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Framers Select

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by FrameMakers, Jul 29, 2002.

  1. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    I have recently joined framers select. Today I recieved my care package from them. In the box was about 20 suckers [​IMG]

    What kind of message is this Jay?

    Are those of us that plopped down our dollars a bunch of suckers? :D

    Whachatink
     
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  2. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I dunno, it looks to me like you should feel like a kid in a candy store! [​IMG]

    Betty
     
  3. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    AH, FramerSelect much like Tootsie Roll Pop. Immediate gratification with benefits of membership, and something better for those with patience.
    Jay's just checking to see who can avoid biting to get to center. :D
     
  4. Jeff Grabowski

    Jeff Grabowski Grumbler

    Hi Dave,

    What you got were about 20 of one of the best examples of "Branding". Tootsie-Roll Tootsie Pops are far different than suckers.

    They're the BEST!!!

    Tootsie Pops are a favorite here at FramerSelect and we share them with all our members. It's to help remind us not to take ourselves too seriously and to have fun at what we are doing.

    On the other hand, to remind us that we are serious about our business and yours, we've included a few other things.

    You should have found these items in the first two shipments of your Start-Up Kit;

    </font>
    • FramerSelect Reference Binder to store issues of our newsletter FrameHead and Recommended Vendor information.
      </font>
    • Past issues of FrameHead.
      </font>
    • FramerSelect Window decals.
      </font>
    • FS Pens.
      </font>
    • FS Calculator.
      </font>
    • FS Ruler.
      </font>
    • FS work apron.
      </font>
    • FS "10 things to know before framing your picture" brochures and brochure holder.
      </font>
    • FS Certificate of Recognition.
      </font>
    • Recommended Vendor materials.
      </font>
    • List of Sales Leads from your trade area.
      </font>
    By the way, how many licks does it take you to reach the center of a Tootsie-Roll Tootsie Pop? :D :D
    Jeff.
     
  5. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Gee whillikers!!! :eek: No one told me they were Toostie-Roll Pops!!! That changes everything! I keep them in the van for long late night drives, they keep me awake.

    As for patience, when I worked for someone else, I used to eat one on the way to work or on the way home everyday. It took exactally 30 minutes, and no, I don't bite until the very end!

    Geez, Toostie-Roll Pops.... this idea is getting better all the time...

    Betty
     
  6. Roxanne Langley

    Roxanne Langley CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Diver Dave,

    Another sweet to entice you is, on all of my moulding shipments from Bella Moulding are Jolly Ranchers taped to the outside of the wrapped moulding. I've actually had people fighting over them here.

    Welcome to the FS group, I've enjoyed it and know that you will also. :D

    Roxanne
    Langley House Gallery
    Spring, TX
     
  7. ERIC

    ERIC SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This is a nice touch and it proves a great point - If you do something very simple, when it's unexpected, makes a great impression. Then do it consistantly and you make your mark on the person.

    Don't most of us have a candy dish on the counter? How about dropping one in the bag of a piece the customer is picking up? This just came to me as I read the thread and I'll try it to see how it works. But what I learned from the FramerSelect example is not about candy - it's about making an impression.

    Diver Dave - maybe the message is that success is sweet and when working as a team there is plenty to pass around. So enjoy! and welcome aboard.
     
  8. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    I tried FramerSelect for about six or seven months. I recieved the same package, along with a few mailers to update my FramerSelect binder. I recieved all of that for only $720.00 or $840.00. I could have saved a few hundred dollars by paying around $1,200.00 for an entire year, in advance.

    As far as building my business, nada, zero, nothing. I did not get one referal from FramerSelect.

    They used the same aproach as the Yellow Pages by enquiring," How do you realy know?" You don't know for sure, I usually ask new faces in my store how they found out about us, not one mention of FramerSelect.

    When I joined FrameSelect, I did not expect a huge surge in business, I did expect somthing though, like perhaps one or two referals a month. I didn't even get that. I would still be a member if I had. When I canceled my membership I did not get a huge drop in business, nothing happened at all. My business is growing at the exact same rate as it was before joining. This is, amazingly, much like what happened when I canceled my Yellow Page advertising about twenty years ago. My business continued to grow.

    There might just be something to that "sucker" analogy.

