Independents

Squirrel Spotting: You Don’t Need To Outrun the Bear

IndependentsJun 28, 2017

Squirrel Spotting: You Don’t Need To Outrun the Bear

You just need to outrun the other jewelers who haven’t adapted their businesses, Peter Smith writes.

Peter Smith has more than 30 years of experience building wholesale and retail sales teams. He currently is president of Vibhor Gems.

When we find ourselves in the middle of challenging days, we would do well to remember the story of the two guys getting chased by a bear.

Mid-pursuit, one of them stops to tie his shoelaces. His friend looks at him aghast and exclaims, “You think you’re going to outrun the bear?” The guy responds, as he rises to resume his run: “I don’t need to outrun the bear. I just need to outrun you!”

It is easy to descend into the abyss, believing that events are conspiring against us. It is convenient to blame forces outside of our control, to lament our misfortune as foot traffic declines, average tickets regress, retail stores close and younger people seem less than enthralled at the prospect of shopping in jewelry stores.

The reality is that we hold the key to our own destinies. If we were to honestly assess our own operations, our decision-making, our execution, even our mindset, there’s a very strong likelihood that we are simply not doing all, or even most, of the things we need to be doing within our own four walls.

In retail, that means paying close attention to the evolution that is happening around us. Don’t talk about hiring great salespeople; do it. Don’t talk about investing in your teams’ education; do it. Don’t talk about having a compensation plan that rewards the top performers; get it done.

As you think about your product mix, don’t talk about ridding yourself of dated inventory; do it. Don’t talk about narrowing your product choices so that your target customer better understands what you are about; make it happen.

Don’t theorize about replenishing your best-sellers; do it religiously. Don’t just accept that consumers place a lesser value on generic goods; act on that by limiting generics in favor of real brands and relevant private-label storytelling.

Don’t talk about having a coherent and cohesive marketing strategy that merges traditional, digital, social media, website, e-commerce and in-store; make it happen.

And don’t talk about turning your store into a consistently great experience for customers. With great lighting, music, scents and customer-centric events, make it happen.

In “Thinking Fast And Slow,” Nobel Prize-winning behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman wrote: “Optimistic individuals play a disproportionate role in shaping our lives. Their decisions make a difference; they are the inventors. The entrepreneurs, the political and military leaders--not average people. They got to where

they are by seeking challenges and taking risks.”

Complaining about things beyond your control while ignoring the many things that you ought to be taking care of is, quite honestly, a smoke screen.

If you were to put together a checklist of the key elements of your respective businesses--the store, personnel, marketing, product, financials and culture--could you honestly say that you are operating at the highest level--not at the level that used to suffice, but at a level that ensures success in today’s retail environment?

We can’t ignore the broader challenges in retail but burying one’s head in the sand is a surefire way to extinction. Concern yourself less with the bear and focus on outrunning the other guy.

Peter Smith is president of Vibhor, a public speaker and author of “Sell Something” and “Hiring Squirrels.” He spent 30 years building sales teams in retail and wholesale and he can be contacted at dublinsmith@yahoo.com, peter@vibhorgems.com, or on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
Peter Smithis an industry consultant, speaker, and sales trainer, and author of three books, “Hiring Squirrels,” “Sell Something,” and “The Sales Minute.”

The Latest

FinancialsDec 06, 2022
Signet Anticipates Solid Holiday Season, Raises Guidance

The jewelry giant posted a decline in same-store sales in the third quarter but is gearing up for a season of growth.

TrendsDec 06, 2022
Pantone’s 2023 Color of the Year Is A Lot Like Rubellite, Spinel, Ruby

“Viva Magenta” easily finds its colored gemstone counterparts.

AuctionsDec 06, 2022
Jewels from the Sunken ‘Ship of Gold’ Smash Auction Estimates

Holabird Western Americana Collections offered hundreds of treasures recovered from the S.S. Central America in its Dec. 3 sale.

Brought to you by
How To Buy Colored Gemstones

Give your customers the full gemstone buying experience by using the 6C's.

ColumnistsDec 06, 2022
The Smart Lab: 6 Holiday Email Marketing Strategies To Boost Sales

From creating catchy subject lines to retargeting abandoned carts, Emmanuel Raheb has a half-dozen pieces of email marketing advice.

