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Opinions Wanted How to get existing customers to buy framing more often?

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by FramerInTraining, Dec 30, 2018.

  1. FramerInTraining

    FramerInTraining MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    What works best to get existing customers to visit the frame shop more often and to buy more custom framing throughout the year?
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  2. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    In my area, window signs indicating a sale of some kind, and a presence in the weeklies.

    Maintaining a visibility.
  3. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Sneak into their house when they are sleeping and break all of their frames.

    An even better way is to do thevery best job you can on anything they bring in and they'll be back.

    MY personal opinion about sales is that they only bring in people who would get framing done only when there is a sale, in which case they end up NOT being loyal existing customers.

    If you want, you can always give them a bit of a discount while they are in the store as it makes it look like they are special to you. THAT is how you develop loyalty.
    Excellent service and an occasional reward for their loyalty.
    Ylva, neilframer and Al B like this.
  4. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Do a good job and charge a fair price and they'll come back. They might even send their friends. :D
    alacrity8 and i-FRAMER like this.
  5. FramerInTraining

    FramerInTraining MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Seems the average customers needs custom framing once every three years. How do you get them to need it every 18 months?
  6. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Essentially, you can't. But you can get more customers. ;)
    David Waldmann likes this.
  7. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I don't know about "average customer" timing but I have some customers that visit me every 2 months with a project, and they spend a lot of money each time. Other customers visit a few times per year. Others have a lot all at once.

    I don't run sales. Ever. And I have 3 BB's within a 5 minute drive of my shop.
    shayla likes this.
  8. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Customers don't buy on your schedule. They buy when they have a need. Nothing short of extreme sales will change that.

    I have a lot of repeat buyers; maybe 20-25% of all sales. I don't have sales, I don't pester them, I don't send emails or coupons. I just sit back and wait for them to return. And they do.

    Maybe serving them well, providing good frames and good customer service has something to do with that.
    Joe B likes this.
  9. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Quite a bit of our business comes from regulars who give framed art as gifts. This is one way that someone with a house full of art can still keep framing.
  10. i-FRAMER

    i-FRAMER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    We have regular customers who come in after purchasing from exhibitions. So partnering with galleries is good. We do framing for all the major galleries in Cairns and they always send new customers our way.
    We have also found an email campaign helps remind customers about that artwork they were going to get framed. We only send 2-3 email campaigns out a year. Our unsubscribe rate is very low - less then 1 %. If partnered with galleries you could also help promote their exhibitions as well through your own email campaigns.
    Other then that exisiting customers do return when they have something to frame and i don't think you can force it on them. You could give them a voucher for their next order with an expiry date. We did that one year for Xmas, with the option that they could regift it as well. That worked quite well.

    One other thing we keep saying we are going to do but never get around to it, was to ring your customer a month after to collection as courtesy follow up. Check wether it is hanging and that they are happy etc. Reminding them how happy it makes them feel, may trigger to do it again soon. Although nowadays people don't like to talk on the phone much anymore.
    prospero and FramerInTraining like this.
  11. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Yeah, call your customer and ask them how's it hanging!!!... and how happy does it make them feel!!!:eek::eek:o_O

    THAT should get them back in!!:D
    neilframer likes this.
  12. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Creative idea, but if a store did that to me, I wouldn't feel inspired to trot back in. If you ever try something like this, the only way I can imagine framing (har har) it is as a thanks. To send a card or note saying, 'Thank you for your business! We love helping you frame!' or something like that. Super simple, and just friendly. That reminds them of you, but doesn't have the hook of an obvious attempt.
    FramerInTraining and prospero like this.
  13. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yes. This type of follow-up advertising can be a two-edged sword. These days we are deluged with "buy this buy that" messages from all directions
    to the point where it becomes annoying and not a little rude. More likely to put people off than encourage them to buy Casually google something and
    you get a barrage of "didn't find what you were looking for? What about this......" on your browser for evermore.

