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Manager's To Do

What You Need to Be Doing in Your Business This July

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July 3-8

MARKETING Invite any and all customers to bring their diamond ring in for a free professional cleaning. What’s the investment cost? Time and cleaner. And you’ve probably got a bit of the former to spare right now.

SALES “I cringe when I hear, ‘How are you?’ I absolutely cringe,” says Gennifer Flaxman of Bernie Robbins in Marlton, NJ (PICTURED). “I take the old school approach to building rapport — I comment on someone’s hair or jacket — because if you’re genuine about it, it really works.” 

CUSTOMER RELATIONS Master “trick packaging” — gift wrapping that makes the recipient think they’re getting something else. It’s a great way to build relationships with gift buyers.

MARKETING Hire a pro (or ask a talented amateur) to take photos of your store and team. These are valuable marketing tools you can use in a variety of situations: when meeting new vendors at trade shows, dealing with local press, or even submitting your store into next year’s “America’s Coolest Store” contest.

July 10-15

TRAINING If you’ve always associated lounging on the couch watching QVC with gross unproductivity, think again. The presenters on shopping channels are highly-trained, they have extensive product knowledge, the ability to forge a connection with customers and a “story” about what they’re selling. These are things so many salespeople elsewhere are missing. 

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SAFETY Stage an advanced fire drill. Simulate a blocked exit and unconscious staff member. Critique staff performance.

EQUIPMENT Check all gemological testing equipment to make sure it’s calibrated properly,

SALES FLOOR Replace worn counter pads used to demonstrate jewelry. Tattered or battered tools hurt the perceived value of your products.

July 17-22

OPERATIONS Get your inbox organized, with some help from productivity guru Dave Allen. From now on, view your inbox as a repository solely for “Active” tasks, meaning things that need addressing. Everything else should be deleted or viewed as a “Reference” matter (receipts, photos, thank-you notes from customers — and archived; you can find them when you need them). 

WEBSITE Improve your 404 error page. The Web has a ton of fun and clever examples that could inspire you to come up with something memorable.

INDUSTRY If you haven’t visited for a while, log on to instoremag.com and spend some time at our constantly improving website — more, news, advice and dialog than ever, and lots of archived material as well.

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July 24-29

SELF-IMPROVEMENT What’s the best month to try to change your life? It’s just ahead of us, in August. Unlike the stressful New Year period, in August the kids are back at school, people have returned from vacation and it’s easy to establish a routine that supports your new goals.

OPERATIONS Streamline your working life. Throw out all the stuff from storage under the showcases, says Ruth Mellergaard, principal at design firm GRID/3.


This article originally appeared in the July 2017 edition of INSTORE.

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Manager's To Do

A Trick to Selling More Platinum, And Other Manager’s To-Do Items for September

And here are some great tips for infographics in your store.

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Sep. 1-7

INVENTORY The economy may be slowing a tad, but the wealthy keep getting richer. That is allowing more people to trade up from the standard 1-carat diamond engagement ring. But to sell 2-, 3-, or 4-carat pieces, you need to have a few on hand, says David Brown of the Edge Retail Academy. Start experimenting with more expensive bridal sets.

MARKETING Conduct an advertising review. If it’s bridal sales you desire, put that shotgun away. Pick one or two advertising media, based on their reach and return on investment, and concentrate on them. That requires courage and perseverance, but it’s the surest way to break through the chatter and win that key top-of-mind presence in your local market that will deliver engagement ring sales.

Sep. 8-14

STAFF Few things are more important to staff than having the sense that their work matters. As bridal season approaches, make it a constant refrain in your strategy meetings: you’re helping people with one of the most important decisions of their life.

SHOWROOM “It’s remarkable,” says merchandising expert Sally Furrer, “how often diamond areas are underlit in stores.” Crank up the lights.

Sep. 15-21

TRAINING The rise of the bead phenomenon in the last decade caused many jewelers to cut back on diamond sales training. If that happened in your store, look to bring in a trainer who specializes in bridal goods. It’s a whole different skill set.

MARKETING Twitter’s search function, along with free applications like TweetDeck, can be great tools for market research and lead generation. Start monitoring your competitors’ brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them and you. Set keywords related to bridal sales in your market and don’t be afraid to follow up (unsolicited messages from strangers is a fact of life in the Twitter-sphere).

Sep. 22-28

SOCIAL Want to take your social media efforts to the next level while educating your clientele about bridal in a way they’ll remember? Think infographics. Whether charting the evolution of diamond cuts or providing tips on ring cleaning, infographics are a great shareable way to communicate your message. Try these free infographic websites: Piktochart.com, Venngage.com, Easel.ly.

SALES Want to sell more platinum? Highlight its staying power. Keep an old white-gold ring and an old platinum one behind the counter to show customers what happens to the two metals after a few years. One of platinum’s strengths is the durability of its white color, which won’t fade or change (like an enduring love, hint, hint) and will continue to complement a diamond, as opposed to white gold, which fades to yellow.

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Yarr! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day and More Important Dates for September

“I’ll be paying top dollar for whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chest.”

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19 Many jewelers seem to have forgotten what a lucrative earner gold buying can be. Luckily, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is here to remind you. Yarr, have some fun with your advertising. “Yes, me hearties, Cap’n Jack Black Diamond has gone straight. I’ll be paying top dollar for your doubloons, old lockets or whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chests. Come see the Cap’n before the sharks get ye.”

01 On NATIONAL NO RHYME (NOR REASON) DAY, challenge your customers on social media to come up with words that can’t be rhymed. Three you can probably put to good use in your posts that day are “spirit,” “silver” and “woman.”

06 Today is FIGHT PROCRASTINATION DAY, and if you’re one of the many afflicted, try this trick: when jotting down a to-do item, keep rephrasing it until it involves the use of your limbs: “Pick up phone and call …”, “Open laptop and search for …”

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Remembering Woodstock, The Little One’s First Day in Kindergarten, and More Useful August Dates

You’re always busy, but this month, get things done.

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19 Mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by doing something in its spirit: keep a journal of everything you do, broken down into 30-minute increments. At the end of each workday, assign a value — 1, 2 or 3 (the lowest) — to your time, and at the end of the week, evaluate the results. They may well surprise you. Obviously you want to be spending at least half your time on No. 1s.

1 August is GET READY FOR KINDERGARTEN MONTH. On the first day of school, invite all new kindergarten moms to come in for mimosas and snacks. They can reward themselves for surviving this milestone.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

15 Fifty years ago today, the promise of free music, a good time, and … umm … a pretty good shot at “getting lucky” drew 400,000 young people to WOODSTOCK, NY. To many folks, that’s much the same promise that jewelry makes (minus the music). Roll back the years with a store party.

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