Weekly QuizDec 01, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
TechnologyDec 05, 2022
Timex Ticks into the Metaverse with Bored Ape Yacht Club

The watch brand will create 500 custom timepieces for holders of Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs.

EditorsDec 05, 2022
Meet Jewelry’s First TikTok Star

When it comes to translating luxury into the social media platform’s approachable style, JewelsWithJules has cracked the code.

Brought to you by
Knowledge and Skills for Today’s Hot Topics

From laboratory-grown diamonds to design to country-of-origin, GIA's Alumni Collective™ has a seminar to suite your needs.

Events & AwardsDec 05, 2022
WJA Foundation Awards Nearly $60K in Scholarships for 2022-2023

Scholarship winners received awards in six different categories.

SourcingDec 02, 2022
Alrosa CEO Sergey Ivanov to Step Down, Report Says

According to Russian news sources, the sanctioned head of the diamond company is leaving to take a job with an investment group.

SourcingDec 02, 2022
Lucapa Sells 170-Carat Pink Diamond Unearthed This Summer

Said to be the largest pink diamond found in hundreds of years, “The Lulo Rose” was sold for an undisclosed sum.

AuctionsDec 02, 2022
Here’s How 2 Royal Jewels Performed at Auction in Denmark

A princess’s tiara fell within its pre-sale estimate while an Art Deco bracelet from a queen doubled it.

CollectionsDec 02, 2022
Piece of the Week: Foundrae’s Chain

A closer look at the bold links reveals a subtle, surprising detail.

Supplier BulletinDec 01, 2022
Take Your Jewelry Design Process Digital with the GIA Alumni Collective™

Sponsored by GIA Alumni Collective™

WatchesDec 01, 2022
Rolex to Certify Pre-Owned Watches

Retailers within its official distribution network will be able to sell the authenticated timepieces.

CollectionsDec 01, 2022
Kendra Scott’s New Collection is for Barbie Girls

The capsule collection combines the brand’s classic styles with Barbie’s signature pink color.

AuctionsDec 01, 2022
13-Carat Pink Diamond Withdrawn From Christie’s Auction

The auction house is not offering any details on why the fancy vivid pink stone was pulled from its upcoming “Magnificent Jewels” sale.

SourcingDec 01, 2022
Nomad’s Is Selling Its Stones to Raise Money for Ukraine Again

In the spirit of an advent calendar, “Gems to Help Ukraine” will sell a stone a day through Dec. 24 on the Nomad’s Instagram account.

GradingDec 01, 2022
PhotoScribe Granted Patent for Method that Verifies a Stone’s Identification

The secure mark combines an overt mark with a covert data set to provide assurance on a gem.

SurveysNov 30, 2022
5 Things Retailers Should Know About the Start to the Holiday Season

Plus, what a potential rail strike would mean for retailers.

WatchesNov 30, 2022
Watchfinder & Co. Will Launch a Marketplace Next Year

It will provide a place for select luxury watch retailers to sell their stock.

MajorsNov 30, 2022
Pomellato Buys Into Italian Goldsmith

The brand has purchased a minority stake in Costanzo & Rizzetto.

SourcingNov 30, 2022
Firestone Restarts Operations of Lesotho Diamond Mine

Liqhobong has been in a care-and-maintenance period since the start of the pandemic.

MajorsNov 29, 2022
LVMH Acquires Jewelry Manufacturer Pedemonte Group

The strategic acquisition will bolster the luxury titan’s production capacity in its watch and jewelry division.

CollectionsNov 29, 2022
Alex and Ani Founder Carolyn Rafaelian Has Launched a Fine Jewelry Line

The new brand, Metal Alchemist, focuses on unisex, classic jewelry designs.

IndependentsNov 29, 2022
Reinhold Jewelers’ Holiday Book Is an Ode to an Important Beverage

The 2022 edition of the retailer’s annual publication pays homage to the coffee farms and shops of Puerto Rico.

CollectionsNov 29, 2022
Gabriel & Co.’s ‘Fashion Book’ Is Out

Not a catalog, the magazine is a tool for Gabriel & Co. retailers to connect with their customers.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy