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selling insurance

updated mon 7 aug 06


clennell on sun 6 aug 06

Sour Cherry Pottery

> just like
> selling insurance, your first customers are friends and neighbors.
> it expands from there. i have made a lifetime of selling from
> my home. very bad early experiences with galleries and consignment
> turned me away from that. i took control of my own life. art
> fairs became a hate issue with me. so, i did not do them.
> i found a way, that fits me. and that is the only way anyone
> can work. if it does not fit, find another way. i can't make pots
> every day. i have tons of other things to do in my life. but,
> i always go back to pots...always have.
> i have worked my pottery as a `side bar` to my teaching.
> but, i make almost a thousand pots a year, and sell them all.
> it is much more than profit. it is a big profit. it has served my
> family well for now 50 years. i am blessed to have insurance,
> a great pension and good savings. it gives me a sense of
> freedom.
> i have always tried my best to support those that make
> clay their full time job. i want clayart to understand what
> a great sacrifice it takes to be a full timer. we have given
> a huge platform to a few great potters, that work very hard
> to make a living. in many cases, we have boosted careers.
> we will continue to do that. i hope they find value in
> what we do.
> mel

Mel: I do appreciate you and what Clayart has done for my career. The fact
that my views often contrast yours shouldn't surprise anyone. It's "The
Wheel of Retailing". I am further along on it- being a full service pottery.
When I sit down to write for Clayart I don't see 3000 people that sell under
$1000 as my listening audience. I see probably less than 30 people that I am
The insurance salesperson you gave is a good analogy. The attrition rates at
insurance companies are HUGE. They hire people to go sell insurance to their
friends, neighbours and relatives--------then the job gets hard. Most of
these people couldn't sell bread to a starving man but their neighbours are
easy prey. The insurance companies know this. Same with pots! Selling to the
first 3 is easy then the going gets tuff and the tuff get going. I'm
addressing those that have already filled their relatives pottery wish
Remember there are also many on this list that do make a sizeable amount of
their family income from pottery.
Here is one last marketing tip for the 30 I write for. Make bowls- wall
bowls. Let them hang on the wall. I don't have one left in the showroom.
People have been all over them like a fat kid on a Smartie.
All the best- Mel.

Tony and Sheila Clennell
Sour Cherry Pottery
4545 King Street
Beamsville, Ontario