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Business and Marketing Tip of the Week

Discussion in 'The Taxidermy Industry' started by Christie, Mar 28, 2011.

  1. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    Well, every other category has one, so why not here? :)

    Every person who's called me about classes ends up asking to "pick my brain for just a minute". I thought it would be fun and informative if we had a place here where we could share tricks of the trade from a sales/marketing standpoint. Every week I'll post a tip or theme, and if anyone else has anything to add or questions about it, please feel free to pipe up. (I know this is is shy group... ::))

    THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: "What a Giveaway!"

    I've had several people ask me about booths this week - they have a booth at an upcoming SCI, DU, NWTF, Game Dinner event and they want to know if I have any suggestions. Of course I do! Here's the general rule of thumb: if you don't have anything that you're selling (panels, hides, gum) to make a profit, then the main purpose of the booth is to promote yourself or your company.

    I'm going to tell you something that may be hard to swallow: There's rarely a soul out there that is going to see your booth for the first time, talk to you for 30 seconds and then immediately commit to having all of their custom trophies mounted at your shop from here to the end of time. I know, I know... it's like telling you that there's not a tooth fairy. I'm not saying that it couldn't happen, I've been surprised before, but I do think it's a waste of time to spend $600 or so dollars on a booth (plus all of your time) on that particular dream.

    Okay, so Plan B. The good news is that you can do Plan B while still leaving yourself open to the first scenario. :) Plan B is that you go to an event hoping to promote yourself to the people who are attending that event. The key words that need to be added to that sentence are "for the long term". Again, people don't necessarily sign up for your services at these events. That's not their expectations, so it shouldn't be yours. Okay, so long term promotion - how do you do that? You need to get their contact information and get them to give it to you willingly. How do you do that? You get them to sign up for something. How do you do that? You have A GIVEAWAY.

    The more inticing a giveaway, the more people you will get to sign up. I'd suggest that it be something that they can take home immediately - instant gratification of sorts. That doesn't mean % off your next mount. That doesn't mean "I'll mail it to you". You'd be better off with a $100 gas card, or $100 cash, or a TV, an iPod, or a gift basket, or .... keep going with that mentality. You get people to sign up, you then have a nice list of potential clients that you can market and promote yourself to (correctly and non-annoyingly, of course). A giveaway. Try it. It works.
  2. Paul C

    Paul C New Member

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    Maybe Ken or Rick or Bill can make it a Sticky so it doesn't get lost.

  3. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    It won't get lost. I've got too many people asking the same questions. Maybe if I posted "tanning vs. dp" it would get lost after a lot of back and forth arguing... ;)
  4. A- Fish

    A- Fish Stehling's Taxidermy

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    Good info.

    With any kind of advertising ( including attending trade shows), the key is consistency. A long record of attendance at a show will pay off big.

    Even more important then trying to market your service to sportsmen attending the show is networking with other business that also have booths or attend. This will actually bring in more work in the long run.

    When you do a trade show, you have to SMILE all the time ( even during the most boring hunting stories) and you have to work the crowd. Trade shows are a LOT of work, and are exhausting. :) Have back up with you to take over when you can't take anymore of the fun....
  5. gab

    gab Active Member

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    another way is try to not be new to the organization.be a member,advertise in their publications,donate an item early enough that it makes it into the program and the pre-show literature.
    also you could buy a table at the banquet your first year and make yourself known,and have a booth the next year.one advantage of table over booth is an ability to mingle.
    another option is offer to furnish decorations for free.no booth,but your mounts interspersed all over the hall with your name on it.If you do this make sure your signage is VERY professional.
    When someone approaches your booth,it means they are either new to hunting or to the area or dissatisfied with their current taxidermist.If its the latter,it will either be communication or turnaround,hardly ever quality.be ready to quote and stick to a competitive turnaround and follow up the visit with an email.being able to refer someone to your website is also a very good tool.
    the give away is a great tool,as Christie said.Be sure to get the emcee involved with announcing the winner in the middle of the event,which really gets your name out there.
  6. JE

