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Business and Marketing Tip of the Week

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

  1. taxi_grl_ga

    taxi_grl_ga Active Member

    "what the thinker thinks, the prover proves" to quote the smartest man i know.....i'll work towards applying that principle to my professional life and take my own attitude into account next time. i completely see what you're saying. I won't be able to make it to the next seminar you're having but i'll definately be in the audience in the future!
  2. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    I'm not trying to place blame, but unless you're working in a halter top and bikini bottoms, most women shouldn't have a problem with a woman taxidermist. It's either not the truth, or something else that you're doing is not converting them into clients. Guaranteed though - if you're on edge, they will be on edge.

  3. taxi_grl_ga

    taxi_grl_ga Active Member

    i'm not a liar if that's what you're inferring? my typical attire is jeans and a t-shirt, a bikini just isn't practical with sharp objects around the shop and chemicals that burn the skin...neither are FMPs, sneakers for me! It's not that i don't get the clients, i do. This stems from an incident that happened when i first started accepting customers. I called the client to let him know his trophy was ready for pickup and his wife answered the phone. Before I could even identify myself she cussed me like a dog, accused me of sleeping with her husband, and slammed down the phone. He came by the next day and apologized for her behavior when he took his mount but to this day i have no idea why she went off the handle like that. I saw the man twice during the whole ordeal, once for dropoff and once for pickup. she had no reason to act that way. I'm actually VERY careful about my appearance and language around customers because i DO NOT want a repeat performance. it's not every wife that's like that to me, i don't think i made that clear. some of them come in and are very personable, the meeting is extremely productive...but then some that come in act completely removed from the process, they don't conversate except to relay pertinent information and it's obvious they aren't thrilled to be there. I want to reduce the number of the latter, i WANT women to be comfortable in my shop! i AM a woman, and i have a female apprentice...why would i not want them there? lol that's just silly. I guess i was looking for tips on how to put the edgy ones at ease, i'm not very good at doing that yet. It's probably something I should have waited to present to you in person at a seminar rather than trying to do it online.
  4. mimes

    mimes Member

    In my experience.....ALL women are edgy/have a screw loose.....just some worse than others! And yes, that includes my mom, wife, aunts,.........its the TRUTH! LOL The man of the household no longer exists in today's society. Think about it. THAT is where u hear all of this crap about "that thing is not going in MY house!"
  5. I would think the women are on edge or whatever they are because it is not a business that most women have any interest in. I think this is along the lines of what Christie was talking about in her first post on the subject. We could all benefit from making the wife more comfortable in the shop. Take a look at MP's photos of his new showroom. It is an inviting place and is not just a room packed with as many mounts as he can fit into it. Yeah the guys like to see all those mounts, but if that same guy's wife walks into a room that is jam packed with animals, she is thinking "there is no way my living room is going to look like this".
  6. taxi_grl_ga

    taxi_grl_ga Active Member

    All of this happened before I had my own name. The taxidermist I was working for part time a couple of years ago was going out of business. He sold me his client list and allowed me to conduct business in his shop as manager until he finally closed his doors. Once i started working out of my own home, I used my house as my showroom specifically so clients could see how the mounts could be used in conjunction with their other decor. my workspace was in a completely separate area that i did not allow customers access to. too many sharps around and the space was small and would clutter up quickly....i didn't want to appear disorganized and i didn't want anybody having an accident, so i just left the door closed and blamed it on insurance. disallowing access to the work area hasn't ever been a bone of contention with anyone.
  7. When women come to my shop they usually say "I wanted him to bring it to you because women have a better eye for detail" OR "I didn't know women could stuff animals! You're so cute are you an Indian?" Usually to me it seems like the wife is the one calling around checking prices and websites, and helping choose the pose. I have an easier time talking to the wife/girlfriend/female customer than with the dudes. Maybe I am just lucky, or it could be that I am a fatty fat knuckle dragger :eek: ;D
  8. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    Definitely not calling you a liar! And, for sure the comment about the bikini was meant to be ridiculous. Sometimes we do get what we fear, or what we focus on. As a quick question, when you do have a standoffish woman, who is normally doing the talking?
  9. taxi_grl_ga

