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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. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    From another old retailer, I couldn't agree more. So nice to hear from you. I don't check the Grumble that often these days, so this was a pleasant surprise. I sure wish you were still going to WCAF so we could have one of those great breakfasts together. You know, the kind where I am so enthralled by what you have to say that we talk right through a class I signed up for and beyond into lunch. I'm teaching two marketing classes again this year (Corporate sales and E-Newsletters) so I'll be thinking of my old friend.
    Won Jun Hong and shayla like this.
  2. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That is so kind of you. My favorite part of those shows were the people. But,let's remember what made those times together fun was out and out, unbridled sharing. You are making me wistful for those great relationships. I remember one such opportunity by pure chance, Jay and Marc were chatting so I joined, a few minutes later Rob pops in and we sat down and started sharing. That could have been pay-per-view stuff:)

    I have started a new venture on-line where 'old retailer' needs to learn a few new tricks.

    Pop in here on biz-issues on occassion; still see some great friends now and then. Enthralled? let's say mutual is a fitting description. I've been pretty blessed
    Won Jun Hong, Kirstie and shayla like this.
  3. Philliam Phulgor

    Philliam Phulgor CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Ah hah! But is it "PHIL-et" the last piece of pie? Or is it "phil-LAY" down and took a nap?
    prospero likes this.
  4. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Hi, Bob. Just curious- did your Free Fillet include the labor and materials to cut and install the fillet, as well as the fillet moulding? The way I price fillets is the moulding by the foot plus a "fillet fit" charge that covers the time and materials to measure/trim/install/level up/seal it into the mat.
    :cool: Rick
  5. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    real simple, they pick it, we fit

    here's the key: make it fit yoursystem. The real beauty is getting conversation going, look for upgrades, stress Free and point out the WOW! Factor


    Shayla used her glass promo and Iwould say 'i'm substituting Mus Glass for free, but you might end up hating me. You're going to take it home and have to return with other frames to exchange glass...'

    have fun with it
    Rick Granick and Kirstie like this.
  6. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'm surprised diversification isn't talked about.

    If your located in an non-prime location your a destination shop and diversification may not be important but if your paying the big bucks for visibility in a busy area you need to capture the attention of traffic.

    Printing, gifts, and cards comes to mind. Our customers visit gift stores more often than frame shops.

    The point to make about diversification is that you can have a big sale sign that points to candles, cards and photoframes without compromising your core custom frame business.

    There is science behind the brain function when a person sees the word "sale or Free"

    Give the customer reasons to stop in often and you have a better chance of hooking their custom framing business.
    i-FRAMER and Joe B like this.
  7. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Doug is right on and may I suggest carrying products as he suggests really does demand changing the 'my customer is unique' attitude.

    From experience, our shops 'collected' a mountain of 4-5ft end cuts of really nice mldgs from that 'need 12ft, receive 17ft' way too often occurence. And you hoard that short stick knowing someone will need it along wth rest of mountain with an inch of sawdust. Stuff get shuffled, finishes scratched

    We cut everything under 5ft into 4x6, 5x7 dsktop photo frames. Don't know who makes extra long easel backs but buy 50 or so of the two sizes and they used to make to spec. paint back of frame for fnished look. Everybody has plenty of short strips of glass. We learned this from Rob Markoff to get nicer mags like Bride and fashion and cut out great images. Then, any image of Jennifer Aniston was golden. Don't price like custom, but like really nice RM'S. Maybe $20-25. Before someone says 'yeah, but that is $20ft mldg, I say 'yeah, but it's older than Moses;. Sell it. And build great displa, 20-30 frames

    Several benefits: easy add-ons, reasonable priced nice items always leave positive impression to (here it comes) consumer and you get rid of never going to use 5ft sticks. Sell two a week, put that $40-50 in a jar and you just paid for WCAF nextyear with a room at Bellagio and dinner for two at Steakhouse at Circus Circus

    And, it helps to offer some really nice take with items at 'special' pricing. We had several clients that e called wih every fresh batch

    just another low/no cost suggestion
    tedh and DSR7 like this.
  8. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    Having fun with it depends upon the personality of the designer. As we are in a relationship business in addition to a design and small manufacturing business, the personality and thoroughness of the designer is key to bringing customers back into the shop. So one thought is to take notes in the POS on everything you can remember about the design session, and then use those details the next time you meet the customer or in a thank you note (if you write one) so that you can personalize each encounter with the customer.

