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December 1999

Managing: Holiday Sales

Super Suggestions for a Stress-Free Selling Season

You can combine fun and finance even at the busiest time of year

Even in the midst of the holiday sales season, it's not too late to evaluate how well prepared your staff is and make last-minute adjustments. Here are 10 tips for full-timers and seasonal employees to keep the holiday madness under control.

  1. Create a product knowledge information sheet, laminate it and distribute it to every employee. You've probably received new items fairly rapidly in this quarter, and it's critical that all your employees know about what will be in the showcases.
  2. Be sure items are restocked quickly. Let everyone know they should not leave empty areas in the showcases. Pull from backstock as often as needed.
  3. Post a cut-off date for custom orders. Be sure it's posted where everyone can see it frequently. This will avert someone taking an order that can't be delivered before Christmas.
  4. Know where your tools are. Don't take for granted that holiday-time workers know where to find day-to-day tools such as loupes, Windex, tweezers, invoices and other similar items. This saves time during the busy season.
  5. Be sure all employees are updated on important store policies. These include returns and exchanges, layaways, warranties and sizing.
  6. Pass around information about your advertising, marketing or other promotions customers may know about but you haven't yet discussed with employees.
  7. Share your sales goals for the season with your employees. Set goals for them. Consider creating an informal contest with perks for those who surpass last year's figures. Make it fun rather than strictly competitive.
  8. With all the new clients entering the store this time of year, be sure you gather at the very least their names and phone numbers. This builds your client base effectively at a busy time and creates a file of future customers.
  9. "Down time" should be used. Ask employees to use lulls in store traffic to call repair shops or be sure other supplier-related needs are met. Also take the time to stock and clean cases, write thank-you notes and make follow-up calls.
  10. Suggest to customers that January is a better time to clean jewelry and change watch batteries. This will move such labor-intensive tasks out of the prime late November and December selling season.

There's another time-saver you can create on a personal level: Try to finish your own holiday shopping early so you have more time to spend in the store and not feel stressed during this already high-pressure time of year. If you haven't already addressed and mailed your Christmas cards, do it tonight.

These are just a few things that can be put together into a full program that informs seasonal workers and reminds veteran employees about working as a team during the coming weeks.

by Christine Anzell & Jack Levenson

Christine Anzell and Jack Levenson are sales trainers in the fine jewelry retail industry. To order their copyright Client Record Keeping Book or Sales Training Manual, call them at (800) 887-8902.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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