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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: February 2012

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SALESSelf Sellers

When it comes to selling an expensive piece, you have to be prepared to let the jewelry sell itself, says Harvey Rovinsky, the owner of Bernie Robbins Fine Jewelers in Somers Point, NJ. “Never over-sell an item. It must speak for itself. The high-value item you are presenting always has to match the story — you cannot under-deliver.”

Reach Out with Text

The next time a young couple comes in and looks at bridal and then leaves, follow up with a text message saying “Do you have any questions I can answer?” urges Aleah Siegel, a sales rep from Olympian Diamonds. “This shows you care, plus young people love texts. Texting shows them you can connect with them.” Siegel says they may well have had a question they were too shy to ask. “You will never know unless you follow up,” she says.

Memorize Prices

Take a few minutes each day to commit the prices of a certain number of items in your cases to memory. According to sales trainer Harry Friedman, the benefits of instant price recall are manifold and include allowing you to quickly show products in a customer’s price range, improved credibility and efficiency, and heightened security.

OPERATIONSTeam Reading

You can’t spend too much time or effort on “hiring smart” (the alternative is to manage tough). But here’s a strategy to speed the process: Read résumés in teams. Teams of three to five people who work well together are more insightful about potential employees than individuals are, says Pierre Mornell, author of 45 Effective Ways of Hiring Smart!

Staff Discounts

Buy an engagement ring at Joyce’s Fine Jewelry in Uniontown, PA , and the staff will even negotiate the discounts for you — just not on the ring. The staff originally created “Joyce’s Bridal Package” — discounts they procured from the area’s bridal vendors — as a thankyou to help existing customers. But it became a great marketing tool when others came in the store asking for the “bridal package.”

INVENTORYTop-to-Bottom Sale

Need to clear space for new merchandise? Try an annual “Top to Bottom” sale for about three weeks, suggests Patricia Holt, vice president of operations at The Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, DC. Your “top” piece might be 10 percent off, while your “bottom” piece (that old piece you just haven’t been able to sell) might be 70 percent off. “It generates cash and it makes room for all the new things you buy at the jewelry shows,” Holt says.

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Tell’Em They’re Special, and They’ll Buy

Want to make a customer feel special? It’s really not that hard. In an experiment conducted by Santa Clara University researchers, participants were given the chance to buy a discounted coffee mug. Those told they had been randomly selected to get the discount were three times more likely to want to buy than those who believed everyone got the deal. The researchers concluded such “special” opportunities may be appealing because people’s self-esteem is tied to factors that distinguish them from the crowd.

The Paypal Solution

If you don’t need a full-blown e-com solution, PayPal lets you accept credit card payments. There is no lengthy application process, no setup charges and no monthly fees, just a transaction fee of 2-3 percent. PayPal says you can set up your button in 15 minutes “with no advanced programming skills.”

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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