    People can be lead but not pushed. o_O
  14. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The last thing I want to do is to be a problem business for a customer. While I appreciate a follow up call from a doctor visit, if I got follow ups from retail businesses, I would not be as happy about it. Unless you're dealing with a client who just spent five-figures, and you spent a ton of time with, but that would not be marketing, that would be actually wanting to make sure they are happy - there's a difference.
    Joe B and shayla like this.
  15. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The best way to get your customer back is by doing good work from the start. Listen to what they want and what they say, show them what you understand that they want, and then if they are not totally happy give them the options. Never act like you know it all, they are the customer, they know what they want, and you are there to provide it. If you do a good job at a reasonable price not only will they come back but they will recommend you to others. I never have a problem with returning customers, in fact, I have had customers that have moved from here mail me their prints and we have designed by texting and emailing.

    I also have a referral printing on the back of my business card. I tell my customer to fill their name out on the referral portion of the card and have the person they refer present the card to me and I will give the referred person a 10% discount but also give the customer who referred them a 10% discount for every person they send in. I've had several customers that have received free framing because they have referred 10 or more people.

  16. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    In the class, "Beyond Fit & Finish", the open discussion about ways to follow up with customers after the sale runs the gamut. Some framers are constantly looking for ways to favorably impress customers and build loyalty through follow-up contacts. Others are very concerned about being a nuisance and forego after-the-sale contacts of any kind. Which group of these framers do you suppose would be more successful?

    Obviously there are good ways and bad ways to follow up with customers, and the magic of marketing lies in doing such things well. Meg Glasgow has a very good book and offers excellent classes on the subject.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2019
    Won Jun Hong and i-FRAMER like this.
  17. FramerInTraining

    FramerInTraining MGF, Master Grumble Framer

  18. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God


    consumers are consumers. most react the same buying framing as most other products. may I suggest most of all the busiest shops I have ever known havea healthy blend of great pricing, great convenience, great value. for those that don't believe in sales consider the last 3-4 big purchases you have made. Going to Vegas? Look for a great price on air? Hotel? Fly First Class? Stay at Bellagio? No, you're only go sleep there, right. It's just a room. Well, lots of customers think 'it's just a frame'. Consumers that respond to sale pricing aren't loyal? How do you know that? Ask any 'big guy' that successfully promotes and they will tell you how wrong you are

    Case in point: Home Depot is huge promotion seller with a huge brand loyalty. They find promotional pricing brings them for specific items; it creates a powerful impression that their prices are good. Selection and Service brings those clients back, over and over.

    Bottom line: no big deal if you wish to run sales, your choice. Just don't confuse your opinion of what you think you know for what consumers actually do

    you might be ignoring a lot of customers because they don't think like you

    just an old retailer's opinion
  19. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Thanks, Bob.

    Sales are good for business, and framers have to know how to profit from sales. My massive SALE signs in my front windows on the busiest street in town bring in many people whose first question is "Is the sale still on?".

    So they get to choose from stuff I paid little for, and which still gets more than a normal markup. Does anyone think I'd give away a markup?
    FramerInTraining likes this.
  20. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    you're welcome, Ted. I know your strategy; you may not remember but we discussed it pretty well. Do you mind sharing the percentage of biz from 'sale' items vs 'regular' items? I think I remember it was a healthy blend?

    Profitable Promoting is a thread unto itself that starts with good buying.

    Back to the thread; Joe B makes a valid point on capturing and keeping a customer and Icould not agree more. He is a good operator. How to create more demand from existing customers is beyond my skill level. But creating more customers might help in converting one 'every three customer's' into two customers. Now, if you can get them to space out those intervals to end up 18 months apart:D
  21. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    We all have customers when they come pick up, they start talking about things they have at home that they might want framed ‘next time’.

    I always express interest I what they have to frame, asking me to describe and tell them I can’t wait to see it and pick out the perfect design together.

    I then ask if they would like me to send them an email as a reminder to bring it in. I also ask when they would like that reminder.

