Wednesday, January 30, 2008
For some time now Wolff has not been able to get the Rust Eraser. The manufacturer went out of business and the stock dried up, so we thought that was that. We did look around for another supplier, but we just couldn’t find anything that worked like the originals.
Well, just a few weeks ago we got a call from one of the former owners of our supplier. They said they’ve started a new operation and that the Rust Erasers were back on the shelves. It was a happy day!
For those of you that have used the Rust Eraser you know why we’re happy. For those of you that haven’t, let me tell you what you’ve been missing!
1. Removes rust spots
2. Removes glue and other substances
3. Removes burns and discolorations
It the closest thing to owning a magic wand! To order one for only $5.51 call Wolff at 1-800-888-3832. The part number is ERASER.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Sorry for not posting the past two days. I've been in the middle of training, so I've been tied up. I'll get back at it tomorrow.
I did get a good post in my reader this morning before I got started though. It's a good reminder about watching how we talk in our signage and brochures. Take a look!
Friday, January 25, 2008
It's about creating an atmosphere where people like to buy!!!
I've been getting a lot of calls as of late that sound like this:
"I could get all the salons in my town to use me if I just had that other piece of equipment!"
"I could sell more shears if I could just get my hands on that other line!"
"I could be doing a lot better if all the other sharpeners weren't bad-mouthing me!"
Could you? Or is it that you're not doing the hard stuff that makes selling your service or shears easier. Maybe your not doing your homework or getting the training that will help you build up the confidence you need to overcome bad-mouthers.
Selling yourself as a sharpener is not just about walking in the door and saying, "Hi! I'm a sharpener!" No one cares! What they DO care about is how are you going to help them? Do you know your stuff? Are you reliable? Will you stand behind what you do? All of these things are important to them, and it takes TIME to build a reputation to match these desires. Be patient, be steadfast and be prepared!
I'll be starting a series on selling soon, so keep an eye out for some hints and tips. If you want to read more right now, click here and see what one of my mentors taught me about selling years ago. There'll be more to come!
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Howdy! I was wondering if you could help me with a concern that came up yesterday. One of the sharpeners that looked at the new Corru-Gator Website said he couldn't get the "Buy It Now" link to work in the left hand sidebar. I need a few people to test this for me and sound off if it works or not. This fellow thinks it's a problem on his end, but I need to be sure the link works. I'm not having this problem on my side. When you click the "Buy It Now" link, it should take you to the Wolff Website so you can see the price.
I also wanted to let you know that I just finished a brief interview with Matt K. Andis. The write up on it will be in February's On The Edge. I will also be interviewing a sharpener named Allen Meadows. He is trying to put together a buyers group that I think would be beneficial.
Thanks for your help with the link concern. You can sound off by e-mail at Jim@wolffind.com or in the comment section of this post. I look forward to hearing from you!
Image: Success from the Nest
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Take a look at these two new display cases! They have a hard aluminum outer casing and a beautiful purple velvet inner lining. One case holds 20 shears, the other will hold 46.
Our new 20 shear display case folds out flat and the comes with 1 inner tray. The 46 shear display case comes loaded with multiple trays so you can show all 46 of your shears at once.
Pricing and Part Numbers:
20 Shear Display Case (Part # 776-GVA-20) - Your cost $47 dollars
46 Shear Display Case (Part # 776-GVA-46) - Your cost $72 dollars
Call me at 1-800-888-3832 if you have any questions.
Monday, January 21, 2008
Well...OK. I realize this business idea may come across as little bit silly, but it caught my eye. I would venture to say that this business model isn't going to be something big, but if it does take off, it's just one more place we can go to sharpen.
You may want to mention it to some of your Barber friends. They may find it intriguing, they my find it hilarious. Either way, it will give you something to talk about.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Seth Godin makes a really good point in todays post on his blog. He talks about how being perfect isn't necessarily the best way to drive word-of-mouth. I want all of you to click here and read what he has to say. The point he makes is one I think everyone knows, but seldom thinks about. Great job Seth!
