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dope ring/selling pots/long

updated wed 25 jun 08


mel jacobson on wed 28 may 08

there was an article years back by the guy who
sold more ford cars than anyone in america. hundreds a month.

he had some tips...i took them all to heart.

he said:
go to any dealership in america and you will find a `dope
ring`. that would be the car salesmen, talking to each other.
not paying any attention to customers. dopes for salesmen.

he said:
never talk to other sales people or employees during business hours.
they do not buy cars. talk to everyone that walks in the door.
beat everyone else to that customer...other sales people will
not like that....`who cares, they don't buy cars from me.`
he sends a birthday card to everyone that buys a car...every year.
his wife calls every buyer a week after they get the car and asks...
`how is your car, do you really like it?`

he calls them all a year after they get the car, `how do you
like the car, come back to me, or have others call me if they
want a car.` he does that when the show room is empty.
he does not just sit there and watch out the window. call
customers...just say hi if nothing else.

when i have a sale, i shake hands with everyone that comes on
my deck...if i do not know them, i introduce myself...tell them
to make themselves at home...prices are on the bottom...let
me know if you have questions or want anything. i leave them
alone for a bit, then ask them if they want to see the kiln.
i do a demo with m board and a bernzomatic love
that one.

i take all the money...give them a mug if they are new or pay
with cash, like a hundred dollar bill. always treat the big
buyers with a small gift pot. (sometimes i sneak it into the bag.
they often call and say...`my bag of pots had a baby.`)

if i would be at a fair, i would be out in the walking space, say
`hi, any questions about real hand made pots`?. invite people in
to the booth. i would never read, talk on a cell phone...i would
be out there talking to potential customers.

i have seen it all:
breast nursing babies, the potter taking care of a baby, not the customer.
people napping
people reading, ignoring customers.
and then they say...`no one buys my pots`.
FOLKS TO BUY THEM. IT IS A MIND SET. if you are shy, don't
want to sell, you have just lost 40 percent of your sales.
get over it.

a good buddy of mine/car guy and me went to a series of dealers
to test this `dope ring` theory...i had clay all over my pants and shirt,
he had on greasy dirty clothes...we could buy any car in the place/cash.
we went to four dealers. no one talked to us, no one said.
`hi guys, want to buy a car?` no one even looked at us.
we then walked up to the sales manager and said.
`we can both buy cars cash, but no one wants to sell us one`.
you should have seen them hopping.
we just walked out.

it is one of those lessons in life. how do you sell,
how do you deal with you wait, or
approach? do you sell, or wait for people to buy?

this last sale was a great lesson for me. joined a group.
did joint adverts. had a batch of new people on my deck.
sold a ton.
i made a great many 25-30 dollar bowls. made small/two cup
teapots...45 bucks. sold 12. sold over a hundred bowls.
many bought three. it was bargain day. many will be back.
i was a whirrrling dervish. selling. on the saturday i did not
even get lunch...stood/worked there for nine hours. was tired, but
had a great time. it was like nine hours of teaching pots...tired
but feelin great. something is happening.

it reminds me of the time i had to go to a wedding, harvard club,
boston. fancy as can be. big names, fancy names. so...i thought
how do i introduce myself? ` a dirt potter from minneapolis`?
so, i told people i was a `Book Reviewer for the New York Times`....
really? you are? really? then i would say...`well, i don't work
for them, i read books and review them...tell the Times i did not
like the book....` my god people laughed, hooted. sharlene and i
got three invites for weekends at ocean homes. but, rather than
be shy...say nothing...i had fun...and so did they.

i go to garage sales in the neighborhood...pass out my card
to people that live a few blocks from me, and do not know
i have an art studio...they show up. they think it is a hoot that
i invite them to buy pots. selling...selling.
i never stop.
i meet people, and get their address if they want to
come see pots. i never say...`call or stop`. they won't.
i invite them/send a card.
and, listen to chris campbell, she knows how to do things

from minnetonka:
clayart site:

Kim Hohlmayer on tue 24 jun 08

Hi Mel,
Your story of going to the various car dealers really struck a note. I was out running errands one of which was to find a nice sleeper sofa. Not as costly as a car but we all know that to a furniture store salesman it is a valuable commission item. Before I got to the furniture store I had to pick up some mulch at a garden center so I was not dressed as cleanly as I had been when I left home.
I actually had to hunt down a sales person and when I found one he really didn't even want to give me the time of day let alone look up the info on a sleeper sofa for me. I had more than enough to buy any sofa in their fine and fancy establishment. He never even realized he shot himself in the foot on that one.
This was a big expensive furniture store in Columbus, OH. My hubby and I were in Troy, OH a little while later and found just what we wanted in a small family-run furniture store where even though we looked worse than I did the day in Columbus the sales people were there to help the minute we walked in. We still have that sofa many years later.
It is said that the famous and wealthy Bing Crosby ran around in nasty old clothes and without his toupee. We should never ever judge a potential buyer by their exterior. I won't ramble on but even when I am not trying to sell something I try to talk to the inside of a person not the outside. --Kim H.