Connect with us

Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: September 2008

Published

on

Learn the super simple secret to a life of productivity; choose the right font for your ads.

Learn the super simple secret to a life of productivity; choose the right font for your ads.

[componentheading]MOBILE METRICS[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Time it Right[/contentheading]

If you’re considering a mobile marketing campaign this holiday season, blast those customers who signed up for your texts at a time they’d likely be eating lunch or meeting friends. If your promotion is an exciting one, there’s a good chance they’ll share the news with friends or workmates, boosting the campaign’s impact, Paul Hurley, founder of Ideeli.com, told the Wall Street Journal.

[componentheading]HEY, BIG DREAMER[/componentheading]

Advertisement

[contentheading]Think Small[/contentheading]

Big dreams have their place, but it’s the sum of the little things that get you there, says John Jantsch of Ductape Marketing. To ensure you’re focused on the right things — making more sales calls, networking in the local community and, yes, taking a journalist out to coffee, Jantsch suggests you create a scorecard with 10 marketing-related actions and rate each one for importance, say five points for attending a local women’s group meeting and one for writing on your blog. Set a daily target of 20 points. This routine should help you stay focused on what’s really important.

[componentheading]THE FONTHEAD[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Take a Letter[/contentheading]

This is possibly the best website we’ve seen — ever — for fonts used in logos and signs: letterheadfonts.com. Check out the samples. Pick a favorite. Tell your designer you want “something in this general ballpark” and give him $100 to buy the fonts.

[componentheading]PSST! OVER HERE![/componentheading]

Advertisement

[contentheading]Ask Yourself[/contentheading]

Tom Hopkins, author of How to Master the Art of Selling, claims that what you’ll read at the end of this paragraph is the secret to a life of productivity. But there’s a caveat. “I’ll tell you, but you’ll never look at what you’re doing in the same way ever again,” Hopkins quotes his own mentor as telling him. “You might even get angry at me for telling you, because you’ll never get it out of your head.” Bet you can’t wait, huh? OK, here it is: Hang a sign in your workspace that asks one question, and ask that question of everything you do. The question? “Are you doing the most productive thing possible right now?” Yep,  
that’s it.

[componentheading]CATALOG OF ERRORS[/componentheading]

[contentheading]Learn From Sears[/contentheading]

For the last 15 years, Sears has been experimenting with its iconic Wish Book Catalog. Last year, Sears returned to a traditional catalog of gift suggestions. Some of the other lessons the retailer seems to have learned from its tinkering include: Carefully targeted distribution, the option to view it online and “Ready in 5” items — products that can be ordered online and picked up within five minutes of the customer arriving.

[componentheading]TALENT SCOUT[/componentheading]

Advertisement

[contentheading]Rethink Your Payroll[/contentheading]

Do you think of your staff as “payroll,” “employees,” “human resources” or “talent”? Author Seth Godin thinks you should view them as the latter, arguing that such an understanding holds the key to success in today’s skills-based business environment. “What if you started acting like the vice president of talent? Understand that talent is hard to find and not obvious to manage,” Godin writes on his blog. “Talent is too smart to stay long at a company that wants it to be a cog in a machine. Great companies want and need talent, but they have to work for it.”

[span class=note]This story is from the September 2008 edition of INSTORE[/span]

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Les Georgettes

It’s All About Choices

With beautiful jewelry from Les Georgettes, choice is everything. Choose a design. Change colors. With 30 styles, 3 finishes and 48 stunning leather colors, you’ll never be at a loss for a unique piece of jewelry. Create, mix, stack and collect Les Georgettes by Altesse. Made in France.

Promoted Headlines

Tip Sheet

How to Sell More “Spa Treatments” for Jewelry, and More Tips for September

Millennial shoppers respond to education, privacy and transparency.

mm

Published

on

TIME MANAGEMENTAim for Busy, Not Rushed

How should you strive to feel when working? Busy, but not rushed. Research undertaken by the University of Maryland found this is when people are happiest. And when you’re happiest — meaning engaged and in the flow as opposed to giddy with joy — you invariably do your best work. So, start creating realistic schedules, stop checking email every 15 minutes, take breaks to exercise, and stop letting other people set your deadlines (yes, you could finish the job by tomorrow, but Friday is best for everyone.)

MARKETINGA Time for Pampering

One of the key challenges at this time of the year is how to get customers in the door. The Gem Collection in Tallahassee, FL, does it with a “Spa Treatment” for rings. The treatment, which is recommended annually, includes inspection of stones by hand, ultrasonic cleaning, steaming of the stones to remove excess dirt, refinishing to remove scratches, polishing the ring, and for white gold jewelry, a rhodium finishing, all for one price. “The spa treatment name was used so that the customer feels as if their jewelry is being pampered instead of worked on,” explains co-owner Don Vodicka. “This has raised our repair sales and keeps our customers very happy.”

MARKETINgShout It in Brass

If you buy your diamonds from Antwerp, it’s always a good idea to let the world know about it. Molinelli’s Jewelers in Pocatello, ID, actually has it in brass letters on their wall.

SALESLaying on a Bridal FeasT

Showcases — who needs them? That’s the diamond-selling approach at Siegel’s Jewelry in Paso Robles, CA, where customers are encouraged to sit with staff at a custom-made, long community table to discuss jewelry. “I designed my store with a lot of seating space in order to show diamonds effectively, and to make my employees and customers more comfortable,” explains owner Ken Siegel.