    It is all about selling, getting your customer excited about their next project.
  22. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    Long ago, I used to have a yearly sale and more than one customer stopped coming in until the sale was running. Nothing special just an ordinary framing job so not some major project where the discount would really add up. After the sale was off, i never saw them again until the next year sale. I stopped the sales and eventually, those people ended up coming in any way.

    The sales did not create any loyal customers, just sales chasing customers. Odds are good that they would have been just as happy to go to any other store that had a sale going on.

    Again, not store loyalty, just sale loyalty. your example of HD sales only prove the point. They wait for a sale and if at the time they need a new fridge, Lowes is having one on sale, THAT is where they would go.
    They don't go to Lowes's out of loyalty, they don't wait for HD to have a sale out of loyalty to HD. They go to HD only because they have it on sale when they need it.

    ..and I don't think one could equate Home Depot type of business with a small custom framing business. Just not run the same way.:rolleyes:
    We don't have tractor trailers full of merchandise to stack up to feed a sale, we are small custom shops.

    If you want to have a sale on "poster frames" for $29.95 more power to you but it does not create customer loyalty.

    Honestly, sometimes it seems that a really nice hug does much more to create customer loyalty than almost anything else....after excellent work and a genuine interest in their work.
    Gilder and prospero like this.
  23. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    As a customer, I hate being pestered by businesses that I deal with. Leave me alone! I will come back when I need something if I am happy with your service, prices and quality. :D

    The exception, of course, is a notification of a great sale, like 40% on commodity products, D'artagnan meats for example. They are not doing themselves a favor, because I then only buy during sales. I would suspect something wrong with regular prices, if I saw such an offer in a service heavy business.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
    Joe B likes this.
  24. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm going to tackle as much as I can here...

    I disagree with some on this topic.
    My comments are respectful disagreements.

    I disagree.
    Believing a stereotype that "consumers are consumers" (I'm reading that as "all customers are the same") is, in my opinion, a fallacy.

    Some consumers purchase what they want, when they want, and appreciate quality of product/service, and respond well to price consistency.
    Some consumers purchase only when something is on sale, and if it is not on sale, they will not buy under any circumstance.

    ...and that's just two types of consumers.

    If you build your business model on the belief that "consumers are consumers" and decide putting sales on as the tool to drive traffic, then the customer base you'll be catering to will reflect that, and out of that customer base, they will react to your fluctuating the prices, likely shopping less when the prices are back to normal.

    For me, I don't compare buying custom framing to buying an off-the-rack suit at Khols.
    Why? Because it is CUSTOM framing. So a better comparison is to a haberdashery.

    If I want to buy a custom suit from an established haberdashery, I don't expect them to have a sale. It is a custom product. I expect to pay more for a custom product, and because it is custom.

    If a haberdashery DID have a sale, I would not want to pay their "normal" price, lessening the chance I would visit the business.
    If a haberdashery had frequent sales, I would not trust their sale price, nor their normal price.

    Commodity products (like a TV, a car, off-the-rack clothes, etc) are completely different products since all items are identical.

    Would you expect to see a discount on a custom made car?
    Or on a custom made dress?

    A car off the lot likely has a sale going on at the dealership.
    A custom car attracts a different audience, has a different price, and I completely would not expect to see a sale on it.

    I have never once heard anyone say that Home Depot's service is a positive.

    Buy a lawnmower (on sale, or not) and bring it back for "service". You will likely get confused faces.

    I've waited 10 minutes looking for someone in those stores, and ended up calling their phone number to try to find someone, while standing in their store.

    They are not a business model I want to emulate in my business, unless I wanted to emulate a BB craft store. HD sells based on price alone. If you don't believe me, imagine if HD charged only 10% more than Lowes on the same product. Would HD's service be a reason people would buy from them instead of Lowes? In my opinion.... Nope.


    Selling for "normal price", in my opinion, is better for business than a sale. For more than one reason.

    -Selling at normal price inherently has more profit (unless you run sales with a perceived discount, rather than a real discount).
    ...that is good for your business.

    -Selling at normal price creates trusting customers knowing they won't have after-purchase-anxiety that they just missed a sale.
    ...that is good for your business.

