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.