STRATEGY“How” is the Enemy

Something all true entrepreneurs know: “How” is the enemy. “We always want to know how things will happen,” says Claudia Azula, a popular podcaster and co-author of the Power Of No. “But how is the enemy because it blocks the possibilities that open up when we are willing to not know. When you don’t know about tomorrow, all you can do is focus on doing your best today.” Stop thinking, Just go do it.

SALESKeep Me Safe and Prosperous

Buy an engagement ring at Eichhorn Jewelry in Decatur, IN, and you also get a “Keep Me” — an original document that travels with the piece of jewelry. The paper “encourages customers to spend dollars by emphasizing the legacy aspect of their purchase,” explains owner Eileen Eichhorn.

Continue Reading

Tip Sheet

Saving the Boring Jobs for the Office, Watching TV with Purpose and More Tips for July

Plus, how to use questions to make yourself a better listener.

mm

Published

on

personalDo Down Time With Purpose

Approach this summer with more purpose, recommends Greg McKeown, writing in the Harvard Business Review. “That means if you decide to watch TV, really watch it. If you are having a meal, take the time to enjoy the meal.” Of course it also means making a choice: do you want to spend your summer downtime in front of the tube? We’re going to hazard a guess the answer is no. Go schedule some activities that ensure you fully recuperate this summer.

EVENTSMake It Light-Hearted

Orin Jewelers in Northville, MI, understands that at its heart, shopping for jewelry should be a joyful experience. To support that message, it tries to add a lighthearted touch to city events by doing something fun in the store, say owners Orin and Tina Mazzoni. “Example: when a citywide ban was put on serving wine/drinks to women at the annual Girls’ Night Out, we all dressed as if it were the Prohibition and served root beer and sparkling wine.” How does your fun game compare?

LEARNINGUp Your Reading Game

Want to read more? Try what serial entrepreneur and business author James Altucher does and read about 30 pages of five books each day. Given the average American reads about 250 words a minute, or about a page a minute, that’s two-and-a-half hours. Don’t have that much time? How about 25 pages of three books? That’s little more time than it takes to watch an episode of The Real Housewives Of New Jersey.

PRODUCTIVITYHome Is Where The Creativity Is

Here’s a neat rule to get the most out of your work day (for people in a position to pull it off, meaning business owners): Do creative work at home and boring work, where you may need some compulsion, at the office. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, researchers found that when it came to creative tasks, people were 11 percent to 20 percent more productive outside the lab. For rote and repetitive tasks, however, they were 6 to 10 percent less productive when not in a formal work environment.

SALESIs That So?

In The Patterson Principles Of Selling, Jeffrey Gitomer suggests training yourself to be a better listener by asking a question at the end of your customers’ statements. If you make your own statement, it’s possible you are interrupting. But if you ask a question, you almost have to wait until they’re finished speaking.

SERVICEDon’t Band-Aid A Gunshot Wound

When it comes to repairs, it often pays to look beyond the customer’s specific request, says Bruce Goodheart of Goodheart’s Jewelry in Overland, KS. “Don’t fix one prong when there are 20 other prongs you need to re-tip. You don’t need the headache, and it will show how professional you are. You have a reputation to uphold, and you can’t put a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound.”

Continue Reading

Tip Sheet

Learning to Love PITA Customers and More Tips for June

When starting out, go bold and quirky (just not weird), and the secret to a perfect break.

mm

Published

on

CUSTOMER SERVICEEmbrace the Pain

In his most recent letter to Amazon’s shareholders, CEO Jeff Bezos said one thing he loved about customers is that they are “divinely discontent”. Their expectations only ever “go up,” he said. Eileen Eichhorn, owner of Eichhorn Jewelry in Decatur, IN, said decades working in her family store has taught her something similar about demanding customers: they make excellent references. “Pain-in-the-ass customers send us the best customers.”

STRATEGYBegin With Bold

When trying a new business venture (or even prototyping a new jewelry line), always try the wackier, quirkier stuff first, says Jason Fried, founder and CEO of Basecamp and author of the business bestseller Getting Real. “The deeper you get into a project, the more conservative it tends to get. Stranger ideas are more at home earlier in the process,” he recently wrote on his Twitter feed.

EVENTSBirthday Gifts Welcome

What month was your company born? Throw a birthday party and ask your customers to bring “gifts” of testimonials that you can use in your marketing. Including such third-party recommendations on your website and in your ads is one of the best ways around to convince others that your store is, indeed, the best place to shop, says Entrepreneur magazine’s Idea Site For Business.

HUMAN RESOURCESDivine Your Own Dress

Siegel’s Jewelry in Paso Robles, CA has solved its dress code issues by simply leaving it up to the staff. It’s part of a bigger strategy to emphasize the employees’ individual talents and unique tastes. “We think it is better for them to be different from one another and create a balanced set of skills and talents, than to all offer the same things,” says owner Ken Siegel. “Employees are happiest when they can be themselves and are encouraged to develop their own self in a safe and happy environment.”

STORE EXTERIORThe Big Picture

First thing to do before slapping a mural on the side of your building? See if the government will pick up part of the bill. Joe Declet of Fins and Skins in Pinellas Park, FL, got tired of telling new customers to look for the “ugly orange building,” so when his lease came up for renewal, he negotiated the right to add the mural. Working with a local artist, he now has a 30- by 50-foot mural depicting a coral reef — and the city offset his expense with a $1,500 grant as part of a beautification program.

MANAGEMENTBreaking Breaks

The most important thing to understand about breaks is that they are not a deviation from performance; they are part of performance, says Dan Pink in his latest business best seller, When: The Scientific Secrets Of Perfect Timing. “And the most restorative breaks are social rather than solo, outside not inside, moving instead of stationary, and fully detached rather than semi-detached.”

Continue Reading

Most Popular