    -Selling at normal price also creates an impression that you are good enough at what you do that you don't need a gimmick to get people to buy.
    ...that is good for your business.

    So, a "perceived" discount rather than an actual discount?

    Personally, I'd just charge the price I want for the product I provide.
    No gimmicks. No pressure. Just an honest, straight-forward transaction.

    neilframer, framah and i-FRAMER like this.
  25. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    One thing to follow up my post above.

    My family has been doing this now for 52 consecutive years. I've been doing this since a kid in 1987. I reestablished the business in 2001 (a fresh start) from an uber-wealthy town on Long Island to a big-box suburbia area in Virginia.

    In that time since 2001 I have seen about 15-20 frame shops close around me. Those 15-20 frame shops were all accessible within about a 25 minute drive from mine. There are BB's every few miles (about 10 or more). But somehow I am doing fine.

    I am not only surviving, I am thriving (selling both framing and art) and it is not only location.
    It is my stubbornness to believe that discounting is the answer, when my price is not a problem.
    neilframer, framah and Joe B like this.
  26. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I think what we're talking about here is price elasticity relative to perceived uniqueness in a product. Gasoline prices have to be close to the same everywhere because the consumer sees all gasoline as being the same. Armani can charge more for a suit because their products are seen as being somewhat unique. Our problem as an industry is we can't get the uniqueness of our product across to the consumer. I think this is partly a result (at least among our customers) of their not wanting anything too spectacular as far as design goes. If they spent a little more, there would be more of a "wow factor" and the perceived value of custom framing would go up.
  27. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    My SALE sign brings in new customers from Ottawa, 40 miles away. We're a tourist town, attracting Ottawans on day trips. People come in asking about the sale, and that's when we grab them. We have many repeat customers from far away, and they come back because they like our work. And our prices.

    I'm noticing a trend: people drop stuff off, asking for Ted to choose. Nice, but we have to work even harder to come up with that winning design.

    Other comments:

    - our local Home Depot has incredibly good sales staff. Some are on a first-name basis with us. Matter of fact, the person who hires them is our customer. Cell phone stores, on the other hand, hire crooks.

    - anecdotally, two percent of our customers seem not to be price-conscious. At least fifty percent are. Some come in with a worried look, wanting to know if our sale is still on.

    - rather than debating here on the merits or non-merits of sales, I'll just say whatever works for you works for you. Same here.
  28. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When these types of discussions come up it is expected to see some real 'world class rationalizations' why the other guy is wrong. Instead, it ought to examine what that can work for someone else might work for me, too
    this might be a great example to actually study HD practices; plenty of articles, studies. While i appreciate sentiment is sincere, it is baseless. Reality is they blend a clever triumvirate of the Big Three: Service, Selection and Price.

    Bob said 'consumers are consumers. most react the same buying framing as most other products.'

    You replied 'I disagree.
    Believing a stereotype that "consumers are consumers" (I'm reading that as "all customers are the same") is, in my opinion, a fallacy.'

    The most important part of reply is 'in my opinion'. Truth is 'Most' (operative word) do follow patterns; a percent respond heavily to 'sale pricing', a percent shop where convenient, a percent prefer right side of street drive home locations...the key is to hit as 'many buttons' as possible. Exceptions abound, most operators look to find a larger, more inclusive market. And. most importantly are willing to adapt to meet consumers needs, not expect consumer to 'wise up' to a more 'correct' method
    anybody want to bet how many of those may have followed which plan?
    As a buyer of more than my share of 'fancy' cars, negotiations are an integral part of the process. Sure, you will find exceptions but one has to market to the norm, not the exception
    how did that work for JC PENNEY's. Don't think any of those JCP customers aren't, should be, your customers, too?