    John
     
  9. FrameMakers

    FrameMakers PFG, Picture Framing God

    John, I agree that tracking how our clients heard about us is very difficult if not impossible.

    I am not counting on recieving many referals from FS but I am hopefull about the number of leeds I will get.

    People who have contacted FS are interested in framing. If interested, then they probably buy framing somewhere. I want that to be at my shop!

    I feel that I need to generate 4 new clients per month from the leeds I recive to make FS worthwhile. If not, I too will drop FS from our marketing plan.
     
  10. Less

    Less SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ok, I'll be the bad guy.

    $1268.75 is a lot of money for a bag of Tootsie Pops,

    a couple of brochures and a list of names from people who send in reader cards that check-off companies that advertise in a magazine that they would like to hear from, and may or may not be interested in framing with me.

    FramersSelect was kind enough to share that they generate very few on-line inquiries, and that all of the names at this time come from the reader cards.

    When I asked a FramerSelect rep. how many names they had from my town and in my direct vicinity, he said, twenty. He did say, that there were about 200 from outside my area, but since this is a regional business, I don’t see how those names would do me any good. The informational brochures they send to my twenty names would have my business on it. The 200 from outside my area may have several other framers listed also.

    Keep in mind that I do business in a fairly well educated, affluent community with a population of approximately 50,000 in the greater region. I would have hoped more than 20 names could have been generated.

    Now, I understand that follow-up from me is imperative, but, assuming a net profit of 30%, you would have to sell approximately $3600 worth of framing in order to just to break even. That means that all twenty people would have to spend $180 with me in one year.

    Sure there is some value in the catchy post cards, but you have to buy those to mail to your own customers.

    I would like to join and help the cause, but I’m not sure that I want to be the first kid on the block to buy a bag of Tootsie Pops for $1268.75.

    Can anyone offer any testimony on the FramerSelect program generating any significant sales for your business?
     
  11. JudyN

    JudyN MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    We are a member of FramerSelect. What framer select gives you is a BIGGER image...think branding here. We are having a grand-reopening in a week or so. I called them and Jeff Graboski helped write a press re-lease for us.... It goes something like- CHICAGO (July 30th 2002) -Framerselect is proud to announce that The Artshoppe of Bozeman, Mt has been recognized as one of the best frameshops in America ............ That alone is worth a bunch to us.
    We NEED something like this in this industry. We need to reach more consumers any way we can.
    As an example... Flower shops have enjoyed the FTD branding for years. Most of you are aware of FTD??........think about it

    Judy Nansel CPF
    Artshoppe
    Bozeman, Mt
     
  12. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Not sure what cause that is, Less. FramerSelect is a program to help your bottom line and - presumably - Jay's. It's not a charity and I don't believe Jay is out to sign on 20,000 shops.

    I'm a few hours away from signing up for FramerSelect. If you think $30/year is a leap-of-faith to support FACTS, I can tell you that $120/month is a chunk of change for me. I intend to throw everything I can into the program for 12 months and then evaluate the results.

    Actually, as I was typing this, Mitch called from FramerSelect and I told him I'd be faxing in my application today.
     
  13. Elaine

    Elaine SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm with JRB. Money out, suckers in! Whoops, I mean Tootsie Roll Pops!! :D

    Just wasn't for me.
     
  14. Less

    Less SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ron,

    I don’t believe Jay’s out to sign up 20,000 framers either.

    "the cause" in my mind is my bottom line, your bottom line, Jay's bottom line and better industry awareness like the type FramerSelect is providing.

    I believe FramerSelect said they have 80 members and they feel that they will soon have 200, which is their goal for profitability. So, evidently they don’t need many shops to participate. Their marketing efforts will benefit everyone. I would guess the more members the more effective they can be.

    I joined FrameyourArt.com on a leap-of-faith, and I also put my money in the stock market. At least I have half-dozen Giclee European posters I can sell.

    I simply would like to hear from others who leaped first this time, before I do.

    Please keep us posted on your experiences.

    In my opinion, $30 to support FACTS efforts is worthwhile.
     
  15. The King

    The King SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I'm pretty new to FramerSelect - I signed up about an hour ago after hearing about Tootsie Roll Pops - but I already have an opinion.

