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Deep-Pocket Customers


#1
I'm not Heather (obviously), so I hope you don't mind if I butt
in here.  I once asked a mentor/friend how he found his
deep-pocket customers.  His reply initially seemed somewhat
trite, but speaks volumes:  You don't find them; they find you.
So far none has found me.   I sure hope Heather has a more
proactive approach!  :)

Maxon’s has been fortunate enough to acquire a large number of
"deep-pocket customers" including doctors, auto dealers, and
big-name Branson performers. (No, I’m not going to name
names!) We essentially apply the Willie Sutton Principle: go
where the money is.

It is true, to some extent, that “they find you;” but you do
need to go where you can be found. Rich people play golf,
tennis, and some other high-class sports, so you need to hit the
links, the courts, &c. Rich people belong to certain kinds of
organizations: my bosses are members of the Springfield Executive
Breakfast Club. Many rich people are involved in
charitable/philanthropic activities: one of my bosses volunteers
with the Junior League and the American Red Cross. You get the
idea. Run ads in the kinds of publications that rich people
read, and look around for other appropriate opportunities in your
area.

Joel Kahn <@Joel_Kahn>
Comptroller for Maxon’s Jewelers
Diamond Merchants & Estate Jewelers
2622 S Glenstone, Springfield Missouri 65804 USA
Voice: 417-887-1800 or 417-887-1809
Fax: 417-887-3422


#2

Although most of my customers are of modest income they have
given me much support. I too, meet a lot of people by being
involved in my community. If nothing else it allows people to
learn who I am and see me as someone they can trust. I believe
that what you put out into the world comes back to you. If you
nurture your community it will nurture you in return. Strive
for excellence and the money will come- Deb


#3

Deb, very well put. I have found that even deep pocket
customers are wealthy because they know not to spend needless
money. So therefore are they really deep pocket customers or are
we sometimes “greedy” artists.


#4

Joy- Wouldn’t you rather have someone buy your work because they
love it, it speaks to them somehow, rather than because they have
a boatload of money? I guess I will never be overly
wealthy…

Deb


#5

I don’t believe that I would consider myself a ‘greedy’ artist.
I have many ‘deeppocketeers’ who buy regularly from me and only
me, because I give their work my undivided attention. Does
anyone out there work for less than they think their time and
talent is worth? My customers get every penny’s worth for what
they pay me. What I positively HATE is when an old, or new,
customer looks at a piece, sees for themselves just how much
time and effort has gone into it, then tries to haggle the price
down. “Two hundred dollars? Hmm, that’s expensive, Laura! Would
you take, say, $150?” My two answers, depending on my mood, are

  1. “Sorry, this isn’t Walmart, and I don’t make deals.” or 2)
    “Tell me, what would you tell your boss if he asked you at the
    end of the week if he could lop forty or fifty bucks off your
    paycheck, because he didn’t want to pay YOU for YOUR time?” It
    works every time.

Laura


#6

My favorite expressions at fine crafts fairs:

“Did you really make all of this?”

“Would you take $30 (for a $32.00 piece)?”

“It’s really beautiful, my it’s awfull expensive!”


#7

Laura:

Excellent replies.I love it,and it also makes people think and
realize that you have priced your goods according to what you
believe they are worth.May I quote you please?

Michael Mathews Victoria,Texas USA


#8
 Joy- Wouldn't you rather have someone buy your work because
they love it, it speaks to them somehow, rather than because
they have a boatload of money?  I guess I will never be overly
wealthy...........

I agree, maybe you read me wrong. I am always getting yelled at
by fellow jewelers because I do not charge enough for my designs.
I know a fellow jeweler that will really “CHARGE” in accordance
to how rich the customer is. This is not the way I do business.
But I too, will never be wealthy.


#9

Love your answers Laura, I’ll remember them. I’m always tempted
to ask, “just what do you make an hour” but only once did I feel
insulted enough to actually say that. Jan


#10
   My favorite expressions at fine crafts fairs: "Did you
really make all of this?"

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, is it? If a potential
customer wants to know if you made the works, then maybe they
are looking for something better than machine-made junk?

“Would you take $30 (for a $32.00 piece)?”

Solution. Add 10% to all of your prices to allow for
"haggling". It makes a lot of people feel good to think they’ve
received a “deal” on something nice.

   "It's really beautiful, my it's awfull expensive!"

Answer:


#11

How about: "How long did it take you to make this?

To which I usually reply: “Gee, let’s see … . I’m 50 … I
guess it took me about 35 years.”