    Bottom line: Congratulations on each personal success story; most depend upon the great operator no matter the philosophy. Time for my opinion:) success for many depends on being a self-employeed framer; greater goal is self satisfaction than assets. And, I applaud each success; you earned it. My message is a business approach and intended for those seeking different goals. The thread started with an attempt to double sales from an existing base. My biz background says the easier, quicker method is to increase the base

    More bottom line: each independent retailer, including framers, needs to set goals both philosophically and monetarily. To me, the Bob on Bidness guy, that is success. Jay wrote a great article before many ever put on an apron about 'framers shouldn't be like monks and accepting a vow of poverty' Worth finding

    Do what fits; just don't be afraid to change and adapt to the consumer
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  29. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When it comes to sales, looking at myself as a consumer, I get this thought....

    If they are selling regular lines at 50% off, it follows that the people who brought at 0% off were ripped off.
    Different thing if it's end-of-line stock or slightly imperfect. But huge price reductions give you a feeling that a
    company is selling at hugely inflated prices most of the time. Many are. So while people may pick up a bargain
    it's not good for customer confidence.

    As custom framers each job is unique. Same with any tradesman. You don't see plumbers/electricians/whatever having
    sales. If they are any good they don't need to 'drum-up' trade.
    Joe B likes this.
  30. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If framing were an immediate, have to have it, issue you may have a point. But, when was the last time you had plumbing or electrical work done and did not get a couple of bids? I know we'll get some 'not me' response, but how many 'consumers' take either the lowest or quickest completion date bid? We use tradesman all the time; working on two houses now. I have a primary general that starts every bid process with a smile and 'where do we need to be?

    it's just how biz is done
    prospero and Joe B like this.
  31. i-FRAMER

    i-FRAMER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    We only discount our galleries and professional photographer/artists. Otherwise once a year we run a promo of a 2 nights accommodation at a Port Douglas Resort. For every $100 spent they go into the draw to win. This has actually seen people spend that little bit more i.e $180, will put the second mat in to make it over $200. Have found our sales go up by about 30% during the promotion period. But it also means we control the cost i.e $500, compared to running a discount and giving away $5000 in discounts.
    cjmst3k, shayla and Joe B like this.
  32. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I run a monthly coupon. The coupon cost me minimally but it does make the customer feel good to get that little extra. It is a different coupon every month with a maximum value of 15% off of 1 frame job but the majority of my monthly coupons have a cost to me of about $10. - $15.00. I don't believe in the big give-aways that some shops do because like someone else said "it makes the customer think that you are overprices to start with" and they just wait for the big sale.
  33. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Great idea. When a traveling music festival came to town a few years ago, we framed one of their banners and had a free raffle. Got a couple of hundred entries, including folks from other states and a few other countries. It was a fun way to engage folks, and we drew in some new clients as a result. One, a doctor, drove 180 miles each way to have us frame her projects. Another fun way to advertise is to sponsor a prize in a local community event.
  34. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Joe is a pretty good operator and great that he has found a tool that works for him

    But, I wonder if when we buy something on sale we feel that way. Upcoming trade show,I'll bet most every vendor will have Show Specials. Do you instantly feel they are 'marking it up' to discount? Or, how about the vendor that has a 'Special' sign, you pop in and buy something they are promoting. I have and I'll bet most everybody has also. When you see a prints booth offering 50/30 at the show only do you think that at 50 they are ripping you off?

    The point is we are all consumers at the shows and respond to sales and discounts; just like most all consumers. Tell me now, after a busy buying day aren't you generally pretty happy that you save all that money?
  35. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The quick answer is "No". The example you gave is totally different than an actually a sale in a frame shop. I don't shop the sales at the show, I shop the lines, equipment, and materials that I need and if there is a sale, ALL THE BETTER, I don't stop in a vendors booth just because they have a sale on and I believe if you ask other framers at the show 90% will say the same thing.