    Maybe it's like the PPFA (as well as FACTS, college, life, marriage, business and just about eveything else.) The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.

    When I said I intend to throw everything into it for 12 months, I meant I would make a commitment to use whatever tools they make available. I'd follow up on leads, I'd send out mailers, I'd make phone calls, I'd talk to other members about what works for them, I'd call and ask Jay and his staff for help, I'd visit the bulletin board often (that will be tough for me,) I'd use the web page, I'd include their logo on all my business cards and correspondence.

    And maybe, while he's up in Canada fishing, I can steal a few customers from the other Appleton FramerSelect member. :D

    Just kidding. John and I share a market area of about 200,000. There's plenty for both of us.
     
  16. Jeff Grabowski

    Jeff Grabowski Grumbler

    Hi John,

    Here's a story for you.

    A man wants to lose 20 lbs and get in shape so he joins a gym. He pays his $150 dues each month and at the end of his sixth month, tells the manager of the gym that he wants to cancel his membership. When the manager asks why, he explains that he hasn't lost any weight, he's still in the same shape he was when joining and it's not worth the $150 a month. To that the manager replies, "sir, if you actually went to the gym, exercised and used the equipment, I'm sure you would have lost some weight and be in better shape today".

    FramerSelect is like the gym.

    A person who joins a gym pays a monthly fee to have access a multitude of exercising and fitness equipment, running tracks, swimming pools, whirlpools, steam rooms, saunas, showers, etc. And if it's a really good gym, they probably have little peppermint candies in a dish for when you leave.

    You get the use of the entire facility at a fraction of what it would cost for you to build and purchase each item for your personal home.

    There's a catch. First, have to believe exercise is good for you and second, you have to use the equipment to make it worthwhile.

    We provide tools to help you generate success. Use them and you will see results.

    Hi Less,

    The various numbers you quote for FramerSelect are wrong. Check our website. We have 172 members not 80. As far as becoming profitable, that is a distant point in the future, however, at 200 members we will reach critical mass.

    FramerSelect is a marketing program that differentiates better frame shops from their competitors. To call it a "$1268.75 bag of Tootsie Pops" is either short-sighted or demonstates a lack of understanding of the program and I would suggest, not a program for you. (The program is actually $1320.00 for an entire year if you pay for the year in advance or $120/monthly)

    Get a quote to produce a 20"x9" brochure tri-folded to 6"x9". On 12pt. gloss cover paper stock, spot varnish coating. Include cost to cover the expense of an art director, a copywriter, and a graphic designer. Add the cost of purchasing royalty-free images of models and artwork to be reproduced in the brochure.

    I can assure you that for the same amount of money it would cost you to produce a brochure of this caliber for a single store, you could pay for five years of membership in FramerSelect.

    That is just ONE of the benefits of membership.

    To see a detailed explanation of the various components and benefits of FramerSelect, please see my previous response to you under your own thread "FramerSelect...Good for framers?...Good for Jay?" or Betty's thread, "Educating the Consumer".

    Hi Elaine,

    You were in the program for two months. I feel that is too short of a time frame for you to make qualified comments on the merits of the program.

    FramerSelect is not a program for everyone. As a matter of fact, it only for about 5% of the frame shops in the country. It is a program utilizing the exact same principles and strategies that Jay has used for 24 years to build his business from zero to where it is today. Generating over $6 million of revenue per year from CUSTOM PICTURE FRAMING out of a single location in Chicago.

    By the way, it didn't happen overnight. 24 years. $6 mil. Steady manageable growth.

    If you feel you have a better marketing program to reach better customers, differentiate yourself from your competitors and grow your business, I applaud you.

    If you have any questions, I am happy to speak with you personally as I feel we are recycling old information here.

    Thanks,
    Jeff Grabowski.
     
  17. framegroup

    framegroup Grumbler

    My company has been a member of Framer Select since it started. In keeping with the spirit of this thread, I can assure you that I am not a sucker. I care deeply about sales and profit. Framer Select helps me achieve both.

    We have made sales totaling more than $40,000 because of Framer Select. The largest chunk comes from a corporation that has turned into a great repeat customer.

    This customer found us because the person responsible for framing saw a Framer Select ad in a home magazine. She went to the Framer Select website and searched for framers in several different cities where her company had a framing need. She linked from the Framer Select website to our company website. Our company website created additional credibility and she made an inquiry to us directly through our website.