Colleen
@Colleen_Lynch


#12

Don’t forget my fav weird art show patron … “Do you have
any…armbands…earclips…clip-on earrings…tie-tacks?” or
whatever else they think you won’t possibly have, when you say
"yes, right over here, they take nary a peek and slink away."
It’s a weird phenom, they want to make it seem as though it’s
your fault they can’t/won’t buy, but if you only had the exact
right thing. Reality: there is no exact right thing for these
folks.

Karen
Karenworks@aol.com


#13

Once at the Springfield ACC, a woman and her husband came up to
a booth where I was looking at some beautiful gold jewelry. The
woman was really taken with a pair of earrings and began
inquiring about the material, etc. They were primarily 18K gold,
with some silver, two beautiful boulder opals and tourmalines.
The price was 595. The woman though that was really expensive
and told the artist so, but still really liked the earrings. She
asked the artist again about how they were made, how long it took
to make, etc. The artist spent about 20 minutes discussing each
step and was very patient and accommodating. Finally the woman
said that she would take the earrings and pulled out a five
dollar bill and a one. The artist said that the earrings were
five hundered ninety-five dollars not, $5.95. The woman blurted
out, “you have got to be kidding!”. She left in a huff claming
that artists just charge too much for their work.

A man at another booth berated the price markup of a gold
brooch. The brooch was $1200 but the man knew that the price of
gold was $350 an ounce. You can’t tell me that there is 3 ounces
of gold in that brooch! What are you trying to do, rip me off?

Sigh…

Karen Christians

Fly Fish Design
282 Lexington Street
Woburn, MA 01801
781/937-3827

@metalart


#14

Karen,

I had exactly the same experience! But you have not mentioned
the best, when somebody just sighs there and says: oh if you
would only have this in Amethyst?!

And when you say, it’s right over there, the response is the
exact slinking away you mentioned.

Gabriella


#15
 Don't forget my fav weird art show patron .... "Do you have
any...armbands...earclips...clip-on earrings...tie-tacks?"  or
whatever else they think you won't possibly have, when you say
"yes, right over here, they take nary a peek and slink away."
It's a weird phenom, they want to make it seem as though it's
your fault they can't/won't buy, but if you only had the exact
right thing. Reality: there is no exact right thing for these
folks. 

I’ve had those . . . the one I’m thinking of said, “Do you have
CATS?” I said, yes, and proceeded to show her three different
cat pins. She looked at them and said, "NO, I wanted domestic."
HUH??? MY domestic - long haired- cat was the inspiration for
all the pins. Guess, I just didn’t know that my cat was actually
a WILD one! ; )


#16

Our favorite art show comment is “…oh…that’s,
um…interesting.” (Means they have no clue what is it or what
to do with it).


#17

Gabriella,

That’s why my husband wears the tee shirt, “Good Art Won’t Match
Your Sofa”.

My sister who’s a painter, was contacted by a customer in a
gallery who liked one of her oil paintings. They agreed to meet
to discuss a comission for a large painting in her living room.
The woman showed up with swatches of her carpeting and sofa
pattern. The woman asked, "can you make one of your nice
abstract paintings that will match these colors?

Sigh…ibid

-k

Art is an absolute mistress; she will not be coquetted with or slighted;
she requires the most entire self-devotion, and she repays with grand
triumphs.

Karen Christians

Fly Fish Design
282 Lexington Street
Woburn, MA 01801
781/937-3827

@metalart


#18

Oh ok…My favorite comment is:“oh, I could make one of those”.
Lisa


#19

Karen,

A dear friend of mine (Judith Baker, in case anyone is in the
market for a terrific painting featuring excellent technique,
superb underlying draftsmanship, figuration, scholarship, and
actual ideas) says that if you want to sell paintings you must be
a man, and it helps if you expel the paint from a bodily orifice
onto the canvas. How about painted couches? Paintings of
couches? Paintings of couches expelled from bodily orifices?
Ouch!

Elizabeth C. Wilkinson
Los Alamos, NM

e-mail: @wilkinso


#20

A man at another booth berated the price markup of a gold
brooch. The brooch was $1200 but the man knew that the price of
gold was $350 an ounce. You can’t tell me that there is 3 ounces
of gold in that brooch! What are you trying to do, rip me off?

Karen

I get this type of response from some “people” I respond by
telling them that when I was working my way through college
selling steel and buying scrap I sold new steel for $ 200 to 300
per ton and bought steel scrap, frequently the same as I had
sold, well pieces of it anyhow, for $ 20 a ton. No one complained
about the price difference. Also a new car has about 1 to 2 tons
of steel in it, 300 per ton thats 600 dollars isn’t it?