather than full screen. The result was a less attractive newsletter — but the pay-off was a double-digit increase in the click rate. You’ll find Hess’s story amongst the case studies on marketingsherpa.com.

[componentheading]CLEANING UP[/componentheading]

[contentheading]The Power of Shame[/contentheading]

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center had tried everything to get its doctors to wash their hands more — distributing hand wash in the parking lot, passing out Starbucks gift cards, even forming a “Hand Hygiene Posse”. The one thing that finally got their doctors washing their hands? Shame. Doctors were asked to press their hands into Petri dishes and digital photos were taken of the cultures. The resulting images, chief of staff Dr Paul Silka told the New York Times, were “disgusting … with gobs of colonies of bacteria.” These images were made into screen savers and downloaded onto every computer in the doctor’s department. The intransigent doctors mended their ways immediately. Got a staff behavior you can’t change? Think of ways to make your case irrefutable — video tape the associate as they role play, chart arrival times, build a doppelganger fashion gallery of shame in the backroom. But remember to always do it with a dose of humor.

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

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