    We followed up quickly, made the sale, and have since shipped framing to their operations in 3 different states. We would never have met this customer if not for Framer Select.

    I know that not every member has had this level of success yet. For that reason, I would like to say that I would still happily be a member even if I had never made a single sale traceable to Framer Select. I say this for one reason only… it makes economic sense.

    1) Framer Select offers tools and knowledge to help framers brand their stores and to be associated with something larger than themselves. Things as simple as a press release are powerful marketing tools, that when properly used, create results that paid advertising can’t begin to buy. Framer Select provides its members with materials and the instructions they need to build their brand. The work is up to the member.

    2) Framer Select offers members the opportunity to buy top quality advertising materials at a great savings. Have you ever seen a Framer Select consumer brochure? It is beautiful and very smart! Before Framer Select, a framer wanting to produce a brochure like this for their business would have spent more than a year’s dues on the creative work alone and not ended up with something half as professional. That same framer would also have to lay out thousands of dollars to print a relatively small quantity of brochures. With Framer Select, they can conserve cash by buying brochures only in the quantity they need and for a much lower unit price than printing them on their own. We give them out like water.

    3) Ditto the postcards. Framer Select members buy great looking direct mail cards for 3 or 4 cents less per card than they would pay if they printed them on their own. If you mail 30,000 cards each year (which every store should) then you have saved about $1000.00. That defrays most of the annual cost of belonging. The cards are beautiful, they help build your brand, they establish credibility with customers and the ease with which you can acquire them should make you use them more.

    4) Finally, Framer Select offers targeted leads of potential framing consumers. Jay would be the first to admit that no one is going to have to call the police for crowd control each month when the leads get mailed out. However, what is the name and address of a potential framing consumer worth to you? I think it’s worth a ton and we jump all over them.

    As you can tell, we like Framer Select. It is a smart thing for the industry and I hope a great aid to all those who choose to belong.

    As you can tell from some of the responses to this topic, Framer Select is not for everyone. It doesn’t bring instant measurable results and the simple act of joining won’t change your business.

    What Framer Select does do is provide many of the tools and direction that an aggressive and growth oriented business person needs to build their brand and grow their business. If you fully embrace the program it will help take you up a level.
     
  18. Less

    Less SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Jeff,

    I stand corrected on my numbers.

    I was satisfied with your answers on the previous thread, but I felt this thread needed a little balance.

    Don’t get me wrong; I do believe I can benefit from your program. Although I have done a good job on my own promoting my business with direct-mail post cards, high-end local advertising, and very successful press releases, etc., I’m sure I can benefit from your help.

    One thing I have learned is that all the glitz in the world won’t do you any good unless the right people see it. So, for me, the most important benefit I can take from your company is the names of the people in my area who respond to your marketing, so I can use your tools to follow-up. Who am I going to send your cards to; my existing customers? That might help. I’m sure I can use your cards to reach out to new clients on my own, but I need new customers who perceive there being a value to using a FramerSelect framer.

    I am certain that most framers can benefit from your marketing tools and business expertise. That alone may be worth $1320 plus or minus a few Tootsie Pops. :D

    For me, I would like to see the referrals alone would cover the cost.

    I would like to hear from other framers who have had success with your program. I will also contact other participants before I make what I hope will be an informed decision.

    All the best

    Marc,
    Thanks for sharing your perspective and experience to date.
     
  19. B. Newman

    B. Newman SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Less, I am on the mailing list of a FramerSelect member (reciprocal mailings for evaluation purposes) and a postcard mailer I got from him the other day (which by the way it was written, I'm sure it went to all his customer list) was so impressive that I actually said "WOW!" when I saw it. I'm not often impressed with mailers that I see, but this one was spectacular. Now I may be wrong, and he may have designed it himself, but if he did, he spent boocoos of money on it.

    So yeah, unless I'm really mistaken, you use them for everybody.

    Betty
     
  20. JRB

    JRB PFG, Picture Framing God

    What Elain is going to say, except I tried it for much longer.

    John
     
  21. Elaine

    Elaine SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I apologize for the tongue & Cheek comment on the Tootsie-Pops - I can see that there is still sensitivity in regards to Framers Select.