    You will laugh at this, but when I look out my office window and see a customer who wants to work with me, but I can't remember her name, I ask one of my staff to tell her I am just finishing a phone call andI will be right down. Meanwhile, the staff member offers to get the customer started and quickly gets the name, which he enters in the POS. I look at the details upstairs in the office on the POS, and sail down the stairs and greet the customer by name before I get near the design counter. Works every time.
    shayla likes this.
  9. i-FRAMER

    i-FRAMER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Nicole has brilliant memory and can remember everyone by name and the jobs they have done. It is amazes me when she greets someone and starts off about some artwork from a year or 2 ago. Me i remember the artwork, i search the artwork description, or moulding in our POS, and customers who used it to jog my memory. But customers do love to be remembered by name. They all seem to know our names when they walk in.
    shayla likes this.
  10. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Well, hopefully they only have one framer... :D

    Interesting to me that this conversation has revolved mostly around price. And most conversations about the BBs revolves around price. Let's face it, custom framing IS expensive, whether you're a one-person operation or a BB. So, yes, control your costs best you can, and work at presenting value. But price will always be an issue for many, many people.

    To Mo's original question, I think Doug's answer is the best one so far - diversification. Existing customers are people that (for the most part) already know you and the quality of work you do. Most of them simply don't have that much framing to do. Give them a different reason to come in.
    FramerInTraining and Bob Carter like this.
  11. framah

    framah PFG, Picture Framing God

    A an extension to David's comment, I have almost 50 Amaryllis in the window...some over 25 yrs old. Right now, there are 8 stalks shooting up out of the bulbs. Over the years, people drive by and then stop in to see the explosion of flowers in the window. More than one person who stopped in to see the flowers came back in with stuff to frame and were new people.
    My repeat customers also stop in and it keeps me in their minds.

    As I also sell my photos and have added my woodturnings into the store, people who stop in are also attracted to that stuff... in addition to the crystals and minerals and fossils and framed butterflies.
    It is all stuff I'm personally interested in so I'm happy to talk about any of this to them.

    One more thing... try to be as excited about what they bring in as they are. Ask about it, get involved in the emotions surrounding it... unles it is a real piece of carp. Then, just smile and say, "that's interesting.":confused:
    It's all about doing the best you can with whatever they bring in.
  12. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    understand your sentiment exactly, but may i modify it slightly to give them 'one more reason to come in'. Read up on 'Tipping Points in Consumer Decisions'
    Purely by luck at dinner a few years back I was seated next to Herb Kelleher, founderof Southwest Airlines. I remarked how much fun it was to fly with them and crew always seemed to be having fun. He said part of interviewing process, they would ask applicant to tell a joke, any joke. Those folks that easily opened up got highmarks and were exactly the type they wanted

    they make exceptions for pilots and mechanics:D

    bottom line: conversation is critical in relationships
    shayla likes this.
  13. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That is the ONLY reason to fly SW for me. I hate their boarding process, and their economy-class-only is a total non-starter for me. I'd think it would be for you too, Bob - or have they modified their pitch to accommodate full sized American males?
  14. Bob Carter

    Bob Carter SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I love 'em for short hops. Have to say Boarding on pretty much any carrier is a nightmare anymore
    cute story: fly first whenever i can on any flight over two hours. Coming home from Italy gate agent insisted they put me into a wheel chair. At Rome, they loaded pasengers in bus and take you to aircraft on tarmac. For me, they had to get the provision truck with loading liftgate and after all passengers loaded, I boarded with all the food and provisions in the galley. what an entrance!

