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What do you make of this?

Janis

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I've been doing custom framing for over 6 years now. I also offer gift items with a focus on western, outdoors, and animals, and until this past month I also sold scrapbook supplies in my store. I've been sending out fairly regular newsletters that cover both the framing and other aspects of my business. Have been very consistent since the beginning of this year in getting my newsletter out. Had a customer that placed her first custom framing order this week. She'd been coming in the store making scrapbooking purchases for several years, but this was her first framing order. She made a comment about not thinking about having framing done by me (had been going to Michael's and a competitor's shop in another town) until she got my last newsletter. It's very obvious we do custom picture framing with all the frame corner samples, the mats, we have a work station where we finish off frames, etc. So why did she never think of having me do her framing until this newsletter??
 
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MaJa

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
People are funny like that.

We are mostly a sign shop. MaJa Signs & Designs.

I had a customer for years that we did banners for. One day he came in said (I swear!) "Do you make signs?". I thought he was kidding, so I said "no". He turned around and walked out!! I of course ran him down and told him I was kidding.

HE HAD NO CLUE. Really?!?! And he was a smart guy, too.

:bdh:
 

DVieau2

PFG, Picture Framing God
Yup... go figure.

I'm a photo and frame shop.

Frame signage everywhere, 1500 corner samples staring them in the face and 20 years in the same location.

Customers will stand in front of the frame wall and say: Do you do Custom Framing?

I am most distressed by the customer who lives down the street and says: I didn't know you were here.

Doug
 

couture's gallery

PFG, Picture Framing God
it is a common problem around here with all the really old population.....people just don't pay attention, and the rest are just dumb.
 

Bob Doyle

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I have 2 great display windows. When I have the fair trade items in the windows I get people that walk in browse then on the way out say, oh you do framing... Why yes, that's why you wrote THE FRAMEWORKS on your check.... or Why yes that's why I said "no those aren't for sale, they belong to a framing customer" when you were marveling at the framed art in the "pick up" area.

To which they say, oh you should put some frames in your windows.

Funny they always mention that because when I had frames in the window people would walk up to the door, look in and turn around saying "oh, it's (just) a frame shop", and walk away.

So I'll stick with luring in the $20 shopper with art at home that they want framed and stumbled upon me than try to divert my $250 frame customers' attention with $20 merchandise extras. Squeezing $200 out of a $20 customer seems more lucrative than getting $20 from a $200 customer :)
 

TEKniques

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
So why did she never think of having me do her framing until this newsletter??
She read your newsletter!! Hooray! :thumbsup: No, Seriously, it must be a good one.

I think we all get that... and if anyone knows of a way to change it, PLEASE, PLEASE, share it so the rest of us can stop feeling this way!!

MaJa, did you get in trouble for being a smart a**, cuz I know I have. (from my partners)

Our business name is just 'TEKniques' but we have advertised as 'TEKniques picture framing' since we opened and yet some still ask.
 

MaJa

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
MaJa, did you get in trouble for being a smart a**, cuz I know I have. (from my partners)
My "partner" is my husband and he was the one who actually ran the guy down.

I have a thing about work for dumb people. Often I see people trying to get my doors open (REALLY!). I won't help them. I figure, if you are not smart enought to open a glass double door like at every other business in the world I certinally don't want to try to pry out of you what the h*ll you want!!

This happens often. We also have a metal door off to the side that has no door handle on the outside. People try to get in there all the time, too. One time I had a guy kick it and swear about us not being open durning business hours. Then he spotted the double glass doors he walked right by. He calmly collected himself and walk in like nothing happened. Okay ...

At our old location we had a door like the front door of a house. We made a HUGE sign that said "Please Enter Here". Yea, people would walk right by it and bang on the front windows.

It must be a FL thing. The darn sun bakes the brains right out of people. :nuts:
 

Pangolin

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
My shop has been in this general area (it's moved three times) for more than 40 years. I get people all the time that say they've never noticed the shop or knew it was here.

I've even heard them say they didn't even know there was a frame shop in the area- and there are at least six of us within a mile and half of each other!
 

Don

Grumbler
I've been in my current location over 20yrs. Bought the building from a prior framing business so this location has been a framing business since the early 1970's. People tell me all the time "I've been driving by here since I was a kid 20 years ago and decided just decided to stop in and see what you do here." or "I used to go to the school across the street (knocked down 30 yrs ago) never noticed your place before." People sometimes are not very observant. People do notice change and if you do something with the front of your store or in your newsletter that is different they are more likely to at least look at it.
 

josephforthill

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
When we had an antique shop, there would be two flags out (one reading "open"), door wide open and all lights on. Take a guess at what the most common question was.

Another time a woman stopped in and asked if we had any Andrew Wyeth prints. I told her no, and asked if she came up route 1. She did. I asked if she went by the Maine Gift Shop with the big sign out front that read "Andrew Wyeth Prints". Yes she did. She then asked "Do you think they would have them?" As much as I was tempted to say something else, I just said "yes".
 

bzkbz16

Grumbler
I've been doing custom framing for over 6 years now. I also offer gift items with a focus on western, outdoors, and animals, and until this past month I also sold scrapbook supplies in my store. I've been sending out fairly regular newsletters that cover both the framing and other aspects of my business. Have been very consistent since the beginning of this year in getting my newsletter out. Had a customer that placed her first custom framing order this week. She'd been coming in the store making scrapbooking purchases for several years, but this was her first framing order. She made a comment about not thinking about having framing done by me (had been going to Michael's and a competitor's shop in another town) until she got my last newsletter. It's very obvious we do custom picture framing with all the frame corner samples, the mats, we have a work station where we finish off frames, etc. So why did she never think of having me do her framing until this newsletter??
The real question might be "Why are you NOT bringing it to Michael's?" (Something negative might have happened there. ;))
 

blackiris

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I seriously had someone come in..............look at my frame samples......
and ask what kind of artwork those were..........
:nuts:
 

annaluna

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Most people make me want to carry around a big hammer.
 

kdub

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Aside from the classic "Oh do you do framing here?", I get people all the time that rattle and bang on my door when I'm closed (and don't see the big 'CLOSED' sign right next to them) but when I'm actually open but forgot to turn the sign around, they always notice it says closed.
 

