Connect with us

Tip Sheet

Use Forward Indicators to Set More Powerful Goals … and More January Tips

Also, a midweek Valentine’s means big business for sellers of flowers.





Find The Right Indicators

Setting goals for this year? Don’t just pluck a dollar figure out of the air and call it your goal. Instead, pick a “forward indicator.” Examples of forward indicators could be the number of follow-up phone calls your staff makes, the number of customer profiles you add to your database, the number of sales events you hold, the amount of money spent on advertising — anything that past experience shows will lead to increased sales. Crunch the numbers, do the work, and the sales will follow.


Wait Till Tuesday

Valentine’s Day falls bang in the middle of the week (Wednesday) this year, which is usually good for sellers of flowers, chocolates and jewelry: Boyfriends and husbands will often get busy with their work obligations and forget the big day, resulting in a last-minute rush for the old faithful gifts. (In contrast, when Valentine’s falls on the weekend, it’s restaurants and spas that often do better.) Be ready to hold a “Panic Party” on Tuesday evening.



Instant-messaging service has a new “widget” that has the potential to be a very useful business tool. The free software, called “meebo me,” lets you “see” and instantly communicate with any visitors to your web page. Visitors can also see when you’re online and initiate chats with you. It’s an easy way to provide live customer service on your website.



Go Postal

This isn’t a new product — but it’s so cool we had to mention it, just in case you hadn’t seen it yet. allows you to create your own legal stamps with pictures of your store, your staff or even your logo inside the perforated edges. Upload an image on the website, crop it, pay, and the stamps arrive within a week. Use on your store mail and send a sheet of stamps to regular clients as a practical gift.


Order Early

If you give flowers to customers to help them celebrate Valentine’s Day, order soon. Many wholesalers operate like airlines, giving you cheaper prices the earlier you order. If you wait too long, you not only risk paying higher prices — up to 50 percent more in the two weeks before Valentine’s — but you’re unlikely to get the selection you want.


Get a Chummy Voice

Want an example of how a friendly, down-to-earth store communicates with its customers? Check out this e-mail bulletin from popular online clothing retailer “One of the Moosejaw programmers accidentally deleted a bunch of people that signed up …. We’ve since challenged the programmer to a series of duels including a staring contest, red rover and that game when you slap each other’s hands. But, that won’t bring back the names so we’re e-mailing everyone to sign back up. And if you’ve never signed up, now is the perfect time to do so….” You don’t get much friendlier and down to earth than that. Another endearing touch is the way every customer receives a card with their merchandise that’s hand-signed by the person who packed his or her box. The note will say something like: “Hey, I’m the one who put all this stuff in a box for you. Isn’t it a great day?”



Help Them Disengage

Poor guy enters your store, asking what he should do with the engagement ring he bought for the love of his life, only to find she’s committed herself to the nunnery. Rather than shrugging your shoulders or suggesting eBay, point him in the direction of, a new auction site that deals exclusively with engagement rings. It’s a helpful site for recently divorced wives looking to get rid of their wedding rings as well.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].



Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

Promoted Headlines






INSTORE helps you become a better jeweler
with the biggest daily news headlines and useful tips.
(Mailed 5x per week.)


Latest Comments

Most Popular