    taxi_grl_ga Active Member

    haha codi, i didn't mean it like THAT, i meant it as in people aren't used to seeing feminine (maybe that's a better word that knuckle dragger lol) women working in fields that are predominately male. like truck drivers. when you think of female and you think of truck driver....maybe it's just me, but my mind doesn't conjure up a pretty picture right off the bat. i wasn't insinuating that my female counterparts in this industry aren't attractive....it's just generally expected that we're not i think.

    usually they come in the door, i introduce myself, and ask them what brought them to my shop. at that point the husband usually starts gushing about his hunting story and telling me all about the trophy he's bringing in. when the husband starts talking i usually get one of two reactions from the wife. A: she becomes engaged in the conversation, maybe walks around and looks a little, starts asking questions, and she's usually the first one to bring up poses and prices. or B: as soon as he starts talking her posture changes, crosses her arms across her chest, or loses interest and starts playing with a phone, goes to the restroom, or works her way around the place before heading out to the car to wait. the latter of the two are the ones that seem to have a very defensive manner about them. it's almost like they were drug in there by their hair and now they're insulted to be standing face to face with a female instead if a male. sometimes they take on that attitude immediately upon shaking my hand, and others seem to develop it halfway through the hunting story i'm sure they've heard a million times already. It's difficult for me to turn it around for them and make it positive when i feel like they're completely shutting me out. So to answer for who's usually doing the talking, it's usually him. then when he's finished and wants to get down to details the convo usually turns to the wife. On the other scale, it's mostly he and i talking and he's usually rushing to get out of there as quickly as possible....with that there's almost always a back and forth over the phone later regarding pose or price or various other things...i assume it's because she WAS litening and just not sharing her opinion...until they got home lol. i want to prevent that but i dont' know how to put her at ease without calling her out. it's a skill i just haven't matured enough as a business owner to master yet maybe? it's GOT to be something i can work on.
  10. I used to sell major appliances and TV's. I knew who the decision maker was. The husband was there because he wanted to buy a big/gigantic TV. I knew to engage the wife in the sale first. I would usually say something to the effect that I was really glad she was there, (we get less returns that way). That women have a much better eye as to what fits and works for the decor of their home. Ask her lots of questions. In taxidermy I would engage the wife similarly and provide her with a photo album and/or catalog and let her do what she does best before you engage the husband with the tale of the hunt. While some women certainly hunt most don't. They have already heard his story dozens if not hundreds of times. It is up to us as salespeople to engage everyone concerned, and give them the feeling of importance that they deserve. If they bring children do not ignore them either. If you do this I can almost guarantee you will sell more habitat, sell more panels, sell more pedestals etc. The last thing they care about/want is another ordinary cut off head or dead fish on their wall. But most dearly love decorating and furniture.
    In the TV biz 9 times out of 10 Dad got his bigscreen, Mom was happy, I got paid. I will try the same with taxidermy.
  11. Damage

    Damage Pull the wool over your own eyes!

    We have a silver dapple miniature dachshund who is also an AKC Canine Good Citizen AND a trained therapy dog. Bring on the kids!!!!!!

    And thanks for that insight. It's so simple but probably often overlooked. I'll probably be assisting our potential customers as much as Taxi Grl since she'll also have to be doing the mounting. =)
  12. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    That is a really good example. One of the questions I like to ask is "Where are you going to put this?". If you can get some idea of the space that they're talking about you can help make suggestions. I know it sounds awkward, but if the wife isn't talking, you have to figure out some way to get them into the conversation. If you see her eyes glass over at a story, sometimes even a lighthearted "heard this story once or twice?" will bring her back into it.