MaJa

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
We are closed on Mondays, but hide inside getting work done. Sometimes that's the only way to actually get anything DONE!

We have a roll up garage door that covers our glass entrance with a big closed sign on it. We do not look open at all.

Often people will bang on our door like they are being chased by the devil.

If we answer they want something. When we explaine that we are closed they look dumb-founded ... and usually not happy.
 

EllenAtHowards

PFG, Picture Framing God
See? THIS is why M's "50% off your framing order" ads work so well. A person could walk around for years, never thinking about framing (yes, there are actually people who never think about framing). They go on vacation, buy a print that is 8x20 and they can't find a frame at wallyworld, so they start to think "I need to get this framed!" and THE VERY NEXT DAY in the paper is a coupon for 50% OFF CUSTOM FRAMING! How fortunate is that? And In they Go....
 

JWB9999999

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
That's why I'm always going for Top Of Mind with my constant advertising.

They may drive by my shop for 10 years and not notice the big lighted sign.

They may walk in the door, stare at the frame samples and us framing, and ask if we make frames.

But for sure, when the time comes for them to actually get something framed, the key is that they remember MY shop in the back of their mind and come here to visit US. :)
 

artfolio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I wouldn't be too hard on the poor customers who don't notice you.I have been in the one location for 22 years and still get people who live locally asking me how long I have been here.

My theory is that people don't notice us until they need us. A bit like tyre companies - you ignore them until your mechanic says "those tyres look a bit thin, best think about some new ones" Then you notice the tyre shops (if your mechanic isn't switched on enough to grab the sales opportunity)
 

TSF

True Grumbler
We all have the same experiences with customers as have been voiced in this thread but there's always the flip side to think about.

I recently visited a gallery and spent some time talking to the owner about business issues. He asked me how he could get people to realize that they were a full service frame shop as well as a gallery. He then proceeded to open the locked cabinet that held his corner samples. What could I say?
 

Janis

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Why in the world would you put your corner samples in a locked cabinet??? I'm not a very trusting person, but I sure don't worry about my frame corner samples walking away. What was his reasoning?
 

drandall

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
For many years before opening my shop here, I worked for a frame shop which was over 130 years in business. It was one of the older businesses in town. We had won awards for our window displays for many many years in a row, the town had a contest and we were creative. The front of the shop was brightly painted colors you could hardly miss. We would get calls regularly, asking where our shop was located. A Starbucks (open about two years) was next door and they always knew where that was. Shy of a flashing strobe light in our windows I don't think there was anything we could have done to make ourselves more visible. Frame shops are almost invisible until they need a frame and begin the search I believe. Combine that with the fact that only a tiny percent of the population ever custom frames anything. Never underestimate the stupidity of the average American and you have the results of this thread.
 

PaulSF

PFG, Picture Framing God
I sit here in my shop (a lot lately, because it's been dead), and I watch people walk by and what they do. There's a pharmacy halfway down the block, so we mostly get elderly people shuffling to and fro for their meds. Most of them go by and they never once turn their heads to look at what they are passing. It is tunnel vision.
 

Kirstie

PFG, Picture Framing God
That's why I'm always going for Top Of Mind with my constant advertising.

They may drive by my shop for 10 years and not notice the big lighted sign.

They may walk in the door, stare at the frame samples and us framing, and ask if we make frames.

But for sure, when the time comes for them to actually get something framed, the key is that they remember MY shop in the back of their mind and come here to visit US. :)
Top-of-mind is the name of the game. So what are your constant advertising methods? It is easy to rest on one's laurels and do a bang up job of servicing the existing customer, but a constant stream of new customers is essential to the growth of a frame shop. People can only do so much framing.
 

Classic Art Bob

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Speaking of funny customers. I once had a new person in the store, she looked at my display wall of corner samples and asked if we did framing. I said YES and she produced an item to be framed. After making her selection of mat and moulding samples, I gave her a price and she questioned "And I'll need 4 of these? And what would I do about the length between where the corners didn't meet up?" I could see her mind racing as she did the math in her head.

Sometimes we take things for granted because are so familiar with them that we forget the general public still needs to be educated.
 

artfolio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Yes!! I have had this one too!!!

People seem to understand that a frame corner is a sample but some don't realise that a matt corner is too. I once had a customer look at a smudge on one of my matt corners and say "I hope you are not going to use that one on my work":faintthud:
 

blackiris

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I had a GREAT phone calll yesterday.......

"Hi, I was just wondering how much it costs to see the gallery...................." :faintthud: :D

My shop is in a town of 6,000 people.........this cracked me up and also gave me a great idea!!! CHARGE AT THE DOOR!! LOL
 

etlock

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Hardly Noticed !

Once upon a time ( 1967 ) my fair city was plagued by a period of civil unrest. It was fashionable then to take out your wrath on small businesses.

Properties were vandalized, burned out, or just plain destroyed.
In the neighborhood where the frameshop I worked in was located we lost the grocery next door, and the car rental agency on the other side. We lost the clothier across the street, and the restaurant next to them.

Our picture frame shop, not a scratch, not even a broken window !

Sometimes not being noticed can be a best case scenario.

Tom Pavlock
 
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