How to motivate your people, not your cocker spaniel


Pavlov rewarded animals his studies with food.  Studies have been done on dogs, chimps and dolphins and they’ve all responded conveniently to both positive and negative motivation.  We learned this in 5th grade social studies and shame on the people that taught us to take this type of motivation into our jewelry stores.  We as humans forget is that our teams are not animals whose primary objective in life is to stay alive.  We have emotions, needs, ideals, values and a conscience.

“How do I get my staff motivated?”  is what I hear so often.  And this question usually comes after many thousands of dollars are wasted by jewelers trying both negative and positive reinforcement.  Yelling at them costs you tons of money.  Unattainable goals have a negative effect and cost you money.  Telling them they have to sell more doesn’t work, you know because you’ve tried it.  And finally, paying them more isn’t always the answer. You wanted to hear that one didn’t you?

In Susan Fowler’s Book Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does, she discusses three primary motivations:

  1. Control – We need to feel control in life.  A baby exhibits this when they don’t want the spoon of baby food you’re offering so she turns her head to take control of what’s going or not going into her mouth.   In the jewelry store, our people need a sense of control.  This comes with involving people in plans, promotions, stock purchases, communication, the repair process.  The more top-down you build your systems, the more they will feel they’re “working for the man”. The more you involve them in the process and allow them some control, the more buy-in you will have.
  1. Relation – They need a sense of community where there are no ulterior motives. They need to exist in a world where they can be free to be themselves and have friend in the workplace without feeling like they’re being manipulated by a social committee or HR.  They want to be heard and they want to know that they matter.  Babies exhibit this when they are learning to speak and you’re not looking at them.  They actually grab your face to get your entire focus on them and what they’re saying. Your people spend most of their days in your store and you need to provide an atmosphere of acceptance, friendship and respect.
  1. Competence – People need to be continually growing and learning. If not, they begin to feel stagnant. Children incessantly ask Why? Why? Why?. If your store isn’t feeding the desire for growth in people, they will lose motivation and look for new opportunities.  A good question to ask yourself and your staff at the end of the day is, “What did you learn today?”  Then ask yourself if you’ve given them the tools to grow.

Foster these needs in your people and you will soon see a workforce who is highly motivated and will begin to tell others about the great place they work.  Negative reinforcement and threats will turn them into skittish little puppy dogs.  Positive reinforcement will reap many great rewards.

How long will Shelly live in La-La Land?

concerned woman

Her store has been around for 34 years. Dad started it and Shelly started coming in after school to clean and run errands. She learned a lot from dad and has done a fantastic job of carrying on the relationships he started and also starting many of her own. The store has been doing $800,000 in sales pretty consistently and that has been enough to pay herself and her staff of three. But wait! Things seemed to have changed in the past few years.

Shelly’s average ticket has been going down, she’s seeing fewer and fewer of her “good” customers, her inventory is applying for AARP membership, her bridal case looks like it’s from the seventies, the last time she did any staff training was when they watched Zig Ziglar on VHS and she’s no longer seeing young couples buying diamonds. All of the sudden it seems as though doing business the way daddy did doesn’t seem to be cutting it any more. (more…)

#126 – Creating a WOW habit for your customers

GeorgeHere’s a FREE TRAINING session we did with our friends in Lockport New York on creating new WOW habits for our customers.

When George Fritz from Mills Jewelers sent me his “Take the Green Path” email about changing habits in his jewelry store, I had to share it with all of you. Here is the recorded video meeting we had the week after his staff attempted to change some habits.

Click for George’s Notes.

Here are your notes and quiz.

Click here for the download page of this meeting.

If you aren’t currently signed up for our weekly store training, click below to get started.

What would you give me to deliver a million dollar producer?



What would you give me if I found you a million dollar producer? Seriously! What’s it worth to you if I send you a person that could sell that amount of jewelry in a year? $20,000? Perhaps $50,000? Of all the issues I talk with jewelers about, this one is right on top. “How do I find that killer salesperson?” I’ll tell you how I found mine right now, for free.

It begins with Hippocrates and Greek history. Hippocrates developed the theory that we are all made up of a mixture of 4 primary personality types; sanguine (pleasure-seeking and sociable), choleric (ambitious and leader-like), melancholic (analytical and quiet), and phlegmatic (relaxed and peaceful). Along with these primary personality types goes our individual motivations. I, for example am Sanguine/Choleric but I have 5 very important motivations and they are: Thrives on encouragement, Musical, Inspirational, Loves People and Warm.

Once you know yourself, then you can accurately tell people what they can expect from you. (more…)

Counter Etiquette #1

This is the first in a series of videos done for Jeweller Magazine in Australia called Counter Etiquette. You’ll enjoy this short introduction to great customer service for your jewelry store. Get weekly video training for your staff HERE.

How I found the right people and kept them

Sharon was a member of our FIT Group. This was a group of 12 jewelers who were accountable to each other and twice a year would gather at each other’s store to share everything from marketing to financials and everything else under the sun. Sharon called me one day and said “I want you to come to my store and teach me to do what you did. You just seem to have all the right people and they stay with you. I want that for my store.” So I went. This is what I taught her in a nutshell. (more…)


dog breathEVERYBODY’S GOT THAT ONE THING….. that they would love to address their staff with if only they could. Tell me what it is and I’ll create a custom store training video for you.

Yup! I’ll tell them they need to dress better, show up on time, quit fighting over sales, lose the attitude or whatever you can think of that grinds your gears. I’m serious! Send me an email and I’ll create a 15 minute video and send it to you under the auspices that you are “thinking of buying this guy’s videos”.

Let’s see what we can do with your staff. EMAIL ME at right now. I dare ya.

If you aren’t currently signed up for our weekly store training, click below to get started.