I get customers every once in awhile, who want simple mounts like turkey fans, or europeans, they start by asking simple questions like what do you cure it with and so on. Then they start talking about the kits in cabelas, sometimes i think they are just after information so they can do the simple stuff therselves, usually i just let it go in one ear and out the other, but latley i feel like a free information center for do it yourselfers. Just wondering how some of you deal with these people?
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that it takes a lot of time to prep it, if done improperly, it will stink and you will be inviting bugs into your house to feast on it. Followed by, the kits are ok, if you know how to use the materials properly, if not, you will ruin it, I mean go ahead and give it a try, it's up to you, it's your (bird, feet, Boone&Crockett trophy) etc. It usually only takes a few seconds for them to decide one way or the other. I'm not rude, yet I'm not going to waste time and give away information. It would be like going to your mechanic, popping the hood and asking him the steps involved so you can change your alternator yourself, plus where can I get an alternator cheap!
to add to that, a friend of mine owns a garage and sells gas, located at a busy intersection. His money is made in his mechanical work. He has a sign out by his air hose which reads:
The air is free,
my time is not.
How about a sign:
Prices of my work is free,
My knowledge of taxidermy is not.
Don't worry about the elephants, the pissants will carry you away. TELL THEM. That's the mentality I grew up around and I keep telling you, this isn't rocket science. Unlike an auto mechanic, most of our work is just that, WORK. We don't need special tools nor parts breakouts to do this and neither does anyone else. Those people who hunt and fish ARE GOING TO BE INQUISITIVE. Why shouldn't they be? If everyone of those customers bought a kit to do their own work, just how many of them do you think are going to start a taxidermy business? How many of them are going to come back and tell you, "MAN! I had no idea that much crap was involved in doing this."?
Most of you have more work than you can do right now and you're worried about a couple inquisitive customers wanting to know how you do your work. Tell me this. That buddy who's a mechanic. When you take your car to him, don't you ask those same dumassed questions? Sure you do. And it's because you want to know what he's going to do to your car to make it better. Does it keep you from taking your car back to him?
My dumb and stupid customers try to take advantage of me in so many other ways rather than asking questions. The smart ones bring their friends back with them. I try to make all my customers smart.
I ENCOURAGE my customers to do their own European mounts and their own turkey tails and their own deer hoof gunracks. The ONLY reason I touch that crap is as a customer service anyway.
I don't ask him those same dumb ass questions. I can change an alternator, starter, thermostat, etc. I was giving an example of what I would do. Some people want you to tell them how to mount a deer. Now I answer the questions on what kind of tan, eyes, etc. I will use in their mount, if they ask, but most say "I want it posed like this and when will it be done?" I know what I can fix on a car. If it gets more involved, I tell him to fix it and what will it cost. I don't take up an hour of his time asking how to do it and decide whether I will have him fix it, or I will fix it. No, I don't like pissing around with tails, soft tans, feet, rumps (except my wife's) and I could lay out all the directions and materials and say "take it home and give it a try" but I would still spend another hour answering their questions. I like to keep my bullsh*t time with my family and friends, not my moronic customers. Who pissed in your Wheaties, one of us lemming taxidermists?
if they go home and try it for themselves, they will be back for you to do the next one.
I have a customer that did his own skull mount and took it to work. Everyone wanted him to do theirs, he told them "no way". I get them now.
I like the ones that have tried it and found out for themselves what's really involved. They don't *itch about the prices, they understand. BP
There are instructions in those kits that are designed specifically for the kit. If I tell you my way it might ruin the kit. Read and follow those instructions and good luck with the project.Let me know how you made out.
But with your description of your customers, I guess that says it all. And when my mechanic tells me that the head is warped and the valves need to be reseated, I still ASK him why and how and how much. That's exactly the way taxidermists acted back in the '50's and it just chafes me to hear some of you still treating your customers as if your job is some deep dark secret. If my customers get more insistent that I'd like, I refer them to the WASCO website and tell them they can order all that information there. MY customers only make me sick when they don't come to get their mounts.
get that inquisitive with my mechanic but if I ask a question he answers it.
These are the kind of customers that are looking to save a buck. If you are charging 500.00 for a deer head who cares if they want to do their own tail. As long as they bring you their deer heads. Quote them your price then refer them to the Taxidermy. Net, if they express the desire to try it themselves. I'm sure George will direct them to the orange search button, lol. Sorry George, I couldn't resist! They might just be plain curious, as this profession really seems to peak some people's interest. Explain that you could tell them step by step how to do the mount but your time is valuable and in this profession time is money. Offer them a class at twice the cost of the tail mount. That would pretty much solve the issue for you. I like the idea of the sign but some might take offense to it.
It is best to keep customers out of the shop! Do your talking in your showroom setting and a lot of those questions won't even be thought of. There is something about seeing mannikins, antlers, glass eyes, work in progress, that sets people's minds to wondering how it is all accomplished. You can't blame them for that.
Will cure them.A lot of the guys that bring me hides to tan are hunters. Most of them can't even skin thier kill.I feel free to tell them what needs to be done to get a tanned hide.In most all cases they mess them up when they feel its a snap.IT would take along time for me to have to worry about what they would learn or do to hurt what i do.ITS all work and i don't see much of that in these people.
I showed a "friend" how to do some antler repairs, and how to mount on plaques etc. Next thing I know he is doing them for people and charging them! And his brother called me once and said he knew someone that wanted some elk sheds repaired and restained. I told him $150 and he told me he would just have his brother do it for free! Needless to say I don't show people squat anymore, not even what kind of stain I use.
Send the people to us! WWW.ABCustomTaxidermy.com
I always direct our customers to our website and I inform them that we would be glad to teach them some basic taxidermy techniques for a few hundred dollars. You would be surprized of the amount of EXTRA money we have picked up with the simple stuff. Antler mounts,gun racks, turkey tails, basic tanning techniques, etc....
Hell, it paid for a custom 375 Remington Ultra Magnum for me this year alone!
I was referring to your customers, instead of dumb and stupid, I used moronic. No, it's not a deep dark secret, but I'm not going to spend half the day explaining to them how to do a turkey tail. If it involves a few of my close friends, I don't have a problem explaining things to them and burning a couple of hours. I really don't like messing with hides, feet, tails, etc. I went out, did my homework, and learned on my own. No one led me by the hand and said "this is how you do it." My lively hood doesn't depend on taxidermy, although the extra money is nice. If your ass is chafed I would recommend, Bag Balm or Udder Cream.