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Manager's To Do

What You Need to Be Doing in Your Business This May

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Elizabeth Gibson of Eliza Page

Week 1May 1-6

OPERATIONS Step outside your store. Through your windows assess the visuals and displays, but mostly watch some customer-associate interactions. It’s amazing how much more you can observe without sound. Research suggests words account for only around 7 percent of communication. What kinds of things are your salespeople communicating?

MARKETING Host a men’s-only shopping night to promote diamond jewelry ahead of Mother’s Day. 

BRAND AWARENESS Someone, somewhere is talking about your business on social media. To keep track, set up Google Alerts for your name and your business name. For result type, click on “Everything” to receive email notifications whenever your store gets mentioned on blogs or discussion sites. 

Week 2 May 8-13

STAFF INCENTIVES During the final run-up to Mother’s Day, motivate staff with a contest to win an extra generous staff discount on a piece for their own mother.

SALES You’ll have lots of Mother’s Day shoppers in your store this week. Don’t forget to ask them if they’d like to pick up a little something for themselves as well.

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BUYING The big shows get closer with every week (JCK Vegas starts June 5). Start setting up vendor appointments — don’t count on “swinging by.” Get cell phone numbers so you can contact them if you need at the show.

Week 3 May 15-20

ADVERTISING Yes, June means weddings, but possibly better: anniversaries! Send out cards, along with a special offer for diamond upgrades, to customers with anniversaries in June. Offer special deals for couples celebrating a big anniversary.

MARKETING Book your Father’s Day newspaper ad to run the first Sunday in June. Repetition is key to getting the message home. Repetition is key to getting the message home. Repetition is …

STAFFING Give some thought to recruiting college or high-school students as summer help. Do not be afraid to give them some responsibility — working on cleaning up your mailing lists, retagging, etc.

Week 4 May 22-27

MERCHANDISING Showcase graduation gifts: Create a special case in your store for smaller-ticket, sentimental items. Your “congratulations” case can include charms, gold starter jewelry (hoops, chains, etc.), sterling silver bracelets, sterling silver cufflinks and entry-level watches. 

Week 5 May 29-June 3

DISPLAYS Incorporate natural elements like leather, horn and wood into your display props. Says Austin, Texas retailer Elizabeth Gibson (PICTURED) of Eliza Page: “Jewelry is hard and metallic, so we try to soften it up when appropriate by using wood and horn. We even have some rocks, leather and felt, and all of that softens the look.”

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CLIENTELING Make those six-month service calls on all those products you sold last December. Invite your customers to come in to have their jewelry checked and cleaned.


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Manager's To Do

Holiday Social Media Tips, How to Keep Spirits Bright, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for December

Be sure your staff are prepared both mentally and physically.

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Dec. 1-7

REPAIRS Make sure all staff are aware of your cut-off dates for accepting repairs and special orders for Christmas. Stick to it even if it means turning down a sale — better that than not to be able to fulfill it. (And if it just absolutely, positively has to be fixed, note your “emergency service” charge and split the cash with your jewelers.)

MARKETING Start posting photos of your two best-selling jewelry pieces on Facebook each day. Post the first when you open, and the other around 3 p.m. Launch three new Pinterest pages: Last-minute gift ideas for her; Last-minute gift ideas for him; Gift ideas under $100. Ask each of your employees to post at least one photo a day to your store’s Instagram account (and don’t forget the hashtags!). Watch for feedback and keep the conversation going.

DIAMONDS Get on the phone to diamond reps and get in more memo diamonds so you have time to work with those early shoppers before the chaos sets in. Every sale you make now in the first half of December is found money.

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Dec 8-14

TRAINING Changes in small behaviors can have huge results. Each day, ask employees to keep in mind one specific behavior. It could be mimicking, maintaining eye contact, smiling, getting customers to try on items, getting permission to follow up, and asking “So … who else is on your list?”

MARKETING Keep phoning customers for wish lists, one-year jewelry tune-ups, etc. If someone’s been on their feet for hours and needs a break, send them to the back to start making those calls.

Dec 15-21

HEALTh “Research studies say that low blood sugar levels are associated with lower overall blood flow to the brain, which means bad decisions,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution. To keep your blood sugar stable, Hyman suggests eating a nutritious breakfast with some protein like eggs, protein shake or nut butters. Then have smaller meals throughout the day.

Dec 22-28

SALES FLOOR Take some of the stress out of last-minute shopping by offering food, drink and good music. Even if you’re not having an official Christmas Eve party, make sure that there’s nourishment (of the literal and spiritual kind) to keep the stress low and the spirits high.

MANAGEMENT Before you close up on Christmas Eve, thank every team member personally for his/her effort.

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Dec 29-Jan 4

CRM 2019 is almost a wrap. Send out thank-you cards to every customer, even those who just bought a battery. For your best customers, make follow-up calls (or send texts for younger customers). “So, how did it go?” If not well, tell them to come in and take advantage of your exchange policy.

RETURNS Say it three times: Returns are good, returns are … Yep, return week is upon us. Handle it well and those customers will return, too.

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Cyber Monday, Tick Tock Day and More Important December Dates for Jewelers

Be ready with the right questions on Christmas Eve.

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24 Jewelry: a gift that communicates thoughtful reflection, even when it’s bought at 6:55 p.m. on CHRISTMAS EVE. A certain kind of man knows this. He’s the Last-Minute Man, and there are a lot of them (21 percent of men don’t even start their shopping until the Saturday before Christmas). Coupled with their tardiness, they tend to be clueless. Coach your employees to ask about the colors that spouses or partners wear, whether they prefer gold or silver, and if they favor big or small earrings.

2 CYBER MONDAY is the No. 2 shopping day, reaching $7.9 billion in sales last year. Be sure to highlight a few specials on your website. Shoppers will be looking for them.

4 ROCKEFELLER CENTER HITS THE SWITCH on its landmark Christmas tree today. You should too. Customers want to see lights, decorations and reindeer carved from ice.

29 Today is TICK TOCK DAY as 2019 winds down. Quickly knock off one or two of those important but not urgent things that have been loitering on your to-do list.

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A Good Idea for Thanksgiving, and More Important Dates for November

Includes a fitting tribute to the quiz show Twenty Questions.

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2 The quiz show TWENTY QUESTIONS MADE ITS DEBUT on national television on this day 70 years ago. Mark the occasion by brainstorming 20 questions to get your customers talking. Sami Fine Jewelry in Fountain Hills, AZ, came up with a list that ranged from icebreakers like “What kind of pets do you own?” to those with a specific sale in mind: “How would you like to be a hero for under $100?”

19 Mark management expert PETER DRUCKER’S BIRTHDAY by saying no to something that you feel is vaguely important, but if you were to be brutally realistic, you don’t have time for.

28 Get in the spirit of THANKSGIVING by sending a goodie bag to your best 50 customers (be sure to include a coupon). It’s likely they provide an outsized contribution to your success.

29 It’s showtime! BLACK FRIDAY marks the traditional start of the shopping season. Spur your holiday sales with a special coupon mailed to your customer list.

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