    The other suggestion that I would make is to research personality profiles a little bit. It's something we go over in class and it really helps you determine the type of person you're dealing with, and what is going to best resonate with them. The DISC profile is the one I'm most familiar with, but anything that gets you insight into someones motivation helps.

    Again, engaging the decision maker is the key. Ask open ended questions like "What did you have in mind?", "Where are you going to put this?", "Are you looking for something basic, or a little more unique?", "What mounts do you already have/ what are they like/ what do you like or not like about them?" are all good examples. What's important to both of them, and how can you incorporate it?

    Also, what are her hidden fears? Cleaning it? Bugs? Kids and pets? Smell? Space? Take away those fears, and make sure that both wants and needs are incorporated, and offer options, and she'll never allow him to go anywhere else.
  13. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    Week 7: What did you say?

    Communication. You've been doing it your whole life. When you were little you learned to talk, when you went to school you learned to read and write. Telephone, handwritten letters, in person, and now with the internet! Email, blogs, video, forums, posts, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In.... it's almost too easy. You think the words, type them up, and everyone can know what you're thinking. Until someone misunderstands what you meant.

    WHAT?!?!?!?!? How could that happen? Didn't they read what you wrote? You certainly didn't stutter! They just need to learn how to read, and then read it again. You were very clear in what you wrote.

    Or not.

    The reality is that the majority of our communication is non-verbal. Studies have shown that the meaning behind your message is determined by things other than your words. Up to 55% of communication is straight body language or facial expression. Another 38% is your tone of voice. That leaves only 7% of the message coming from the actual words you are using.

    So if 93% of communication is lost when you take body language and tone out of it, doesn't it seem to fit that much of what your message would be lost along with it? It's something to keep in mind if you're sending out an email or a text message, or a letter, or a post, or a handwritten note, or postcards, or any kind of print only communication. It's also something to keep in mind if you're the person reading it.

    P.S. Want to increase your chances of getting your message across in important situations? Pick up the phone.
  14. Jim Kimball

    Jim Kimball New Member

    I just called Tri-State Taxidermy this morning and guess what ???? No one picked up the phone !!!! SMACK
  15. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    I'll have a chat with the owner...
  16. nate

    nate Active Member

    Christie, thank you so much for starting this thread and GIVING us all this info! I look forward to the new tips and whatever everyone has to say each and every week. I think its my new favorite thread!
  17. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    Jim, I checked when I got home - there was an alternate number to contact us, and specific instructions for leaving a message. Since I'm the one that records the greeting, I know it was done right. No message, no other phone call. Love ya, SMACK!

    To the rest of you, make sure you have 1. An alternate number and 2. Specific instructions for leaving a message on your outgoing message. If someone chooses not to leave a message, there's nothing you can do about it. However, as you can see, if they're really determined to get in touch, they'll find a way.
  18. gab

    gab Active Member

    emails,answering machines,fliers are all great ways to communicate,but if they don't have a professional feel to them they can do more harm than good.proper spelling and grammar,professional photography and artwork can all go a long way to promote your business.
  19. Galen

    Galen 218-263-7177 www.EdgewaterTaxidermy.com

    AS far as the extra Number,, My land line will roll over to my Cell phone and people can leave a message and if they don’t I can see caller ID sometimes and will call back. I love it this way , all my calls get to me if I am in town or where ever. OR even out Fishing as was the case three years ago on a Sunday Night Or even on a trip , I was in New York City and took a call on a Fawn that another taxidermist wanted to get Freeze dried.

    I was in little China Town at the time looking at all the fresh Walleye and Crappie they had on the street corner as well as the Dead chickens and ducks hanging in the window. What a wild town New York is.

    ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
  20. Christie

    Christie Instructor, Consultant & Speaker

    Week 8: Greetings!

    Have you ever answered the phone and had a moment of silence followed by "I'm sorry, is this ABC Taxidermy"? Answering your phone with a little something more than "hello" or your business name not only allows the caller to get their bearings , but it also sets the tone for your business. The more professional you are, the more professionally you'll be treated.