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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: January 2014

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MARKETINGGuest Services

Hotels are a great source of potential customers. Whether guests are honeymooners, corporate warriors thinking of their wives back home or couples on vacation, they are often looking to buy jewelry. James Porte of the Porte Marketing Group says a smart way to tap this market is by offering free cleaning service. So, get in touch with your local high-end hotel’s management — it’s a win-win for both of you. And if you need help with the presentation, the Porte Marketing Group produces a 4-inch x 6-inch booklet that can hold a photo of your extraordinary jewelry and a free cleaning certificate to be placed beside or on a nearby table.

Don’t Forget the Ring Bearer

When selling the wedding bands, don’t forget the ring bearer. The little guy or girl is usually the third-most noticed person at the wedding — and among the most photographed. Check out pinterest.com or just do a Google search for images of ring bearer and you’ll notice a trend of the young carrying signs heralding the arrival of the bride or wearing T-shirts that announce their “Ring Security.” While the little ones are unlikely to wear the shirt during the ceremony itself, you can be sure it’s going to come out at the rehearsal dinner, maybe even reception. Who could forget the jewelry store that gives away such a witty T (with your logo on it, of course!)?

All-Out on the Web

Click on R.F. Moeller Jeweler’s website (rfmoeller.com) and you are greeted by a large image of a gorgeous young couple looking lovingly into each other’s eyes and the claim: “R.F. Moeller Jeweler is proud to have the best selection of quality diamonds, and the most sought-after engagement ring and wedding ring designs in the Minneapolis area.” Owner Mark Moeller, who spent more than $100,000 on his website’s last redo, says the focus is deliberate. “Diamonds account for 60 percent of our sales and we know that 100 percent of customers shopping for diamonds search online before they come in,” he told the Centurion’s Newsletter for Prestige Jewelers. “If you want to drive people to your store, you’ve got to have a Web-based marketing program over and above what your competition is doing,” he said.

MANAGEMENTWhen Good Practices Turn Bad

Even the best management practices can lead to problems if left in place too long, say Yves Doz and Mikko Kosonen, authors of Fast Strategy.

Some examples:

  • Forging a clear vision — can result in tunnel vision.
  • Honing business processes — can create inflexible systems that can’t adapt to new challenges
  • Building deep customer ties — can inhibit experiments.
  • Choosing proven leaders for projects — can breed overconfidence and resistance to new ideas.
  • Team building — can lead to silos and a lack of cooperation.

The answer? Shake it up. Assign employees to work in areas outside their key competence, set mock constraints such as a small budget ahead of a strategy meeting, or set fuzzy goals. The common theme here is to keep an open mind and keep doing small experiments.

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Help Someone Vent

Got a staff member ranting? Don’t just sit there silently or jump in and offer advice. The best approach, says psychiatrist Mark Goulston, is to ask questions, and specifically what it is that is frustrating the person. “If you ask about her feelings, it often sounds condescending. Asking about frustration is less judgmental,” he wrote in a Harvard Business Review blog. “Listen and gather details about the problem. Once she’s vented, she’ll be in a better place to think about potential solutions. When people are upset, it matters less what you tell them than what you enable them to tell you.”

Buy a Big Desk

Didn’t get the Christmas present you wanted? Go buy yourself an L-shaped desk, advises Men’s Health magazine in a collection of productivity tips. “Designate one side for right-now work, the other for later-on work. The L shape prevents you from being distracted by other projects in front of you and saves time in sorting things out.”

GENERALDog-friendly Owner on Premises

Allowing owners to bring their pets into your store is not only a good way to show you’re a welcoming, friendly store — it’s also a good security tip. “Pets have a sense when something is wrong and even the most docile dog will be protective,” says Patricia Low, CEO of Jewelers unBLOCKed.

Energize Ritually

It’s a new year. Just how do you make resolutions stick? The answer is “energy rituals,” says Tony Schwartz, author of The Power of Full Engagement. Energy rituals are highly specific behaviors or regimes that you do at the same time every day (or on the days you select). “By setting a sacrosanct time for your routine, you don’t have to spend energy thinking about when to get it done. Willpower is a highly finite and limited resource in each of us, so the goal is to use less of it wherever possible, by making more behaviors in our lives automatic,” Schwartz writes on his Energy Project blog. “If you find yourself falling off the wagon, or struggling to stay on it, reduce the challenge, but stay the course.”

Don’t Use Tweezers

If you’ve never been to Tucson, a tip from the old hands: Leave behind your tweezers. Colored-stone dealers generally don’t use them at a show. The reason is that unlike diamond dealers who fret about prospective customers leaving oily fingerprints over their goods, colored-stone dealers worry more about less-experienced buyers holding a stone too tightly and either chipping its girdle or sending it flying on to the crowded showfloor. Fingers are fine.

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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