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Manager's To Do

What You Need to Be Doing in Your Business This September

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Week 1Sept. 5-10

MARKETING In the era of local search — and especially when it comes to bridal customers — it’s crucial you settle on one name for your company. For example, is it “Jeff and Jane Jewelers LLC” or is it “J&J Jewelers” or some other variant that has arisen over your store’s life? If it isn’t always the same, search engines get confused and wonder if these are the same or different businesses. End result? Your ranking suffers. Make a choice and stick to it.

ONLINE For similar reasons, set aside an hour to ensure all of your online information is correct at Google, Yelp, Yahoo, etc.

INVENTORY Is your loose diamond box full? Do you have three choices at every price/size level? Do you have enough carat-plus diamonds? Finally, make sure that you are replenishing in concert with your strategic plan. For example, if you want to build your bridal business, be aggressive in replenishing those SKUs.


WEEK 2

Sept. 12-17

COLLATERAL Guys often buy engagement rings with moral support from guy friends. Choose a selection of guy-friendly videos or sports channels to ensure they don’t get bored. A selection of frothy refreshments doesn’t hurt either.

CRM Can’t afford a fancy CRM system? Create customer profile cards. Be sure they are updated after every customer engagement, not just sales. Complimentary engagement-ring cleanings every six months or year are still one of the best ways to get customers back in the store.

DISPLAY Are your windows working effectively to support your bridal sales? Here’s a good rule of thumb: If your store gets foot traffic, use small props; if it gets drive-by traffic, oversized props work best. Most important, change things around often. The less often you present new looks, passers-by will stop looking.

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WEEK 3

Sept. 19-24

STAFF Do you know who your best diamond salesperson is? Ensure he or she gets the opportunities to sell diamonds before anybody else. And look into specific diamond training for the rest.

MERCHANDISING Everyone gets the urge to pile on merchandise, but displays, especially expensive goods, always look better when they are given the appropriate space. Walk around your bridal area and ask yourself if each item is relevant to your cause. If not, get rid of it. Your bridal area should be pristine.

SECURITY Smash and grabs are on the rise. Get your cases laminated.

DISPLAY Organize your bridal diamond case into groupings that match how your sales presentations flow, urges display expert Larry Johnson.


WEEK 4

Sept. 26-Oct. 1

MARKETING Place scrapbooks containing thank-you cards and photos from weddings and engagements that you’ve provided jewelry for. Why? Because nothing emphasizes that you’re trustworthy more than a photo album of happy customers on their happiest day.

SALES FLOOR This month, make an extra effort to listen to how your staff interacts with bridal customers. Focus on the words they use to describe merchandise and build perceptions of value. Remember that to be effective, feedback needs to be specific, actionable and timely.

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This article originally appeared in the September 2016 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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