    I do the coupons to help get new customers into my shop. Once we have them in the shop it is then my job to keep them and that comes with quality, personal attention, and not over pricing my product. Very few of my existing customers use my monthly coupon, why I don't know but they just don't seem to use them. Every month I will get several new customers with the coupon but if I only got 1 new customer I would consider my coupons worth while. As far as running a big sale - never have, never will (at least I don't think I ever will), if I find it necessary to run a big sale, yea I would consider it.
  36. FramerInTraining

    FramerInTraining MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Joe, what kind of a coupon do you use to bring in new customers?
  37. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I have 12 different coupons. These are a couple examples:


    new year coupon.jpg
  38. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I used to write a gift certificate for 10% of what the customer spent on their current order. When they came in to pick up, if they are not holding a new project in their hand, I would give them the gift certificate pointing out that it had an expiration of one month from that date. Some would say that they didn't have anything that they need to frame that soon and I would tell them to give it to a friend then. This worked pretty well. A lot would come back the same day with something else.

  39. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    On the subject of discounts- No, I don't turn them down, but I find the whole discount thing annoying in a larger sense. The "full retail" price I charge is more than it has to be because so many people, for various reasons, feel they are due discounts. As a result, some people are paying a little more so someone else can pay a little less.
    cjmst3k likes this.
  40. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I have disliked percentage-discounting since the day a woman opened the door to my gallery, stuck her head in and asked, "What's your discount today?" She never entered the store, assuming that the discount was all that mattered. I was speechless, but it was an ah-ha moment for me.

    When the craft stores began their deep-discounts-every-day marketing, they changed the game entirely. It soon became clear that I could never win the price war by discounting. If I offered a real discount of 20%, customers would compare that to the craft stores' fake discounts of 60%. Consumers typically assume that retail prices in framing are all the same, like most of the other consumer items they buy, so guess whose prices they assumed would be lower? I wanted to eliminate the possibility of comparing discounts.

    So, I stopped offering discounts and began advertising slogans such as "We'll meet any competitor's price", and "Compare our final price and compare our value." I also advertised superior expertise and that value is more important than price. It worked very well. But to solidify my marketing, I advertised only shadowbox framing of heirlooms and preservation framing. My ads included photos of projects on which the craft stores could not compete. To put it another way, I focused on the kinds of framing that the craft stores could not - or would not - do. My business was thriving when I sold it in 2015.
    Joe B and shayla like this.
  41. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    have the BB's started listing components on estimates now? The reason I ask is that we rarely, if ever, saw an estimate brought in and on those few, never saw any prices

    we did Competitive Pricing shopping every 6 months. We controlled the selection so knew exactly the items. Been a few years but always found there 'final' price to be on lower end of market range with plenty of shops significantly higher. We kind of 'broke' their code and our judgement was their regular prices pretty closely matched the LJ 'SUGGESTED' Retail prices found in back of Price Supplement. My guess is if they took the base length price, applied the suggested markups like pretty much every framer they could easily offer huge discounts at great margins due to their huge buying advantages. Like I said, it's been awhile and had we not doneour shopping we wouldn't know

    today i buy a ton of scrapbook paper from both of them and I assure you those discounts are real. And I used to buy direct from two major mfgrs and 50% off is way cheaper than wholesale

    I might suggest calla HL and tell them you need to replace a 16x20 liteof Mus Glass. Sit down first

    just my experience

    Jim never had anybody pop their head in asking about discounts
  42. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    i mentioned that we have a little side biz where we buy nice houses, put a few touches and lease them.Been doing just over two years; becoming real slumlords. These are nicer houses, nicer touches, pretty good tenants that would be 'coveted' clients for any frameshop.

    we get a trade directory monthly of tradesmen specializing in 'high end custom' work; front doors for $5000, pools starting at $30,000. the link is https://www.thehomemag.com/?area=phoenix . Go to digital mag and browse; it's 68 pages. Just high gloss, high production ads.

    These easily should be clients you would love to find; understand custom quality and not afraid to spend the bucks

    Might be an interesting read to help better understand what attracts, appeal and motivates this group. Pay note that virtually every ad mentions Sales, Promos, Specials and lists 'come on' prices.

    i hope it's instructional in how many 'highend sellers' reach their potential clients
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  43. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Everybody, but everybody, wants a bargain.

