Thursday, 31 May 2012

Live from Vegas - Day 2

Summary:  had breakfast at the Luxury show, toured the show-floor, had an amazing lunch at Luxury’s Brazilian sponsored dining hall, helped with shopping for Steve’s retail store, met with Cheryl & Keri from Foster & Sons Jewellers, hit the pool and then off to “Todd’s Unique” restaurant for dinner.  I had the best braised shortribs EVER. 

The breakfast with Darcy Miller from Martha Stewart Wedding Magazine was a great reminder that it’s up to us to encourage celebrating the special occasions in people’s lives with jewellery.  She encouraged all to remember that the engagement is only the start.  If we continue to plant seeds for the next purchase, we’ll gain clients for a lifetime.  For example, she suggested that while selling the engagement ring, you begin to suggest that the bride consider jewellery when shopping for a dress and deciding on hair and veil.

One of the most poignant illustrations of celebrating special moments was when she showed an image of a card she received while in hospital signed by her newborn daughter.  The card was written as if from their the baby, who said that she didn’t have time to shop for a gift, so Daddy helped her by picking out this fabulous pair of diamond earrings for the most beautiful, loving mother in the world.  She would try to be a good baby and give lots of kisses, and Mommy was welcome to give her kisses any time…  This was one powerful illustration of how a husband could mark the birth of a child with a lasting token of love.  There were more than a few people choking back tears, and the M.C. admitted that he might have to play a bit of “catch-up” to honor his wife to the degree that she deserved.

That was a great way to start the day.  We talked to some very seasoned sales professionals on the Luxury show-floor.  One of whom said, “it’s never too expensive if it sells right away.”  How do you know if it will sell right away?  You don’t, but you do have to give it your best guess, based upon your knowledge of your market.

I hope those of you not able to attend Vegas will get even a small glimpse of the things I’m learning as I go along.  Today is day one of my social media experiment, and “no, Marie, you can’t have one of my QR code shirts.”  I’ll be attending many seminars and should have lots to write about tomorrow.

From Vegas,


Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Social Media Experiment

From Vegas - Social Media Experiment

I’m having special T-shirts made-up for JCK.  It will invite smart-phone users to “scan-me” and have a QR-code (you know those square “Tetris-gone-wrong” looking bar-code thingies) on my back, and sleeves.  The QR code will lead them to my website, which will offer them the options of connecting with me via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, email or via the Toddwaz Blog page.

I expect to gain a few subscribers, but it will be fascinating to see exactly how many.  Before hitting the show-floor with my new T-shirts, I’m going to jot-down how many followers and how many views I’ve had on all of my social media venues, and then count the increase after three days.  I’ll let you know the results.

Marketing often comes down to making a plan, working the plan and then counting the results.  If you have to wait until the end of the year to assess the results of your marketing plan, you’ll never know what worked and what didn’t.  If you run “bursts” of advertising in conjunction with an event or an offer, you’ll be able to count the results more immediately; giving you a better handle on which media are giving you the best bang for your buck.

Direct marketers are so surgical in their approach, they often take a distribution list and divide it in half and send two different scripts or offers to each group to see which one works better.  If I was so organized, at JCK, I could try different T-shirts each day with different wording to see which generates the most hits.

Marketing is not a well-defined path through the woods because nobody has a store like yours in a market like yours.  It’s more like bush-whacking.  You set a general bearing like a mountain or the setting sun, and you forge your own path.  Sometimes you’ll run into obstacles and have to double-back, and other times the landscape will divert you from your target.

In this case, I’m spending $75 to see just how receptive a captive audience is to using smart-phones to connect with us.  If it works well, I’ll do it again at another jewellery show.  Results to follow in a few days…

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Contact me in Vegas

Here’s a tip to the wise.  Don’t bother trying to text anyone in Vegas.  When texting is immediate, a conversation goes like this:

“Hey are you almost done there?”

“Almost.  I’ll meet you at Frank’s booth in 10 minutes.”

“Frank postponed until 2:00, so I’m taking you for lunch at that restaurant in the lobby.”

“Okay, I’ll meet you there.”

“Did you read the latest Toddwaz Report?  It was great!”

“Yes it was J

When texts take anywhere from a few minutes to 45 minutes to get through, those connections completely get missed.  If you want to contact me until June 6th, just call me or email me.  I’ve got some US calling minutes and I’ve bought a US data packet that will allow me to get emails on my phone.

Accessibly yours,


Coming soon… A Social Media Experiment and “Live Vegas Blogs!!!”

Monday, 28 May 2012

Goin' to Vegas VIDEO BLOG

Okay, I’m all set for JCK Las Vegas.  I’m leaving tomorrow and I just can’t wait!

I’ve got all of the essentials; my passport, business cards, appointment calendar, suntan lotion, monochromatic money, energy pills and my toothbrush.

Whether you’re going to Vegas or the Western Canadian Jewellery Expo, CJG or JCK Toronto, I hope to see you soon!

Why?  So I can sell you jewellery?  Well, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t look forward to that, but we’re not in all of those shows.

I know a lot of you say, you don’t always go to shows because of vacation schedules, cost or because you can just sit in your store and wait for your suppliers to come see you.

Bad excuses!  Come on people!  Here are the top 10 reasons to go to jewellery trade shows and build your business!

1. See full product lines from your suppliers, not just what fits in the travellers’ trunk. 

2. See full product lines that your competitors are carrying so you know what you’re up against.

3. You can meet your suppliers face-to-face.  Once there’s an in-person connection, that voice on the other end of the phone will do more for you!

4. Discover the latest trends, and see if you can’t just spot the next Pandora.

5. Network with other jewellers and share ideas.

6. Attend FREE educational presentations from people who would cost you thousands of dollars to have in your store.

7. Take advantage of show-specials not available through your sales rep.

8. Get your head out of your local scene and embrace the bigger industry for Pete’s sake!

9. Treat a key staff member to a memorable trip and vulcanize their passion for our amazing industry.

10.  Search for hard-to-find special requests for hard-to-satisfy clients.

That’s just a few.  I didn’t even get to mention tourist attractions, cocktail receptions, hosted dinners, the JCK Beach Party with One Republic or tax-deductible vacations. 

Well, I guess I did mention them after all.  If I don’t see you in Vegas, I hope to see you in Edmonton or Toronto.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Early Adopters

Even though social media has been around for a number of years, I still consider myself an “early adopter” of social media marketing.  I had Facebook and Twitter accounts for a long time.  As I sat around a table of 24kt club members who all agreed that they needed to get involved in social media, I immediately stepped-up my involvement.  Over the past 6 months, I’ve turned the old Road Reflections into The Toddwaz Report, with a hosted blog-site, Facebook fan page, Twitter feed, LinkedIn profile and a website to refer users to any of these vehicles.

The great thing about being an early adopter is that there are no standards yet to measure up to.  You can make mistakes (like I have,) and work your way up.  Dick Jewell was the first one I knew who carried Pandora.  When he began building the brand in Red Deer, he had a small buy-in, and was able to grow with the brand.

When new opportunities come your way, take a look at all of them.  Take action on the ones you are excited about.  Don’t be a constant “late adopter.”  Late adopters not only risk being excluded from new product lines and trends, but they also miss-out on the learning curve achieved by starting sooner.