Monday, March 31, 2008

MAKE THIS SITE BIGGER


I received an e-mail today from one of my readers. Here is what he wrote:

"Since most of your Blog readers are 40 plus, how about increasing the size and readability of your font?"

I could, but that really isn't necessary because any of you can make the page larger with a simple key stroke. If you have trouble reading any web page you can increase it's size by holding down the control key and then pushing the plus (+) key. You can also make the site smaller by holding down the control key and pushing the minus or tab key (-). Give it a try.

Image: sumrow

Thursday, March 27, 2008

FORCE FEED SALES


Can you force a shear down the throat of a customer? Of course not! But can you try to help a customer solve a problem? Absolutely! Trouble is, some customers can't see the forest for the trees and don't recognize a good deal when they see it.

I was talking with Bobby Huffman the other day. He was telling me a story that fits this post well. He stopped in at a barber in one of the towns he sharpens in. They are good for three or four blades every time he drives by, so he always pulls in. While there, the barber asked if he sold switch blades. Bobby said no and asked why. The barber said, "I just bought eight of these things and none of them want to work." Bobby expressed his sympathy and told him he could try sharpening them, but the charge is $8.00 a piece. The barber about passed out. "I PAID $8.00 for the new switch blades!" So Bobby suggested calling the supplier to see if they could be returned and went out to his rig to sharpen some blades.

When Bobby finished sharpening, he grabbed one of the shears he sells and went back in. He handed the blades to the barber along with the shear. The first thing out of the barber's mouth was, "How much is this shear?" Bobby answered, "Don't worry about the price, try cutting with them first." He did and they cut great. Again he asked how much. Bobby said, "They usually retail for $65.00, but I'll sell them to you for $50.00 because of all the trouble you're having with those switch blades." Again the barber almost passed out, "$50.00! That's way too much!" Bobby said, "For $50.00 dollars you can solve your problem and you'll have a shear that can be maintained for years." The barber wouldn't have it. So Bobby took back the shear, collected his money for the blades he sharpened and hit the road shaking his head.

Now was this a foolish decision on the part of the barber? Sure. Was it the barber's decision to make? Yup! Could Bobby have done anything different? Maybe. He could have argued more, but what would that have accomplished? He may have made a sale, but that wasn't the only point. Bobby was trying to help. The barber didn't want to be helped (at least right then). So Bobby moved on. Bobby understands! He didn't make the sale this time, but next time he stops in he'll ask about those switch blades. If the barber is still having trouble, he'll try to help again. Offer to help enough people enough times and the sales will come. But remember, not everyone will be willing to accept your help. But that shouldn't keep you from offering it! :)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

FIGHTING THE URGENT


Urgencies have forced me into a series of systematic neglect over the past few days. One of those things I've had to neglect is my Blogs. Sorry for the lack of posts. The smoke should clear by tomorrow.

In the mean time, check out this post over at Seth Godin's Blog. Maybe you'll do a better job handling urgencies than I have lately.

Monday, March 24, 2008

A GOOFY POST


OK. So this one is a little silly, but I like acrostics. It helps us remember. And as silly as Jason's post is, it is packed with truth. Hop over and take a look. :)

Image: flippinhippenstudios

Thursday, March 20, 2008

HOW TO USE MICROSOFT STREETS AND TRIPS

In an earlier post I showed how to select push pins using the drawing tool in MicroSoft Streets and Trips. I told you I'd make a better video of this. I'm not sure if this is all that much better, but it does have sound and explains how to use YellowPages.com to build a database with MicroSoft Excel that you can import into Streets and Trips. Take a look and let me know what you think. I had to split the video in half to load it, so play the top one first.



video



video

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?


If you listen to Jeffrey Gitomer, he says the two things salespeople are afraid of are rejection and their own prices. I agree.

Many of the sharpeners I talk to every day struggle with the price issue. The article Jeffrey wrote in this weeks Sales Caffeine will help you see some of the folly in underpricing yourself, your products and your service. Take a look.

To sign up for Jeffrey's Free Weekly E-zine Sales Caffeine, click here.

Image: flickr.com

Monday, March 17, 2008

TOUGH TIMES AHEAD?


Tough times ahead? Maybe. I just don't know. But all the signs are there that we're headed toward another recession. With that in mind, as small business people, there are some things we can do to prepare for the possibility. Jeff Cornwall wrote a great article about this in the Tennessean. I'd like you to go take a look because it's good advice and I think any small business person should consider what Jeff is writing about. I'm not trying to be a dooms day sayer. I just want everyone to have their ducks in a row if hard times come.

Image: futurestradingcoach.com

Friday, March 14, 2008

MICROSOFT STREETS AND TRIPS TIP

If you use MicroSoft Streets and Trips here's a great tip for you. My friend and fellow sharpener Mike Feagins told me about a neat trick you can use to pick your push pins when building your route. Instead of selecting each pin individually, you can use any of the 3 drawing tools to surround a group of push pins and select them all at once. Here's how it works:

Once all the pins you want to add to your route are encapsulated, just move your cursor over the border you created, do a right mouse click and select "add push pins as stops". Here's a quick video showing how to do this with the free form tool:


video


Sorry there's no sound. I'll do a better video in the future (all I have today is my digital camera), but this should give you the gist.

If you are not using MicroSoft Streets and Trips now, it is a powerful route planning program I think any sharpener should have. You can import info from an MicroSoft product (like Excel or Outlook) and it will drop the info into the map as push pins. Here is a link if you'd like to find out more:

http://www.microsoft.com/streets/default.mspx

Thanks for pointing out this feature Mike!

