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Attitude Adjustment
August 18th, 2021

Having the right mindset is critical for surviving times of duress By Andrea Hill Increasingly, economists are using the word “depression” to describe the international economy, and there is a growing consensus that it will take five years to return to the economic performance we enjoyed at the beginning of 2020. Stop for a moment […]

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A Pearl Period
August 2nd, 2021

From bridal to men’s jewelry, pearls are having a moment. Sponsored by: By Deborah A. Yonick The buzz over pearls has been growing to new heights, as it seems pearls are everywhere and on everyone these days. New York Fashion Week for spring boldly delivered the message that pearls would be the biggest jewelry trend […]

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Creating Modern Connections
September 24th, 2020

The digital path to modern jewelry purchases By Deborah A. Yonick Now that everyone’s lives are shifting online due to COVID-19 restrictions that have more people working remotely and stuck at home for long periods of time, consumers are shopping differently and using digital technology in new ways.  This means that how a brand used […]

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Send the Right Message
July 6th, 2020

Send the Right Message Marketing in the information age is complex, rewarding, and targeted By Terri Wallo Strauss When it comes to marketing in this new digital age, one can’t help but think of the opening line of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times, it was the worst […]

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Summer Sales: Tips for Surviving Summer Art Shows
July 2nd, 2020

Summer Sales By Shawna Kulpa For some folks, summertime means lazy days at the beach. For many studio jewelers, however, it means long, hot weekends spent manning booths and selling their goods at summer art fairs. Show veterans recently shared advice on the Orchid forum (ganoksin.com/orchid) to help those new to the show circuit better […]

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Holiday Hits
July 2nd, 2020

Festive Ways to Say Thanks By Tina Wojtkielo Snyder With the holiday season behind us and a whole year to plan for the next Christmas rush, take a moment how to consider how to best thank your many customers, friends, and mentors in the trade this year. Two examples of clever and impactful holiday gifts […]

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MJSA Online Library: Defining Your Key Customers
July 2nd, 2020

Who Are You? Defining your key customers By Andrea Hill I have been on only one blind date in my life, but it was memorable. I’m still not sure the friends who set us up meant well. They said they did, but I am skeptical. My date was told that I was at the top […]

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MJSA Online Library: The Four Phases of Marketing
July 2nd, 2020

What Is Marketing?         Outlining the four phases By Andrea Hill I learned a poignant lesson about marketing nearly a decade ago. Unfortunately, it was at the expense of one of my children. We lived in a place where public education was frightful and the availability of effective private schooling was shamefully slim. So my son—at […]

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Watch and Learn
July 2nd, 2020

Watch and Learn Interpreting the customer experience By Andrea Hill When I met Lenny Bloom, he was a 70ish independent sales rep and I was a 22-year-old buyer for a chain of video stores. He was a warm and thoughtful man, but I admit that, at first, I thought he might be getting a little […]

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MJSA Online Articles: How to Be a Better Marketer
July 2nd, 2020

Targeted Thinking You don’t need a crystal ball to be a better marketer By Andrea Hill  We humans are rather predictable when it comes to what we do with enthusiasm versus what we tend to avoid. For instance, we jump right into the things we understand and know how to accomplish, but tend to procrastinate […]

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Super Sellers: Marketing Inspiration from Other Industries
July 2nd, 2020

Super Sellers Look outside the industry for marketing inspiration By Andrea Hill If you want to wrap your mind around successful marketing to today’s consumers, stop looking at Amazon and start looking at food trucks, Pulse, and “Dancing with the Stars.” Of course, Amazon is very successful. But most companies can’t spare a decade and […]

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The Stunner: Impressing Potential Clients
July 2nd, 2020

Another Good Idea: The Stunner How to impress a prospective retail customer… By Tina Wojtkielo Snyder If you are a designer or jewelry maker who is selling your wares solo, it can be hard to break the ice with potential retailers. Richard Kasdin, a jewelry sales professional with more than 25 years of experience in […]

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Special Delivery
July 2nd, 2020

Another Good Idea: Special Delivery A pizza box can do so much more… By Shawna Kulpa You did it. You started your own company, created a great new product, marketed it to your target customers, and now the orders are flowing in. You ship off the orders—but beyond making sure everything is packed so it […]

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Shoestring Storytelling: Tips for Marketing on a Shoestring Budget
July 2nd, 2020

Shoestring Storytelling Designers share tips for ways to tell your story that won’t break the bank. By Terri Wallo Strauss Becca Aronson—or “Bex,” as she is known—is putting the finishing touches on her latest Facebook post. The jewelry designer and cofounder of New York City–based Adornia, along with her partner, Moran Amir (“Mo”), knows how […]

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Selling Stories: Branding and Sales Strategies for Designers
July 2nd, 2020

Rings by George Sawyer Selling Stories Brilliant branding and sales strategies for designers By John Shanahan and Tina Wojtielo Snyder What’s your story? If this question—when asked in the context of your jewelry—is a difficult one to answer, you may want to consider a new career. “Having a clear, concise message that captures the story […]

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MJSA Online Articles: Giving Customers What They Need
July 2nd, 2020

Selling Is a Service Give customers what they need By Andrea Hill Quite a few years ago I worked in an office with one of the best salespeople I know. His name is Joe and he considered himself an expert on the casting process, not on selling. But he had taken a job in a […]