    Some businesses, it seems, don't want to offer bargains, sales, come-ons, or discounts.

    Last time I looked, Michaels was doing OK.
    FramerInTraining and Joe B like this.
  44. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    All the "sale" frame shops went out of business.
    The only shops which remain are ones which I have never ever seen a "sale".

    So... that's MY bet.
    Al B, prospero and neilframer like this.
  45. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    we were pretty diligent in understanding our market. If you asked me to pick even 10 shops that I could identify if they ran 'sales' or not, I couldn't do it

    I hate to say it but it seems we might be trying too hard to justify a philosophical decision rather than a business decision

    May i suggest running successful promotions requires certain skill sets; the most important is really skillful purchasing and true understanding of what the market allows

    I'll put that skill set similar to being able to create goldleaf moulding from raw wood to finished frame. Most of us have seen parts of it done, know the nomenclature, and have access to components. Those truly capable are pretty rare

    just like really effective promoters

    Bottom line: more people do it poorly than well
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
  46. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I think Bob's point is well taken. I think all business decisions are a mixture of philosophy and the purely pragmatic. I've already said I not like discounting in the general sense because you ultimately end up marking things up so you can mark them down. Taken to the extreme, you have the marketing plan of the the big box stores which, I think we all agree, borders on the fraudulent. I just won't do it for philosophical reasons even though that plan seems to work well. My second purely philosophical reason for not running sales on framing anymore is I cannot stand the misery that ensues from having the sale relative to the increase in sales. We rarely had a significant increase in sales. We did have a significant increase in customers who wanted the sale to be permanent for them, or the discount should be greater, or any number of other complaints about how the sale was inadequate or unfair.

    I realize, however, those decisions are based entirely on my preconceived notions and personal experience. I may be completely wrong.
  47. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    We were heavy promoters; as a retailer I was trained that way and was pretty good at it. As a gesture of goodwill, I'll share a promo we ran 3-4 times a year that satisfied a bunch of objectives

    Problem: like most shops we accumulated tons of 5-6ft 'leftovers' of filets; workorder calls for 8ft. You order 8ft, get 2 7ft sticks. They pile up. If you have employees, filets may be overlooked because 'they are so expensive'

    Solution: FREE FILET SALE

    Big sign in window; Limited Time Free Filet Sale. You wouldn't believe the folks that have to ask 'What's a Filet?' Every promoter knows a curious customer is golden; Conversation is way more important than Conservation. Take the client bringing something in anyway; they want to see that Free Thing and now you get to do some talking and have some fun designing cause it's Free.

    Now, get skillful. Show any mats; looks good. Then show suede or fabric and watch the eyes; Showtime. Easy upgrades, using something on hand, designer gets back into habit of showing better design and it's Free-happy customer. Then client picks up finished product, gets the WOW! FACTOR and a whole lot easier to show and sell on next project.

    And, it's Free

    We found ticket price went up, clients happy, designers excited, reduced shorts and got the Wow! factor. And, you used the most magnetic world in Selling, Free

    Now, if your first impression is reasons why it won't work for you; you're right, it won't. But, if you start wondering how to make it work; it probably will. You absolutely will get people asking you about it and there is no stronger advantage in selling than engaging a curious customer. It was a sure-fire hit everytime we ran it

    you are welcome
    Ylva and i-FRAMER like this.
  48. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Problem is..... Most people have no idea what a fillet is. Even some framers are a bit hazy about the concept.
    It would not surprise me if people came in wanting a chunk of steak. We have to remember when advertising
    that what may be second nature to us is totally alien to Joe.P.
    Joe B likes this.
  49. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    here is the REAL problem. it's not a problem, it's an opportunity. Anytime a customer, potential or otherwise, opens the 'conversation door', you better walk in.

    Basic selling, guy, basic selling
    David Waldmann and prospero like this.
  50. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    I would much rather do something like this than a sale. It involves a 'gift', rather than a percentage discount. I sometimes upgrade from Con Clear to Museum at no extra charge on jobs under 11 x 14, and people love it.
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