PS - Wolff does not sell MicroSoft Streets and Trips, but you can pick it up at more software retailers or buy it online.

If you liked this post, be sure to visit my other blog: Interaction Sells

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

KENCHII'S NEW WEB SITE


Have you seen Kenchii's new Web site for their beauty shears? It is beautiful! In fact, both of them are beautiful because now they have both a Flash Site and an HTML Site. (The Grooming Sites are coming soon!)

The Flash Site screams ingenuity and style and comes equipped with all kinds of cool features. One of my favorites is the rotating carousel effect they use to showcase their shears. It's fresh and reminds me of the look of the carousel effect we see on the IPhone.

The HTML Site is well designed and the color scheme is stunning! Sammy has a great eye for detail and it shows in Kenchii's new online store. When you have a chance, go take a look.

What Kenchii is doing is the same kind of stuff I'm constantly writing about:
Look at what's new
Think outside the box
Take a chance
Be proactive
Go over the top of your competitors, not through them
Kenchii is an impressive company! They are on the up-and-up and Wolff is so excited to be an outlet for their excellent line. Keep up the good work guys!

COMMENT SPAM


I've had a couple of posts get hit with some comment spam. I have changed some setting and now anyone that posts a comment will have to enter a word check. This should do away with the spam problem.

An example of this spam is in the comment section of the Visit from Joe post. Do not click on the name link. You'll see I deleted this comment, it was only two words that said, "look here" with an embedded link. Do not click on these if you see them on my blog or any others.

If I see more spam I will switch to comment moderation. The only thing switching will do is take more of my time and it will take longer to see your comment come up. I'm watching this like a hawk. It's unfortunate that there are people out there that a willing to compromise integrity for a quick buck, or worse; that are just plain malicious.

Image: cookipedia

Be sure to visit my other blog: Interaction Sells

Monday, March 10, 2008

A VISIT FROM JOE


My good friend Joe stopped by to say hello on his way back home from the Atlanta Pet Fair. The show was great and so were his sales. His new ProLine Shears are really moving and Wolff is now an outlet for them.

This new line comes in various styles and lengths and they're priced to sell. The ProLine Series starts at a list price of $69 dollars and the highest priced shears sell for $129 dollars. If you buy them through Wolff, you'll receive a 55% discount off the list price. All shears are 440 stainless and forged with welded handles. Many of Joe's distributors are selling 8 to 10 shears per week! The price almost makes them an impulse buy. Just bring a case of them in the salon or grooming shop and watch them sell!

To see Joe's shears, visit his Web site at www.prolineltd.net. To place your order, call Wolff at 800-888-3832. Wolff will soon have this entire line up on their Web site www.wolffind.com and a flier will be available soon. If you have any questions, just drop me an e-mail at Jim@wolffind.com.

I'll let everyone know when Joe's shears are on the Wolff Web site.

PS - I'm 5'9". Needless to say, I don't mess with my friend Joe. :)

Be sure to visit my other blog: Interaction Sells

JUST ONE MORE REASON TRAINING IS IMPORTANT!

Please forgive the headline because this isn't funny. It's meant to lighten the seriousness of this kind of behavior. Take a look. I'd like to say I'm surprised, but very little surprises me any more. It seems I may have to start finishing my conversations with sharpeners with a quote from Hill Street Blues, "Be careful out there."

Be sure to visit my other blog: Interaction Sells

Friday, March 7, 2008

A PROUD FATHER


This blog is usually about sharpening, but this post is about my oldest son Ian. His mother and I are very proud of him. He has spent the last year and a half growing his hair to donate to the American Cancer Society. Click here to see a post about this on my family blog, and here to see a write up on Ian in our local newspaper.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

HOW TO TELL YOU HAVE A TRUE LEFT HAND SHEAR

I've had a couple of calls today from sharpeners asking how to tell if they have a True Left Hand shear. Telling a True Left from a Right Hand Shear is easy, just look at the finger blade.







When you look down over the top of the shear, if the finger blade is to the right of the pivot, it's a Right Handed Shear. If the finger blade is to the left of the pivot, it's a True Left. The pictures should help. If you have any questions, just give me a call.

Be sure to visit my other blog: Interaction Sells

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A TYPO


We just found a typo in or new Wolff Equipment Catalog we just sent out. It's on page 13. It says we have 6 Micron Discs for our Hira-To Flat Hone. This is supposed to read 9 Micron Discs. I can't tell you how many times we went over this catalog and still missed this!

Wolff carries 3M Micron Discs. They are aluminum oxide and come in the follow microns:

9 Micron
15 Micron
30 Micron
60 Micron
80 Micron

All are available in either PSA or Hook and Loop. Pricing is as follows:

1 - 11 Discs - any assortment - $1.58 each
12 or more Discs - any assortment - $1.16
Bulk Pack (25 of same disc) - .95 cents each

You can see the part numbers in the picture above (click on the picture to enlarge it). If you would like bulk pricing, just add a - PK to the end of the part number. If you have any questions, or would like to place an order, give Wolff a call at 800-888-3832.

Monday, March 3, 2008

NEW TWIST ON MOBILE SCISSORS


Here's something your customers can do with all their old shears. I wouldn't suggest hanging it over a child's crib though! Click here to see. What can I say? It's different.

Image: Success from the Nest