49 Reasons to read July VOWS

It’s full of tips galore, on everything from marketing to sales and management.

Let me start out by saying there are more than 49 great reasons to read this issue.

That was simply a number I arrived at by adding up all of the figures listed in the table of contents (Seven ways to convert online searches into in-store buy- ers. . . Nine simple ways to engage your customers without saying a word. . . the list goes on!)

As is often the case when a new issue of VOWS is published, I am amazed at the quality work our editorial staff does. Katie Roberts did an amazing job with her piece “10 Things You Must Know About Today’s Prom Girl” (pg. 56), which gives you a timely look into the mindset of today’s prom girl. Some of these insights aren’t anything new (social mediaandpeerapprovalareimpor tant to her), but others – such as the fact that she often begins dreaming of The Big Dance prior to even entering high school – were eye-opening. In any case, it’s always a great idea to stay on top of what your customers are thinking and feeling.

The next piece, “Bringing Pinterest to the Sales Floor” by Daniel P. Smith talks about one of the hottest new retail trends around: capitalizing on the popu- larity of this virtual pinboard by show- casing it visually throughout your store. We all know Pinterest is a hit amongst brides; many stores also operate highly successful pages. But what if you could take things a step further and actually use Pinterest’s popularity to encourage in-store sales? Daniel’s piece provides four creative suggestions how. Next we have “Webrooming Trumps Showrooming” by Allison Deerr, which discusses seven ways to conver t online researchers into in-store buyers. It won’t come as a surprise to you, the bridal retailer, that customers do a lot of online research before making an in- store purchase. But what may surprise you is that this phenomenon is spread- ing to other industries. And there are definite ways you can use customer’s vast pre-shopping knowledge to your sales advantage.

Moving on, “Communicating With Body Language”, also by Allison Deerr, offers nine simple ways to engage your customers without saying a word (hint: do NOT close your arms when talking to them, as this conveys a very standoff- ish attitude). “Excel at Management” by Amanda Baltazar discusses four key areas of running a bridal salon that ever y successful retailer must keep in balance (yes, there is a different between time management and employee management). And “All in the Family” by Phillip M. Perry offers eight suggestions for helping “outsiders” to fit into your family business.

Finally, our advice column, Seven Hiring Pointers for Prom Season” details specific considerations you must keep in mind when searching for top-notch

teen employees. My favorite suggestion here, which makes so much sense as I reflect back onto my own high school days, is that you should never hire all of your employees from the same school. The reason being they could easily all belong to the same clique, which could alienate many a potential buyer.

There are other stories, too – in fact, “Readers to the Rescue” on pg 130 offers 35 best-practice tips and sugges- tions by itself. But the aforementioned boldend headlines above offer more than four dozen reasons to spend some quality time reading this issue.

I’d like to mention one more reason, to round that number up to an even 50. We could not put together such an amazing magazine without your feed- back and help. Along those lines I would like to extend an enormous Thank You to everyone who has tweeted or e- mailed me, or messaged VOWS on Facebook, with your tips, ideas and sug- gestions.Your support is the real reason VOWS is successful. And if there is one statement I’d like to close with it’s that we are extremely grateful for each and ever y one of you!

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