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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: October 2013

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Think Fast

Read but a few pages of Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow and you’ll start to question a lot of the decisions you’ve made in your life. The 2012 best seller looks at fast, intuitive, emotional decisions versus slower, theoretically logical decisions and shows how the two combine (and compete) to help us make judgments — many of them wrong. One of the examples provided is how easily we can be swayed by framing: German judges tended to give a shoplifter a longer sentence if they had just rolled a high number with a pair of dice. Think about that the next time you start to negotiate.

Meet One-on-One

Most employees and managers cringe at the idea of more meetings. But instituting weekly one-on-one meetings with all staff can be the most important step a store owner can take to get the best out of staff and retain top performers. That was the result of an intensive datadriven survey conducted by Google of its own, already highly motivated workforce, according to a New York Times report.

“Stop” “It”

Do you make finger quote marks to emphasize words or phrases, especially to convey sarcasm? Well, stop it, “Now!” The act has been named the most irritating hand gesture used in daily communication, according to a report in Britain’s Daily Telegraph. (Yes, it was Brits voting, but we’re venturing most Americans find it just as unnecessarily dramatic and tedious, “OK?”)

Score Deer Season Bucks

It’s deer hunting season in much of the country and Pamela Hecht, owner of Pamations, Calumet, MI, uses the time to reach out to all those “deer widows” with an open house at which they are encouraged to try on new items and fill out hint-hint cards while enjoying wine and cheese. “I do ask some of my better customers to be models and invite their girlfriends to the events to watch them,” she says. “This gets people to come who might not purchase or even think about me for jewelry,” she says. In addition to the hint-hint cards, which are blaze orange, the hunting theme is carried through with a “buck board” — a corkboard with one-dollar bills pinned to it. The bills include a discount card attached. Customers can grab one with each purchase.

Shop and Steal

Retail begins a little earlier every year. To get you in the mood and inspired, head to the highestend shopping district in your local area and go store to store to see what they’re doing, recommends management consultant Kate Peterson. “If you steal one idea it’s plagiarism; if you steal a whole bunch, it’s research,” she says.

Christmas Fore Play

Getting customers to fill in wish lists is often key to a successful holiday season. Linnea Jewelers in La Grange, IL, I hands out golf ball and tee assortment coupons to women who come in during the local Christmas Walk and fill out wish lists. “Then, just for coming in and reviewing the wish lists, the significant other may redeem the coupon good for golf balls or for the non golfer, a free beer at the local micro brewery,” says owner Denise Oros.

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Holiday Crystal Ball

Do you usually wait until Thanksgiving or December before holding holiday season promotional events at your store? You may want to try going a little earlier this year. Not only do you avoid clashes with your customers’ work parties and family gatherings, but an early dates allows you to test what’s popular in the market, says Ann Foley-Collins, owner of Glee Gifts in Mansfield, MA, who has her store fully merchandised by Nov. 1 and then holds two fundraisers for local charities. “I see the best sellers at these events as early indicators of what will be popular for holiday and place my reorders right away.”

Can It Wait?

If you’ve got repairs building up and time is running out, ask your customers if they can wait until the new year. “Surprisingly lots of people don’t need their pieces for the holidays, says Klaus Kutter, owner of A Jour, in Bristol, RI.

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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