Who is Your Client/Customer?

Late this afternoon, I was riding over to see some cows on a hill of quail poop, listening to the tail end of a call-in show on a mega-watt radio station. My mouth fell opened when I heard the board operator tell the two hosts that theirs had been one of the tops in numbers of call-ins, that hardly ever did so many folks want to talk to the hosts.

I actually gasped… then thought of a mentor, Judy Randall, someone who knows marketing better than almost anyone. She’s the one who throws her arms up in a circle above her head and hollers to classes of students “WHO IS YOUR UNIVERSE? WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO SELL TO?” She’s told us over and over how important it is to KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER!

The radio show board operator stunned me… “More call-ins than he remembers…” translates into more people interested in the program, RIGHT?

Can you guess what the subject of the program was about? Brian Williams? No. ISIS? No. Republicans? No… The hosts were veterinarians. People were calling in to ask about their PETS!

Think about it. This relates to every entrepreneur alive! Are you SURE you know who your customer is? It’s one of the #1 fact a business needs to thrive. Judy would say “Survey folks. Ask them questions about what you need to know to engage them in your business.” Don’t depend on your best guess. Make sure you know who you are selling to, and why!








Thank You Doc & Mrs Davis

100_5845Yesterday was one of those days life didn’t plan… we got to decide what we wanted to do. One of our first stops was the Peachtree Road Farmers Market in Atlanta at the Cathedral of St. Phillip. We’d never been before, and were impressed.

We split up to see the booths, then met accidentally at Doc’s Woodturning booth. Every so often, we find someone who knows exactly how to sell what they create. Both Doc and his wife did it just right.

First, they were both in the booth tidying up. There weren’t any chairs in their booth, so they were on their feet. “Hello!” one said to me, “That bowl is Catalpa wood. Do you know it?” “Yes, I lived in Albuquerque New Mexico when I was a child and we had two Catalpa trees in our front yard,” I returned.

“Then you know about the worms…” Mrs. Davis added. “No, I don’t remember any worms” I returned thoughtfully.

Doc piped up “Oh, yes. Catalpa trees are wormy certain times of the year. We have Catalpa trees in our yard and fishermen come when the worms are out to get them for fishing!”

I admired the Catalpa bowls, then looked up & there was Bill Ronay. He picked up a Black Walnut bowl and exchanged a few words with Mrs. Davis about it being in a set. Bill & I started looking at other bowls. Either Doc or his wife cordially told us about the wood and various striations in the finished pieces.

We settled on two bowls – a Box Elder (pictured above) and a Hackberry (pictured below). Doc told us that the colors in the Box Elder bowl were from little worms who bore into the live tree and deposited their juices. Then he told us he liked Hackberry because the bark of the tree has little knots that he was able to save on the rim of the bowl.

100_5849 What did that do for us? It made us appreciate our purchase AND it gave us a story to tell everyone we show the bowls to.

Doc wrote up our order; and, I whipped out the plastic. He ran it through the Square on his iPad and the receipt texted itself to my cell. He added a written receipt and two business cards, chatting about where he lives – Resaca – and listening to a story about the Civil War re-enactment events we attended last year in Dalton.

Mrs. Davis wrapped the bowls and put them into a sturdy sack with handles. They wished us well and off we went.

It was an excellent buying experience. Doc & Mrs. Davis were friendly, but not pushy. They answered questions, told stories, and gave us information about the pieces we were interested in. They communicated and engaged. We understood that they were passionate about what they do. When we decided what we wanted, they had clean, new wrapping materials, payment equipment and ways for us to get in touch with them later. And they waved to us as we walked out of their little world.

Doc said they come to the Peachtree Road Farmers Market about once a month. Call or email to see when he’ll be there. You’ll enjoy meeting the couple and seeing the woodturnings.

Mike “Doc” Davis
Doc’s Woodturning
4312 Hwy 225 NE
Resaca Georgia 30735


Buying Is Now an Experience


One of Kate Peterson's slides

One of Kate Peterson’s slides






Think back to your last one-on-one selling experience. Did you connect with the buyer? Did she tell you why she liked your artwork? From what she said, were you able to build value by showing her the piece’s artistry and  telling her the story of its creation? Did the sale seem more an experience for the buyer than a purchase?  If you answered yes to these questions, chances are that the buyer found great joy in the purchase. She will tell her friends and community about her new artwork long into the future.

Listening to Kate Peterson on April 30 at  CRAFT: The Summit at ACRE Las Vegas was a value-filled experience. Her presentation, Retail Consumer Trends, became an excellent tool for the makers and retailers in the audience

Kate told us that buyers are different from the way they used to be. Shopping is a status fix. They want what it does, not what it is. When shopping in person, the consumer is likely looking to enhance his or her personal value.

Are you giving your clients the prestige of buying your work that they are looking for? They want to tell their friends and family about the experience. It doesn’t cost extra to build the value of the sale. We all need brand advocates.


Kemberley Giddens’ 2011 Christmas Spider Series

Kemberley Giddens, a precious emerging artist from Jacksonville (Georgia), was a pleasure to see when I was in South Georgia last week. After she explained the story of the Christmas Spider to me, I was enthralled at her newest series of artworks. A widow with eight children wanted to make Christmas special, but she had […]

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