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Sales Training: Five Steps Toward Fueling Motivation
July 2nd, 2020

Sales Training Five steps toward fueling motivation By Andrea Hill My granddaughter, Aubrey, is being homeschooled…at my house. Each morning her mom drops her off before she goes to work, and Aubrey and I head to our shared office. Most days she jumps on her computer, logs into her curriculum (she is enrolled in an […]

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Sales Makeover
July 2nd, 2020

Communicating benefits, not features By Andrea Hill When I walked past an Estée Lauder counter recently, the woman working behind it queried, “Excuse me, ma’am, would you like a free makeover today? I have some terrific products that can really highlight the glow of that suntan you’re sporting.” What a great line! Of course I […]

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Ponder Power
July 2nd, 2020

Thinking about advertising pays big dividends By Andrea Hill One of the consequences of living in a fiercely fast-paced world is the limited amount of time we have to think about, well, anything. Most of us go through entire days of doing without ever pausing to reflect on the purpose we are serving or how […]

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Playing it Safe
July 2nd, 2020

Even small businesses need cybersecurity By Andrea Hill Jewelry business owners and employees understand the importance of physical security. But I’m starting to think that we don’t always understand the need for cybersecurity. It’s not uncommon for business owners to say to me, “Why would someone cyberattack my business? It’s not like I’m storing thousands […]

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Planning Ahead
July 2nd, 2020

Using a promotional calendar By Andrea Hill I was initially unimpressed with my first boss. He was bland as clear broth, spoke few words, and rarely changed his expression. But soon I realized that he was teaching me more than some of my fine university professors. From him I learned that communication could take many […]

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Penny Wise and Pound Foolish
July 2nd, 2020

Spending marketing dollars wisely By Andrea Hill It’s a simple rule of business: If you want to grow, you must invest in advertising. But too many companies in the jewelry industry take for granted the fact that even the most differentiated, well-crafted jewelry designs that wow every person who owns them won’t make headway in […]

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The Next Generation
July 2nd, 2020

The Next Generation Tips to get ready to sell to Generation Z By Terri Wallo-Strauss My 16-year-old daughter is sitting on her bed, laptop on her lap, phone in her hand. She moves seamlessly to and from each device—watching Netflix, texting, checking Snapchat and Instagram, and shopping online. This is a typical evening in my […]

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More Than a Box
July 2nd, 2020

Telling the tale of your jewelry through packaging and display By Rebecca Oster Bach Like most jewelry designers, Maeve Gillies of New York City–based MaeVona has a story to tell through her jewelry. It’s a story that encapsulates Scotland’s history and mythology, its lochs and wildflowers, its towns and castles. And like most jewelers, Gillies […]

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MJSA Online Library: How Marketing and Sales Work Together
July 2nd, 2020

‘Round and ‘Round Communication keeps the wheel of sales turning  By Andrea Hill It’s rather uncommon to see very large families today, but when I was growing up it was not unusual to know families with 12 or 13 children. I grew up with the children of two of these families, and I was always […]

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Just Ask
July 2nd, 2020

Structure can improve sales results By Andrea Hill Last week I was negotiated out of nearly $1,800…by an eight-year-old. Here’s how it worked: 8-year-old daughter (salesperson): “Do you ever miss our old house? I do.” (Immediate emotional engagement) Mom (buyer): “Oh, I guess I miss it sometimes honey. Why do you miss it?” (Horse led […]

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In Their Eyes
July 2nd, 2020

Understanding the customer experience By Andrea Hill I’m giving myself a JAVA Bootcamp experience for my birthday this year. No, I’m not learning how to be a barista; I’m learning to program in the JAVA code language. Of course, I employ two excellent JAVA programmers, and I don’t need to personally perform any JAVA coding […]

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Gaining Perspective
July 2nd, 2020

Adopting the customer’s point of view By Andrea Hill The famous Woody Allen quote, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up,” always bothered me. It seems so unimaginative, so ultimately pessimistic. I’d like to think that 80 percent of success stems from creativity, passion, and curiosity, not merely being there. But what if Allen […]

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Cash Flow Agents
July 2nd, 2020

Jumpstart continuous improvement in sales By Andrea Hill I would like to propose an industry-wide change. It is a change that could be implemented for less than $250 in most companies (the cost of a new batch of business cards), could be fully in place in less than a week, would be unlikely to meet […]

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Ask Better Questions
July 2nd, 2020

Improving sales prospecting By Andrea Hill Chances are, unless you’re trying to do business in a different solar system, all the information you need to be successful is readily available. The problem with much of that information is that it is too obvious, and therefore difficult to distinguish from the old wives’ tales. When is […]

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Art of the Tale
July 2nd, 2020

Salespeople as storytellers By Andrea Hill Think for a moment about the best storyteller you know. He (or she) has mastered the art of telling not too much detail and not too little. The only elements offered are those relevant to the story, meant to give context now or lay groundwork for later. The best […]

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All Dressed Up
July 2nd, 2020

Gussy up your sales strategy By Andrea Hill My friends Angie and Drake seem like newlyweds after nearly 40 years of marriage—so much so that people frequently ask them what their secret is for such a long and happy marriage. Of course there are many reasons, but the short answer, as told by Drake, is […]

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