    Flown SW from the begining; never any problems
  15. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Our customer base is a great mix of regular retail "walk ins" and a large number of commercial companies and framing for a large design company.
    The design company is run by a great lady I worked with at a framing design company in the late 1990's and into early 2000 before she opened her own company.
    She has 4 designers working with her and they do an amazing amount of art and framing design sales and we get most of the high end stuff.

    I'm working on 300 framed mirrors for them now and I have framed and installed for the Governor, team coaches and players, and TV personalities even in other states thanks to my relationship with the designers.
    I have also brought in a national trucking rental company tech center that has followed me for 8 years with a very large amount of high end framing.
    Also, an aviation company has followed me with many, many framing orders.
    I could go on and on.:cool:

    I've been framing for 50 years now.:eek:
    One thing that I do is that when a company or just a regular customer comes in, I work with them and I do their framing from start to finish.
    I make sure that everything is as perfect as I can make it and by doing the whole job myself, There are NO excuses and that's why they keep coming back.

    Even the 300 mirrors job, I am cutting and joining all of the frames myself and the other guys are fitting the mirrors and installing the security hardware.
    I know that the frames are right.;)

    Bottom line, we have 100% 5-star reviews on Yelp and Google, just got another one 45 minutes ago.
    32 out of 32 5-star reviews on Yelp, 11 out of 12 5-star reviews on Google (except for the one 2 star review from someone who was never even a customer) and 5 out of 5- 5 star reviews on Facebook.
    We had one 2 star review on Google from someone who is not even a customer and we've never framed anything for her...:rolleyes:
    Folks do look at the reviews and it brings them in.

    Often people like to post bad reviews for businesses for very picky reasons.
    They didn't like the person on the phone, they didn't like how someone looked, etc.
    The fact that people took the time to give us good reviews says something because you can do an amazing job for a customer and they won't post anything about it no matter how pleased they are with the job.
    We just had a customer today who had to drive from a distance and she asked if we could wait until after 6:00 PM, our closing time so she could pick up her picture.
    Of course, we did.;)
    She will be back.
    (maybe she will give us a good review...o_O)

    Great relationships with people can be worth a lot more than free fillets or discounted framing or coupons.
    For us, that's why they keep coming back.
    Just my opinion.
    Won Jun Hong likes this.
  16. Ruby

    Ruby True Grumbler

    We haven't done sale advertising in quite a while because we didn't like the results very much. However, as was pointed out earlier in this discussion, customers are very different from each other. There are some customers whose response to being told the bottom line for their framing is to smile and say that they will pay in full. There are others who visibly cringe and begin to think about how far they need to back off from the original framing plan. For this second group I will suggest that if they pay in full at the outset with either cash or check then we can give them a 10% discount. I look at this as a win/win situation. Some of these people truly have budgeting issues and it helps them justify the expense if they get something off from the regular price, and some of these people just like to get a discount on everything they buy. But what I like about this method is that often this is enough to convince them to proceed with the framing and to feel good about it. In addition we are not paying a credit card fee AND we are getting all of the money immediately rather than receiving the remaining 50% after the framing is done and when the customer decides to come and get it. I have had customers run down to the ATM to take advantage of the 10% because they didn't have their check book with them but they wanted to do the framing and get the deal. It is true that once this is offered to a customer they often look for it the next time they come in but I still think of it as a win/win situation.

    I also like the idea of diversification and promoting other products and services offered in the store. Whenever a customer brings in an old family photo I will ask if their are other family members who might be interested in a copy. I also suggest that it is a good idea to have a high quality scan done and saved digitally in case something happens to this one of a kind family heirloom. We have an excellent in-house lab and I'll let the customer know that we can also convert old movies to DVD, scan slides, etc. Often a customer is happy to know about this and it becomes another service we do for them and revenue stream for us.

    I am surprised no one has mention Facebook as a way to drum up business.... I figured there would be many who use that as a big promotional tool o_O

    ~ Ruby
    FramerInTraining and prospero like this.
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