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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: December 2011

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SHOPRepair Diamonds

The rising prices of diamonds is making this a good time to promote your diamond repair work. “There’s a lot of repair work now,” Ronnie VanderLinden of Diamex in New York was quoted as saying in Rapaport’s Special Report on the state of the industry. “We are repairing and recutting diamonds from 20-pointers on up, and modernizing some of the recycled diamonds.”

Ask About Scale

When a customer asks you to be on the lookout for a certain piece of jewelry, always remember to ask about the scale and metal combination they are interested in, says Maggie Haynes, a sales associate at Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, DC. “These two combined give you a good place to start when choosing things you think they’ll really be interested in,” she says.

One for the Cause

Maui Divers recently found a neat, if unlikely, cause to celebrate with a special line of bracelets: The 40th anniversary of Title IX. Why so smart? It’s a different cause, there’s a local link (the law was authored by a Hawaiian, and it’s being co-sponsored by a big interest group — the Women’s Sports Foundation.

SALES FLOORGenius Tip#34

Long before it symbolized hot new gadgets, the apple represented knowledge, so we don’t feel bad about going back to the well again to draw from Apple’s sales manual. Example #34: Instore technicians are urged to deal with emotional customers by using “simple reassurances” that they are listening, such as “Uh-huh” and “I understand.”

Go Lightly

Along the lines of Great Contrarian Rules to Live By (such as the 80/20 Rule, Don’t sell too hard, and negotiate from a position of disinterest), comes another, this time from Denis Boulle, owner of deBoulle in Dallas, TX: When it comes to serious money, be lighthearted. “Especially when it’s a big, big sale, you need to keep the purchasing experience fun so that the customer is as comfortable as possible in the process,” he says.

Stamp Your Name

Recycling firm TerraCycle’s determination to avoid creating waste extends to its business cards: Staff are given stamps to leave contact info. The stamps not only demonstrate commitment, they are a great conversation starter, company VP Tom Szaky, told the New York Times. “It’s eco-friendly, it never runs out and it makes for a nice icebreaker at every meeting.”

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MANAGEMENTGive Kudos

Sometimes the best tips are a nudge to look at something differently. Consider praise. Surveys show recognition, chances to develop, and gratification almost always outrank cash for staff. That’s why complimenting good work is so important, say the coaches on the e-myth blog. Without feedback, employees start to doubt if what they do matters. It’s not just about making them feel good. It’s about giving them purpose.

Save Sales

A busy holiday store is great, but it also raises the risk customers will go unattended and you’ll lose sales. Sales trainer Harry Friedman suggests the next time you have an overflow, designate a supervisor to work the crowd rather than aid individuals. “(His) goal should be to greet all customers entering the store, get them to wait for assistance, and occasionally jump in to help a salesperson close a sale that is taking too long.”

Manual Archive

Two websites to bookmark: Retrevo. com, which allows you to download PDFs of manuals for over 200,000 products (useful for when the printer jams), and melissadata.com, which allows you to verify just about any address in the U.S.

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

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