Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Let's start with Lego

The O'Donnell Clan recently had an issue with the Lego Company. My youngest son Aidan purchased an Indiana Jones Set with some of his birthday money, but when he got home he found an Annakin Skywalker head in the kit instead of Indy's. Needless to say, he was quite upset. So Tisha got on the phone with Lego and explained the situation. Here is how she related the story to me while I was in Canada (for the full story click here):

Well, I'm going to make a very long story short by saying first of all I can just imagine how insane this all sounds coming from a thirty six year old women. Now imagine the way I had to explain this to the very nice customer representative from the Lego company. I had to pinch myself a few times during our conversation. While other sensible people my age are solving the worlds problems I am saying,"No, Annikan has a scar on his face and has blue eyes, and Indiana has a beard and dark eyes. Yes, I have the part number."

I'm happy to say that Indy's head came in today with a very nice letter. Just click on the picture of the letter to enlarge it. The short of it was they apologized for disappointing us and stated that establishing the highest level of trust in the Lego brand is one of their most important goals. My wife and I were impressed with the speed and concern they showed while solving our problem. That's why I'm excited to brag to you about the Lego Company.

Now the Parking

I wrote what I wrote above to contrast one of Seth Godin's* recent posts about a problem he had with a parking garage in New York. This is what he said:

Two weeks ago, I left my car at (an expensive) parking garage in midtown New York. When I got back four hours later, I discovered that they had left the engine running the entire time. That, combined with the $30 fee and the nasty attitude of the attendant led me to write a letter to the management company.

The response: it was my fault. When I dropped off the car, I should have taught the attendant how to turn off my Prius.

What’s the point of a letter like that? Why bother taking the time? It’s not even worth the stamp. Does the writer expect me to say, “Oh, great point! Sorry to have bothered you. I’m an idiot! In fact, I'm so stupid, I'll go out of my way to park there again next time...”

From there Seth went on to offer some excellent advice on how businesses should respond to "opportunities" like this and I invite you to his blog to see what he wrote, just click here. But I'd like to make a point. One company saw an opportunity to make a good impression, and I wrote about it. The other company could only see a problem, and Seth wrote about that. My question for you is, what are people saying about your company? How do you handle situations like this? Do view them as opportunities or problems? How you handle customer complaints will make or break your reputation. Choose your view carefully.

A sharpener friend of mine once told me, "The most important thing you can do in the sharpening business get your customers to trust you. Once you've achieved that, the most important thing you can do is keep that trust. Do whatever it takes to keep that trust!" That's good advice for any business.

* Seth Godin is the author of many of my favorite books on marketing. To learn more about how he can help you in your business, visit his blog at http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I've had a few sharpeners ask what we have left of our discontinued line of Ookami® Beauty Shears. We are now sold out on almost all of the models! Here is a run down of what's still in stock as of this past Friday:

Ookami® 300 Series
320 - 1

Ookami® 400 Series
404 - 13
426 - 13
427L - 44

The 300 series shear listed above is 40% off the wholesale price and the 400 series shears are 50% off the wholesale price. If you go online, and you don't have an online account with Wolff, you'll see the full retail price. Call for wholesale pricing or if you have any questions. The number is 1-800-888-3832.

Friday, April 18, 2008


First, we are stocked and ready to go with our new 200 Series Economy Beauty Shears. The 204, 205, 206 and 209 shears now come in 5", 5 1/2" and 6" lengths. All of these will be hot sellers! Order a few and take a look. I'm working on promotional materials now and will have some to show you soon. The links to the individual shears above will let you see what each shear looks like, but I still need to upload the different lengths onto the Wolff Site. I'll have that done next week.

Second, if you haven't been over to me Sharpening Lens to see the dates for the second Wolff/ Huff Show this year click here. The Kansas City Show is almost full. So if you are planning on coming, book your seat right away. You'll find all the info for the Kansas City Show on my Sharpening Lens.

Thanks for putting up with my lack of posts. It's hard to keep up on the road.

PS - The picture in this post makes the knob and finger rest look blue. They are not! They are actually gold colored.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I finally have a few minutes to update everyone. Sorry for it being so quiet around here, but I've been going day and night since I hit town.

The sharpening seminar went well. We had a good number of Dealers sign up that are already involved in Home Hardware's "Home Sharpening Program" or considering it. The program has worked well for the stores so far.

I spent the rest of the time working in the E.D.S.S. Booth demonstrating the Scissor Sharpener and Knife Sharpener.

Rod (on the right) and Dave were a blast! They specialize in selling kitchen equipment and one of the main products they sell to Home Hardware is a beautiful line of Wooden Cutting Boards.

The show I was working is one of Home Hardware's main buying show. They have one in the spring and one in the fall. All the stores are independently owned and the head office really takes care of their Dealers. The dinners and lunches they provided were incredible and they treated everyone to some live entertainment on Sunday night. A country singer named Aaron Lines so I had the chance to hear the songs "Let's get Drunk and Fight" and "It's Cheaper to Keep Her", it was ummm...interesting.

