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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: November 2014




The 30/5 Rule

At the typical jeweler, VIP customers account for 30 percent of sales while making up just 5 percent of the client base (INSTORE Big Survey 2010). So it pays to look after them. Single Stone on Mission Street in San Marino, CA, does that by organizing private trunk shows at the homes of its best clients. “It cultivates a connection between our clients and a brand, which helps to turn them into collectors,” says sales associate Danielle Delgado.

Royal Birth Push

News that Prince William and Catherine were expecting their first child last year prompted Mervis Diamond Importers in Washington, DC to invite expecting local couples to enter a contest to win a pair of earrings. The lucky couple was the one that had their baby closest to the time that William and Kate’s was born. Now with a “spare to the heir” on the way, could you do something equally clever?

Fear Factor

The midterm elections are here and with them the flood of negative advertising. Why, oh why, do we have to go down this path every time? Because it works. Studies show that people are more mobilized to hear about potential losses than potential gains. Just enough fear, and they will choose you over a rival — or choose that bigger symbol of their love over the more economical one. “If you don’t know your jewelry, know your jeweler,” is always an effective message to hammer home.

Don’t Forget the Self-Gifters

Not sure what to show on your Web gallery in early November? Think what a self-purchaser might like. (Two-for-one deals?) That was the conclusion of a study of online shopping behaviors during last year’s holiday season by Forrester Research and IBM. Roughly half of consumers made a self-gift purchase in the period from just before Thanksgiving to the days following CyberMonday. Gift spending for others began in earnest over Thanksgiving weekend and ramped up in the middle of December.

Outbreak Insurance

Winter is on the way and with it, flu season. “Every store owner should make it mandatory and pay for their employees to get a flu shot by Nov. 15 each year,” Shannon Murphey, owner of Murphey the Jeweler, in Tyler, TX, told us at the end of the flu-ravaged 2013 holiday season.

The Thought Counts

Send special event invitations to customers who love you, even if they are unlikely to attend or buy at this time of the year. They’ll appreciate you’re thinking of them.


Extra Goodies

Preparing goodie bags for a ladies night or other end-of-year event? Put together more than you need and use the spares to appease unhappy customers or cap off a customer’s purchase experience in the future. “It smoothes ruffled feathers, makes up for late or unexpected difficulties in a job, and makes customers really happy because along with a great present, they have an extra present,” says Denise Oros, owner of Linnea Jewelers in La Grange, IL.

Hand-Write Receipts

There’s nothing unsophisticated about Russell Korman Fine Jewelry, Diamonds & Watches in Austin, TX. Nevertheless, it still presents customers with a hand-written receipt rather than a computerized printout. Korman understands the personal touch is all important.

Photo Wish Lists

Nate Smith of Silverscape Designs in Northampton, MA, says it’s the follow-up that often determines an event’s success. At a ladies’ night prior to last Christmas, his store laid on martinis, manicures, massages and makeup applications. That made it fun, but the key was getting photos of the women wearing a piece of jewelry and including it in an emailed wish list (with a gift certificate) to the husbands. “Guys call in and say, ‘I want this one. Can you deliver it?’ It’s all about making it easy for the customer.”

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].



Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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