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Try This Test to Determine the Strength of Your Store Identity … and More Tips for May

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Mentally Kidnap a Client

Here’s a powerful way to determine the strength of your store identity, says merchandising guru Andrea Hill. If you kidnapped a client, blindfolded him, drove him to your store, and removed the blindfold, would he know where he was? Would he know instantly that he was in your store and not some random chain jeweler?

Prospect for Gold

Things a bit slow at your store? Olympian Diamonds’ Aleah Arundale recommends going to retirement homes and giving talks on gold buying.

Save Time Saving Time

Damian DeBlis, retired from Tiffany & Co., implemented the following rule during his tenure: No one takes a quartz watch in for a cell replacement without first testing it on a device that checks for an electronic pulse. That way, you don’t open the caseback to find a working battery but a movement that needs servicing. No broken crystals, no lost screws, no scratched cases, no arguments from the customer, because you can just say: “Look, see this flashing light? It tells us the battery is fine; there must be another issue with the watch.”

TP With Quotes

Want an ultra low-cost way to add personality and romance to your bathroom? Tack pages of your favorite poetry up on the walls. For Liz Lambert, owner of the hip Hotel San Jose in Austin, TX, this was a cost-saving idea that eventually became one of the hotel’s most popular features. (Extra tip: If the pages start disappearing, it could be a sign that you’re not stocking enough toilet paper.)

Be Proactive About Ethics

Ethics-based purchasers want to buy products that align with their standards. Are you involved with organizations that are building schools for miners’ children in Africa? Are your products fair-trade certified? Do you use recycled gold? Do you work with vendors who verify sourcing? Let them know up front to earn trust.

Yessify Your Yesses

There is always a better answer than a mere “yes,” says author Dale Dauten. He gives the example of asking auto repair shops if they repair Lotuses. Most say “no,” a few say “yes,” but then one says, “Absolutely, we specialize in imports and the shop’s owner drives a Lotus.” Who do you think gets the business?

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Ask This Question

It’s striking how much of what passes as modern management advice was prescribed by Peter Drucker half a century ago, including this little gem. According to the management guru, the one question that will trigger more improvement than any other in your staff: “What do I do that wastes your time without contributing to your effectiveness?”

Guilt is Good

Business author Mark Forster urges you to see guilt as a signal, as it tends to attach itself to stuff that really matters. Attack your most guilt-inducing tasks, and you may find, without intending it, that you’ve attacked the most important ones, too.

Resist the Impulse

It’s trade show season, which means your buying abilities will soon come into play. Here’s a tip culled from reddit.com, which was intended as personal finance advice, but could apply to your product purchases as well: resist impulse purchases by imagining a stranger offering you the cash equivalent of what you’re tempted to buy. Which would you choose?

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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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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