The thought occurred to me this morning that perhaps some ofwhat I impart to small businesses might be of value to my buddies here,particularly to those of you who sell your wares to others and are finecraftsman but not particularly great marketers or salespersons.
We had a discussion in another thread about whether ourfamilies will value our furniture making etc and it was good debate, however,here is the issue I observe in this kind of debate which we tend to forget.
We are all woodworkers in some or other shape or form.
This fact alone puts us in a group that appreciates wood,appreciates all associated with converting wood from one form to another. Don’t matter if its carving, spinny, scroll saw or ahand cut dovetail or even a mortise and tenon joint (which as you well know isnot even able to be seen by an observer of a piece of furniture.)
Keep this fact in mind.
Next consider this, you can go wild on web based marketingtools and social networking but unless the person coming across your site islooking to buy or order/commission a piece of craftsman made furniture all youare doing is serving up content which from my observations for the most partends up being pictures of a piece the craftsman has made. This is great if you arein the entertainment industry and hoping to be spotted for the next realityshow on TV but it’s not in my view going to help sales of furniture from yourshop.
Many here are hunters in hunting terms this is equivalent togoing into the bush armed with some form of weapon and taking on anything thatmoves. Yet we know successful hunters step out there with a very specific plan.Just think about it. There is choice of target, choice of weapon, choice of locationand the list goes on.
So applying some of this logic there is a need to recognizeand target the persons you are looking to sell your wares to. Thinking ofsolving this issue like a woodworker is not going to get to there.
1)Before you sell anything you need to ask yourself what itis you are selling.
The right bait will secure the right species of fish.
2)Ask yourself why someone should buy from you. (tough eh?)
3)Who are these people you expect to buy from you and whatdo you know about them.
You may say duh obviously ….but that’s not what I observewhen I look at the craftsman who have websites to sell their wares.
So lets go back to some basics.
Do you only want to sell to those actually looking to buy?
Think about this if retail sales (which is what you areparticipating in), were left to being only items that people are looking to buybecause of real need, then the general economy would be really small.
The bulk of retail sales today are impulse driven. Theimpulse may take time to manifest itself in the mind of the consumer but it’sstill an impulse or put another way, stimulation of the need and want.
We all know much of the “stuff” we already own and have wereally can get buy without. Example in our house we have enough coffee mugs tohost a football team but it don’t seem to stop SWIMBO from buying more coffeemugs.
So how are YOU creating this desire to purchase your wares?
What is “IT” that would stimulate such desire in theperson/s that you expect to sell your wares to.
Think about some of these points and revisit exactly what you put out there in any form of medium, internet, printed even your business card. How does your communication address these issues? What do you think would happen if you corrected this?
You may be surprised. Spelt with a "s" not a zee.