    JE Well-Known Member

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    Great idea Christie,
    for someone like myself just starting out ( even if a bit late on life !) and trying to drum up business . My biggest problem is lack of communication skills, I am OK once I get to know people, but the thought of having a stall ( booth) and dealing direct with the public is very daunting to me. My existing line of art work work really revolves around word of mouth sales, and I do OK by it, ( part time) and I am hoping the same will follow with my fish, but in these days of real hardship for most people , I need to get the word out to "high end" clients .
    I will follow these threads with interest.
  7. RTF

    RTF Active Member

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    Good topic.
  8. Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    Great ideas! Thank you Christie for doing this! I look forward to learning more.
  9. joeym

    joeym Old Murphey

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    Great information Christie. We do a couple of promotional exhibits each year. My wife hands everyone passing by an ink pen with our name and contact info printed on it, and a business card clipped to the ink pen. We have learned to put these into the hands of the wife, not the husband...because she will keep up with it, and he won't, LOL!!! Our "give-away" is usually a free Camo skull mount, but I like your suggestion about giving away something that can be taken home that day. Also, have an attractive display with something VERY different. People see deer, fish, ducks, bobcats...but they don't see snakes, possums, skunks, gar! A stinkin' rattlesnake will draw more people to a booth than a really nice deer head, I promise! Here is a photo of a setup we had a few weeks ago. Thanks again for the tip!


  10. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    I love hearing variations on what people have done. Somethings work for anybody and anything works for somebody.

    Also, as some of you have already started, feel free to elaborate. In the spirit of keeping things short (or as short as I can), I'm trying to focus in on one small point and then provide explaination for the reasons behind it. I could easily turn this one topic into a full day seminar.

    So, what has been some of your best giveaway items, either given or received? I know I HATE receiving koozies (those foam can covers). I never use them, and throw them out almost immediately, but I LOVE post-it notes.
  11. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    I love koozies and throw away post it notes, LOL.
  12. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    LOL.................. We should just save them and trade. :)
  13. cflwrs

    cflwrs Member

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    This is a great idea Christie and it will be a big help to someone fairly new like me. Thanks for the info.
  14. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    Koozie marketing success :D. If you golf with clients / potential clients koozies are a great handout to keep in your golf bag.
    (sorry I had to post pic, LOL ;)
    Keeping the beverages cold after a long day of bear hunting.
  15. antlerman

    antlerman NTA Life Member #0118

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    That's a pretty rough looking golf team Justin. I sure wouldn't want to slice into their fairway. LOL
  16. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    Week 2: Leave the Right Message

    Many of you have the same phone number for both your home and your shop (or your cell and the shop). If your answering machine or voicemail starts with "You've reached Joe and Tammy Smith and also Smith Taxidermy Studio...", change it. You want your outgoing message to represent your business. Even if it is run out of a small room in the basement or the garage, nobody has to know that from your answering machine. Your friends and family will still leave a message, and your clients and potential clients will think you sound more professional, and will treat you more professionally.
  17. jim tucker

    jim tucker Active Member

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    My business is out of the home. We are so conditioned to answering " Hello, Big Jims's Taxidermy" that it has become a problem if we have to answer the phone anywhere else.
  18. huntin_justin

    huntin_justin Active Member

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    Christie this thead is a great idea. Looking forward to more good information. Thanks for the tips
  19. Justin P.

    Justin P. Active Member

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    Two different lines here. Well I should say the only remaining land line is the busiiness. My wife and I have our own cell phones of course. After 4 rings on the business land line the call is forwarded to my cell. This way if I have run an errand I don't miss calls. Potential clients like to talk to someone and don't seem to leave messages like a regular customer will. Especially when most taxidermy phone lines lead to a machine since most are part time. I always answer "mid state taxidermy, this is Justin."
  20. RDA

    RDA Well-Known Member

    Re: Marketing Tip of the Week

    Very nice thread here! Good info and concept! ;)