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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: November 2013



Tips: November 2013

Fresh ideas to better your business.

Published in the November 2013 issue


Here’s another example of the
gold that can be sifted from Google
Analytics data. H.L. Gross & Bro.
Jewelers of Garden City, NY, found
shortly after launching its Internet
arm,, that a portion
of orders was coming from soldiers.
They quickly instituted a 5 percent
discount on engagement rings
for military personnel and added
services such as insured delivery
to war zones and fast-turnaround
for soldiers on leave. The business
has grown steadily and H.L. Gross
is now selling a few dozen rings a
month to military customers, Brad
Gross told


Most store dogs
take it pretty easy.
Not Lester, the Silky
terrier at Brian Michaels
Jewelers in
Tonawanda, NY, who
meets and greets customers and
prances around the store modeling
a diamond collar. Lester also gave
the store’s bridal department a
boost by getting married at the
store, although he and his “wife”
continue to live separately. “It’s the
secret to his successful marriage,”
says owner Brian Levine.

According to our October Big
Survey, 66 percent of jewelers use
a code to alert staff to a potentially
dangerous situation. If your store is
among the one in three that doesn’t,
here’s one to provide inspiration
from a recent Cool Store winner:
“Sally, have you seen the red stapler?”
Translation? Call 911!


For many jewelers, Black Friday
is still one of the most important
dates on the calendar — when
the year’s business really does
turn from red to black. But not at
Krystyna’s Jewelry, Chicago, IL.
They don’t even open for business.
Last year they took the whole
Thanksgiving week and instead
went on a pre-holiday cruise with
family and staff. “We feel it is the
best way to prepare and be fresh for
the stress of December,” says owner
Dorothy Retzke.

Is fear of rejection
stopping you from
approaching your
bank, a prospective
partner or even a potential
client? Well,
don’t wait any longer — crush your
hopes yourself. It sounds like mental
self-flagellation but by writing a
letter to yourself listing the reasons
why your proposal should be turned
down, you will take a lot of the pain
out of the matter, says Dan Pink,
citing psychological research. Too
lazy to write a letter? Go to the Rejection
Generator Project at tinyurl.
com/klh7upg Just choose
your favored style of rejection, type
in your email addresss, and in minutes
you’ll receive a dream-destroyer
in your inbox, assures Pink.

Security update from Jewelers
Mutual Insurance Co.: The U.S.
Postal Service recently changed the
name of its “Express Mail” service
to “Priority Mail Express.” Don’t
confuse this with “Priority Mail,” as
the two are not the same. “Jewelers
Mutual’s shipping coverage has not
changed, and packages shipped via
Priority Mail Express will continue
to be automatically covered under
Jewelers Mutual’s Jewelers Block,
Jewelers Standard, and “Pak’ insurance
policies,” the company said
in a statement. That is not the case
with items sent “Priority Mail.”



Don’t call your
customers; textmessage
them, advises
Adam Fried,
global trainer for
Hearts On Fire. “It
allows them to look at it at their
convenience, yet it also guarantees
they will see it.” He recommends
buying a store mobile phone to do
all text messaging. It enables the
owner to see all the messages going
out, and the salespeople won’t have
to use their personal phones.

Who wouldn’t love to have hundreds
of customers eagerly awaiting
every update on their Facebook
page, especially during the crucial
run-in to Christmas? That’s what
Jenny Caro of Jewelry By Design
in Woodbridge, VA, managed to do
with their 12 Days of Christmas
promotion last year, which gave
away one piece of jewelry on the
first day of the campaign, rising to
12 pieces by Day 12. When the item
is posted to Facebook, the first person
who comments that they like
the piece gets it for free. “It gets a
community going,” said Caro during
a session at the Dallas SMART
Show. Meanwhile, the store posts
other promotional messages because
it knows that customers are
watching the page all the time.

Last holiday season,
De Beers Diamond
invited five popular
style bloggers in New
York and London to
come into its stores and play “pick
your dream ring” to give them
something to write about. In New
York, Christine Cameron, author of
My Style Pill, wrote of her store experience
as an “incredibly fun and
girly afternoon,” while drinking
champagne and eating macaroons.
It was textbook social media marketing,
at very little cost.



Wilkerson Testimonials

GOB Sales are Emotional — Here’s How to Stay on Track!

When Moyer Jewelers of State College, PA, decided to close its doors, Wilkerson was there to “keep the train moving forward.” With dedicated professionals and incomparable selling skills, the Wilkerson experience was one that third-generation jeweler Lori Moyer would recommend to any of her peers. “They really cared about our success at the end of the event. I recommend them highly.”

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

Millennial shoppers respond to education, privacy and transparency.




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.

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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.




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.”

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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.





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.”


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.”

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