    I was in From December - February and felt that was long enough to evaluate my stance on FS. It was not for me at the time. It might be in the future, just not right now. I am currently plowing my money & efforts into opening a second location. I do not say that my marketing ideas/plans are better than FS, my marketing is what works for me. During my membership, I did not see any of the marketing items promised, and had to make the decision about continuing. I applaud the effort of FS, I hope it works.

    You are right, this is old news, and I am not going to continue to defend my position nor should you at FS continue to defend yourselves against every opinion on the board. Your program will not be for everyone. This page is turned as far as I'm concerned!

    Just because I am not a member of FS does not mean that I do not qualify as "one of the best frameshops in America.

    my 2 cents with no rebuttal!! We all need to lighten up!

    Elaine

    :D
     
  22. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    I have been an enthusiastic member and supporter since the inception of the program. (And I don't think I am a sucker). Have you noticed how many leaders (and successful businesspeople) are also members? And I don't think they are suckers either (Bob Carter, John Ranes, Marc Bluestone and others). And, we are NOT made of money. We see value in the program that transcends immediate "walk in" traffic and understand that to be successful in business this is one part of an effective MARKETING campaign.

    To those who dropped out or those considering joining, please ask yourself these questions? To be successful in Framers Select you cannot be PASSIVE! If you are not willing to use the tools and benefits, you will not be happy.

    1. Have you taken advantage of the additional wording you can add to your listing on the Framers Select website? I am surprised at how many members do not list additional information about their businesses other than a name and address and maybe their hours. What motivation does someone who is looking for a framer have to choose YOU?

    2. Have you added a photo of your business or something distinctive and different to look at? The Web is a visual, dynamic medium and you need to promote your business as best as possible.

    3. Do you have a website to link to? If not, for only $40 per month (including design and hosting,) you can have a great website that will list all of your capabilities and allow you to update the site yourself with photos/information about recent projects. E-mail me and I will tell you about a great company that does this and their sites are excellent.

    4. If you have joined and expect that just because you pay your monthly fee, people will begin walking through your door I believe you will not be happy with the program.

    On the other hand, if you take the leads that are furnished each month and market to the people in your territory, you will increase your success rate. Add these names to your mailing list and market to them on a regular basis. They have indicated that they have an interest in art/framing. It is up to YOU to interest them in your business. They might not come in immediately, but if your marketing materials are professional in presentation, and sent on a regular basis, you will increase the odds of winning the customer.

    Just sending a mailer out once and then saying "it didn't work" is unreasonable. You need to market to your client base regularly and Framers Select can provide marketing materials and ideas

    5. Have you bought and USED any of the postcards? They cost about 6 cents each for an oversized four color postcard and they look great! We just did a 7,000 piece mailing to our customer list (after cleaning it up and doing other things that I learned at a San Diego Chapter PPFA meeting). We received a response within 24 hours and continue to have clients coming in DAILY with the cards.

    6. Have you sent out a press release that your business have been selected as one of the Best Frame shops in America?

    7. Do you read the newsletter? Have you implemented some of Jay's ideas? Have you made a note of some of the members and looked at what they are doing with their businesses? Have you visited them or made plans to?

    8. Do you attend trade shows? The Framer Select meetings at the shows? Given input to Jeff and his staff to make the program better? Attended a Framers Select reception to meet fellow members and network? I am always looking for framers to refer clients to when they move to another city/part of the country. I am much more comfortable referring them to someone I know.

    9. Are you using the 10 things brochure on your counter to reinforce your credibility with new customers?

    10. Is the window decal on your front window?

    11. Have you done a dynamic "inspired design" framing job on your membership certificate? Is it on display where CUSTOMERS can see it?

    12. Have you incorporated the Framers Select logo in your advertising and on your vehicles? On your business cards? Have you added the line, "One of the best frame shops in America" on your advertising or business cards?

    13. Does your staff know you are a member and what it means?

    etc, etc, etc. Any other members have ideas I have not listed? Please share!

    To those who have dropped out, be honest and respond, have you done any of these things?

    Rob Markoff, CPF
    San Diego, CA
    rmarkoff@cts.com
     
  23. Marc Lizer

    Marc Lizer SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Moved to bussines to be with it's homeies.
     
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