Thursday, January 17, 2008
The Sharpener: "What do you mean I'm not a sharpener any more? I sharpen every day!"
Me: "I know you do, but now your customers view you as a consultant, not just a sharpener. You've reached the next level!"
This is a short excerpt from a conversation I had with one of my students just the other day. He was talking about how the number of his scissors sales has been going up, but he really hasn't been doing all that much different. What he didn't realize is that his business has evolved, his customers view him differently.
Are you selling shears now? Not having much luck? It may just be that your customers are still building a relationship with you. Trust takes time, and trust leads to sales. This sharpener has earned the title of "scissors consultant" because he has proven time and time again that he does good work and knows shears.
So don't give up if you're not happy with your sales results! And don't try to speed up the process, it never works! Keep doing good work. Keep doing what you say you will. The trust will come and the sales will follow.
If you like this post, be sure to visit my other blog:
Learning 2 Network
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
I was reading a post Polly Labarre wrote on the Mavericks at Work Blog. She said the NY Times ran an article about a law firm that's created a "Happiness Committee" to help brighten the day of the lawyers they have on staff. They go around handing out candy apples and milk shakes. Polly says that this is all well and good, but she goes on to say that...
...I’m not sure yummy snacks can combat a 20% rate of depression and the annual mass exodus of burned-out associates.
She also spoke to the fact that we need to make a shift from the old way of thinking about work, to a new way...
Old version: work hard (for a very long time), achieve success, earn freedom (to retire and do all the things you missed out on while you were working)
New version: find work that affords you freedom = success (Click here to read Polly's complete post)
This got me thinking about sharpening! The greatest thing about this business is the freedom it affords. The worst thing about this business is the obsession it can cause. Don't design your sharpening business to fit the old mold, design it to fit the new mold! If you find yourself down because your sharpening business is controlling your life, take back the control. If you don't enjoy sharpening for the customers you have now, look at reaching out to new industries that could use your service. If you want to make more money, look for new products you can sell that will increase your income without adding more sharpening to your day. Both of these will help to "mix" your day up a little and make it more fun.
You've heard me use the "F" word many times at meetings. Freedom! By starting your sharpening business, you've taken the first step in the direction of the "New Version" of work. You have the freedom, now what will you do with it?
The Image above is of the Magna Carta, one of the earliest documents limiting sovereign authority over commerce.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
I've been avoiding posting on Jim Sharp for the past few days to make sure the post about the Wolff/Huff Summer Show stayed on top, but I have some other news that may be of interest to you.
Bill and I sat down today and started the process of beefing up the Wolff Economy Line Beauty Shears. We will start with the 204, 205, 206 and 209. Each will be available in 5 inch, 5 1/2 inch and 6 inch lengths. We just placed the order for these, so it will be a few weeks before we have them in hand. As soon as they get here, I let you know! I'll also see if we can run a few sales on them so you can pick some up, show them to your customers and see that they are going to LOVE them!
If you'd like to hear some more from me, hop over the Learning 2 Network and see what I have to say about the 6 Degrees of Separation. Let me know if I can help you in any way!
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
MAN!! I AM WIPED OUT! But at least I finally have some dates I can give you!
Unfortunately, the Winter Show in Atlanta fell flat on its face. I had a great contact, everything was just rolling along, and BANG!! My contact was gone! The young lady that took over for him was just a little too greedy for our liking, so I had to pull the plug. I am soooo sorry about this! I promise not to put the cart before the horse again!!
The good news is we just signed the contract for the Summer Show in Kansas City! The dates are June 27th through the 29th and it will be held at the Airport Marriott. I need a couple of days to get my ducks in a row regarding the schedule, but I'll have something by next week.