The last day of the show (for me at least) found our group at a pub in a small town where I was introduced to Pig's Tail for the first time. It is amazing the things I will do for Wolff. I was a little worry at first, but it tasted fine and the company was great.

I am now in Buffalo, NY and working for a day with Stephen Toth. I fly home tomorrow. I'll catch up with you soon.

PS - Don't forget to check out the dates for the new Wolff/ Huff Show!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


It's official! The next Wolff/ Huff Show has been scheduled! Click here to find out where and when.

PS - If you're thinking about coming to the Kansas City Show, there are just a few seats left. Be sure to sign up soon.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Boy I can pick 'em! Over 150,000 American passengers with canceled flights and here I am at the airport. At least I'm flying North Western. Now all I have to worry about is their wiring. :)

Signing off. (Maybe for the last time)

Image: kossy

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


I leave for Canada tomorrow to speak at the Home Hardware Show. I plan on keeping everyone up to date on as I go, assuming I can get online.

It's looking like we have a good lead for a west coast show location for the Wolff/ Huff Show. I'll let you know in the next couple of days if it all comes together.

Image: travelstar

Friday, April 4, 2008


As a sharpener, I enjoyed this post about pocket knives on The Art of Manliness. As a man, I enjoy this blog. Take a look around. There are some great posts here.

Image: trvr3307

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Kenchii has just adopted a new MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) Policy. I'm including the full policy with this post, but in case you don't want to read the whole thing, I figured I'd give you the basics.

The MAP Policy is put in place to help protect both distributors and Kenchii's reputation. They are trying to create a level playing field, as far as advertising goes, so that pricing doesn't get dumbed down.

What does this mean to you? It's simple. If you print fliers, have a web site, catalog or advertise Kenchii products in any way to the public, you can't show them discounted more than 10% off list.

What this does not mean. This does not mean you can't sell a Kenchii product for less if you so choose, it only means you can't advertise Kenchii products for less than the minimum advertised price. Get it?

How this helps. This will keep catalog companies, online stores and other discount advertising mediums from dumbing down the profitability of the Kenchii line. Personally, think this is a good policy.

The complete policy is below. I've also included a couple of pictures of the new Grooming Shears Kenchii is offering now (click on the pictures for a better view). To find out more, or to see their full line of Grooming Shears, click here. If you have any questions, feel free to call me or you can call Kenchii at 888-453-6244. When the answering service picks up, hit 1 and #.

Kenchii's MAP Policy
In order to protect our distributors from unfair competition and to protect Kenchii’s reputation for exceptional products, Kenchii has adopted a Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) Policy for all our products. Effective as of April 1, 2008, Kenchii has established a minimum advertised price (“MAP”) on Kenchii products identified on the Kenchii price sheet. The (MAP) pricing is 10% off MSRP and applies only to U.S. dealers and distributors.
The MAP policy shall work under the following guidelines:
1. The MAP for all Kenchii products shall be listed on each Kenchii official wholesale price list. MAP pricing is established by Kenchii for specific Kenchii products and may be adjusted by Kenchii at its sole discretion.
2. The MAP policy applies to all advertisements of Kenchii products in any and all media, including, without limitation, flyers, mailers, magazines, catalogs, mail order catalogs, Internet or similar electronic media, internet banner ads, broadcast emails and third party websites. Internet auctions may not display or have reserve bid or other acceptable prices below the MAP price. The MAP policy is not applicable to any in-store advertising.
3. MAP applies only to advertised prices and does not apply to the price at which the products are actually sold or offered for sale to an individual consumer within the dealer’s retail location or over the telephone. Kenchii dealers and distributors remain free to sell these products at any prices they elect.
4. MAP does not establish maximum advertised prices. All dealers and distributors may offer Kenchii products at any price in excess of the MAP established for such product.
5. Kenchii’s MAP policy does not in any way limit the ability of any dealer to advertise that “they have the lowest prices” or, they “will meet or beat any competitors price”, that consumers should “call for a price” or phrases of similar import as long as the price advertised for the products is not less than MAP.
6. From time to time Kenchii may discontinue certain products or engage in promotions with respect to certain products. In such events, Kenchii reserves the right to modify or suspend the MAP with respect to the affected products at its sole discretion. Such changes shall apply equally to all Kenchii distributors.
7. IMPORTANT: Please recognize the consequences for violating this MAP Policy are significant. Failure to abide by this policy will result in termination of the distributor. Kenchii will not provide prior notice or issue warnings before taking any action under this policy.
8. This MAP policy has been established by Kenchii to help ensure the legacy of Kenchii as a top producer of high performance, high quality, professional beauty and grooming shears and to protect the reputation of its name and products. The MAP policy is also designed to ensure that Kenchii distributors are protected from unfair business practice. Kenchii reserves the right to modify or suspend this MAP policy upon written notice to the dealers and distributors.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


I've started adding the ProLine Shears to the Wolff Web Site. Hop over and take a look:

ProLine Shears

Just click on any of the categories to see the shears. Most have pictures. I'll be adding more as the week goes on. If you have any questions, please give me a call.

I'm on my way over to Greenville for a networking event tonight, I'll post about it tomorrow.