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JimmyCast

Podcast: Using Social Media to Win Customers and Lower Your Intimidation Factor

Meet a Lockport, NY, jeweler whose fun, casual approach makes his store approachable.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 4: SOCIAL MEDIA DONE RIGHT (31:42 MINUTES)


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CAN SOCIAL MEDIA make your store more approachable? That’s the focus of the fourth episode of JimmyCast from jewelry store trainer Jimmy DeGroot of jewelrystoretraining.com.

Guest George Fritz of Mills Jewelers in Lockport, NY drops in to talk with Jimmy and co-host Doug Meadows about his fun experiments on social media, events, as well as his store’s widely-admired community activism.

For some ideas of Fritz’s improvisational approach to social media, watch him zipline across the Erie Canal on the “Niagra Zipper”:



When it comes to events, George has a casual, throw-stuff-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks approach. These events are supported by lots of social media activity.

For one example, George tells the story of “Figgy Pudding Night”, which the store held during the 2018 holiday season. Now in his 60s, George says that he had heard the “figgy pudding” lyrics of the famous Christmas song his entire life without actually having ever tasted figgy pudding. His mission for the 2018 holiday season was to remedy that culinary gap.

How did it go? The event was a success, George says. But when pressed about the figgy pudding, George had an admission to make. “It turns out that there’s a reason that most people haven’t had it … or are clamoring for it. It’s not that good.”

See how Mills Jewelers promoted Figgy Pudding Night on YouTube:

George shares an example of why lowering the intimidation factor of his store is so important. He tells of an engagement-ring customer who revealed to George that he had driven to the store three times and sat in the parking lot before finally mustering up the courage to walk through the front door.

Mills Jewelers has been active in many Lockport community projects, including restoration of a historic tower clock and renovation of a classic local theater. Geroge shares his store’s slogan/mission statement: “Locally-owned, community-minded, and customer-focused.”

Jimmy, David and George also have an interesting discussion of the importance of customer reviews, and George tells how Mills Jewelers tripled its five-star customer reviews in just a few months. (The business now has 182 reviews with an average rating of 4.9 stars.)

George also shares background on one of his store’s most important events, the annual Easter Egg event, which has become a Lockport tradition over the past 30 years. For the event, 1,000 plastic eggs are stuffed with prizes, with a grand prize of a $2,000 diamond, and about half the eggs providing colored gemstone prizes like amethyst, garnet or blue topaz (along with a coupon for discounted mounting). Hear the story of how one event ended up with people sleeping outside his store on a cold spring night after nobody had won the diamond with only 11 unopened eggs remaining. (See video below.)



Jimmy DeGroot is a jewelry store manager who has been in the business for over 20 years. Now he spends his time training teams around the world at jewelrystoretraining.com and sharing marketing advice through his blog site at jewelrymarketingguy.com. Sign up for training videos here.

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JimmyCast

Podcast: An Explosive Prank and More Tales of Dumb Things Done in Jewelry Stores

Jimmy and Doug share the 10 dumbest things they’ve seen happen in jewelry stores (including their own).

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 11: THE DUMBEST THINGS WE’VE SEEN IN JEWELRY STORES (34:06 MINUTES)


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IF MAKING MISTAKES is the best way to learn, then the latest episode of JimmyCast promises to be a tremendous learning experience. In the episode, Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows each share five dumb things they’ve seen jewelers do in their jewelry stores.

“This includes us,” notes Jimmy.

“Actually, my list is mostly mine,” says Doug.

Tales shared include a pyrotechnic prank gone wrong (3:40), a store owner who brought in a new sales trainer to work with his team, only to completely sabotage the effort before it even began (11:30), plus an expensive lesson from a jewelry con artist (20:00).

Says Jimmy, “This is a good episode for learning what not to do in your jewelry store.”

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JimmyCast

Podcast: Hear Secrets of Cool From the Only Full-Time Employee of America’s Coolest Small Jewelry Store

At least a couple customers a week come in thinking it’s a place to eat.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 10: KATHERINE COTTERILL OF EAT GALLERY (32:35 MINUTES)


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IN THIS MONTH’S episode of JimmyCast, hosts Jimmy DeGroot and Doug Meadows chat with the manager of the winning store in the “Small Cool” division of INSTORE’s America’s Coolest Stores”, EAT Gallery of Maysville, KY.

Katherine Cotterill, manager at EAT Gallery, has had an eclectic past, including more than three years spent in New Zealand and Samoa (2:30). She talks about how she was hired to run the store in 2016 (5:30) by Simon and Laurie Watt, who had opened EAT Gallery in the early 2000s as a side project to their main business, colored gemstone dealers Mayer & Watt.

The discussion continues to cover EAT’s attention-getting (and occasionally confusing to visitors) neon “EAT” sign (9:15), which had previously identified a diner that was a town fixture for 50 years. “We are definitely not a restaurant,” says Cotterill. “But we do say that we’ll feed your soul.”

As for the big question of how many visitors per week come in, thinking it’s a restaurant? “At least a couple a week,” says Cotterill.

Hear more of the conversation — including tips on how to make a tiny business stand out with marketing and product selection (16:00) — in this month’s JimmyCast.

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JimmyCast

Podcast: Make Sure You Open the Dang Box

Writing the check for that new training service is just the beginning of the improvement process.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 9: OPEN THE DANG BOX (33:48 MINUTES)


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OPEN THE BOX. That’s the central theme of the latest edition of JimmyCast from management and sales consultant Jimmy DeGroot of the Jewelry Marketing Institute and co-host Doug Meadows of David Douglas Diamonds in Marietta, GA.

By “opening the box”, Jimmy and Doug are talking about jewelers’ tendency to grasp for things — a training course, a new technology, or a hot line of jewelry — but then not do what they have to do in order to ensure that the new purchase positively impacts their business.

Says Jimmy, discussing his own professional focus of training: “A lot of time people regard training as a pill, and as they write the check, they think “This is gonna fix me, this is gonna fix me.” But then those jewelers get the training package back to their store, and they never open the box.

The key lesson for jewelers? Be more discriminating when you write those checks. If you do invest in a service, be absolutely sure that you are going to use it with 100% commitment — that you “open the box” and use it to the best of your ability. Writing a check is only the first, and by far the easiest, part of the process.

Jimmy concludes: “Even if you use it, and it’s a failure, at least we’ll still learn lessons from it.”

The episode also covers key events in the professional careers of both host and co-host, as well as the development of their personal relationship in which Jimmy calls a “warm, fuzzy hugfest”.

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