If you're planning on coming, be sure to call Wolff right away at 1-800-888-3832! The last show sold out a month in advance! We limit the class size to 50 to keep it small and intimate, so don't wait! Room rates are just $74/ night plus tax and the price to attend the show is only $89.00 per person. I hope to see you there!
If you liked this post, be sure to visit my other blog:
Learning 2 Network
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Go, go, go! Sound like you? We could all work from sun-up to sun-down on our businesses; and many of us do. But we also need to carve out some time for ourselves.
Thom Singer wrote about this in his blog, Some Assembly Required. He made some terrific points about how connected we are today, and that we need to just walk away from all the "stuff" from time-to-time. Click on the link to his Blog Post above and see what he has to say about it.
Image: Success from the Nest
If you liked this post, be sure to visit my other blog: Learning2Network
Monday, January 7, 2008
While perusing the internet over the weekend, I came across a post on the On Money Making Blog. Jon was giving a run down of 50 Ways to Improve Your Finances Today.
My two favorites were numbers 18 and 19:
18. Call your 5 best clients and ask them for ways to improve your service or product this year
19. If they can’t think of any, ask them for referrals to their friends (after all, your company is perfect)
When I read number 19, I just laughed and laughed! Be sure you tell your customers to be brutally honest with you! Most people will tell you what they think you want to hear. Make sure they understand that this is how you learn and improve, and they can help!
These two points are great advice! I'd suggest you consider following them!
Friday, January 4, 2008
It is hard for me to believe that Jim Sharp has turned out so many hits in such a short time! Thank you so much for all of your support and encouragement!
I wanted to point everyone to another Blog I've been working on that's a good fit for sharpeners; and pretty much everyone else too! It's called Learning 2 Network. Career and business-to-business networking is a skill that all of us need to learn and do better! This Blog is a run down of what I've learned over the years (served up with humor and cartoons). Go take a look! If you like it, tell your friends about it!
Also, I'll be writing an update on the Wolff/Huff Winter Show and Summer Show later today or on Monday. Atlanta fell apart on me, so I'm looking at other avenues right now. Stay tuned!
Thursday, January 3, 2008
I received an e-mail from a sharpener today asking for any suggestions that may help him grow his business. He's been using mailers and knocking on doors, but things aren't moving along very fast! Here is what I had to say:
A slow start to a sharpening business is not uncommon! Many people get off to a slow start in this business! Let me suggest a few things.
- Mailers are great to use if you are trying to get your name out to salons, but they WILL NOT generate many calls. They are more of a pre-marketing tool that can help turn your “cold calls” into a “little bit warmer calls” when you knock on their door.
- I’m not sure how you’re approaching your potential customers. If you want an excellent book on the subject of selling, try The Patterson Principles of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer. It is short and full of meat!!! Selling is one the biggest killers for sharpeners! Some of it is natural, but much of it is learned! Become a student of selling!!!!
- Work from referrals!! Jeffrey’s book really emphasizes this so I I’m not going to go into a lot of detail. It sounds like you’re doing good work if your wife’s salon is pleased. Start with the ladies in that shop and work outward!!
- You mentioned that you are thinking of going mobile with a van. A less expensive alternative is a mobile station like this one. If you are doing a pick-up/drop-off service now, doing the work on-site may help your numbers.
- Don’t focus so much on the negative! I’m sure you’ve had some successes too. Right now, the number of people saying no are out-weighted by the number of people saying yes. Remember, go for no! Each “no” puts you that much closer to a “yes”!
Growing a business is hard work! If it was easy, everyone would do it! If you’d like more help, call me. I need a little more information about your business. I hope some of these suggestions will be an encouragement to you!If any of you want to bounce ideas off me, you're always welcome to call! Just phone me at 1-800-888-3832. I hope you found this post helpful.
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Seth Godin wrote an excellent post about this yesterday! He's right! Too often we shy away from our problems instead of meeting them head on! Problem Solving is part of being in business! We can either act proactively or reactively! How will you react this year?!