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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: May 2013

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SALES FLOORHorrible Bosses

A study done by Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business found that one in four workers admitted being uncivil to customers or colleagues because their “bosses are rude.” The manager’s poor behavior was in turn attributed to stress or an attempt to create distance — to show everyone who’s boss. If that’s you, you may want to rethink your approach; you’re creating a hostile environment that hurts staff morale and your business.

Benefits, Not Features

One of the reasons people are more reckless with credit cards than cash is because they feel free to focus on product benefits and pay less attention to costs, according to a study by the University of Kansas. Similarly, ads or sales presentations that avoided product attributes and focused instead on narrative or sexual imagery and other emotional triggers led to significantly less activation of the rational thought centers. “When marketing bypasses these parts of the brain, (shoppers) are likely to make impulsive decisions,” said the study’s author.

Lunch Roulette

If you have a big staff that doesn’t communicate well, try “lunch roulette” — a game developed by drugmaker Boehringer Ingelheim. All staff select a day when they are free for lunch, then click a “Match Me” button, and a lunch date with another worker is emailed to their inbox (numbers in a hat would work just as well). “Both can learn something from the other,” researcher Sylvia Ann Hewlett, told the Harvard Business Review. “Lunch roulette not only produces unexpected pairings but often sparks unexpected conversations,” she says.

MANAGEMENTStop Looking For The Perfect Candidate

It’s known among recruiters as the “purple squirrel” problem: Businesses can sometimes get fixated on finding the perfect job candidate, an almost mythical Mr. Right. A purple squirrel will not only have all the contacts, skills and experience needed to immediately step into a job, but will be willing to do it for a an average market rate. In a recent New Yorker column, James Surowiecki tells the story of a manufacturing company that rejected 27.000 applications for a basic engineering job because none were the “right fit.” To be sure, a wrong hire can be very expensive (many months’ salary, according to some estimates). But, keeping a job open for months is also costly in terms of cash and lost opportunities.

Doctor To-D

Got a to-do list that just won’t shrink? Try treating each item on the list like a doctor’s appointment that you would never consider of skipping. “And if you list not only what you need to do, but when and where you will actually do it, you are much more likely to cross it off that to-do list once and for all,” says Heidi Grant Halvorson, a social psychologist and author of Succeed: How We Can Reach Our Goals.

The Secret Power of 21

Twenty-one days. That’s how long you need to change an old habit, says the Energy Project’s Tony Schwarz, citing recent neurological research on brain plasticity. So choose a habit you want to change — going to bed late, wasting time on the Internet first thing in the morning — and for the next three weeks replace it with another ritual: hitting the sheets at 9:30, or starting the day attacking an important project for 55 minutes.

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MARKETINGSocially Responsible

Apart from the warm fuzzy feelings of being a good corporate citizen are there quantifiable benefits from practicing corporate social responsibility? Yes, says the Reputation Institute, whose 2012 CSR RepTrak 100 Study found the main one is that shoppers are much more willing to recommend you to a friend or colleague. For example, “a five-point increase in a CSR rating would result in a 9.1 percent rise in the number of people who would definitely recommend a company,” it says. A high CSR rating also makes shoppers much more likely to believe your advertising and marketing communications, it found.

Celebrate Everything

Who says store events need to be big, complex affairs? Got a new goldsmith or bench jeweler? Store mascot marking a milestone birthday? Throw a bash and get customers in the door! That’s what Hyde Park Jeweler in Hyde Park, NY, did last year when their Shih Tsu Dusty turned 10.

Facebook Fancy

Here’s a great idea to inspire you to use original wedding photos on your store’s Facebook page, from R.F. Moeller Jewelers in Minneapolis: Take a picture of the bride and groom holding their parents’ wedding photos.

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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Wilkerson Testimonials

Downsizing? Wilkerson Is Here to Help

Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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