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Repairs and Attitude


#1

There’s something I feel I should mention regarding the repair,
restoration, conservation, and preservation fields. You must have
confidence in your abilities.Coming across as anything less than
being the best in your field will keep your prices low. You can’t be
timid, but don’t be cocky. Don’t cross your arms while speaking to
someone face to face. If your work is really that good, then you
have the reins. I remember going through an antique show last year
when I found a dealer in high-end silver. As I looked around his
booth, I noticed what pieces could use repairing and which ones
desperately needed tarnish removal. The one thing you never want to
display is a tarnished piece of silver - it’s unprofessional. Anyway,
I approached the dealer and introduced myself, immediately handed him
my business card, then mentioned my findings and how I could help
him sell more silver. This wasn’t about ME; it was all about HIS
business. I showed confidence and professionalism. He said “you must
be very expensive.” I responded that I was EXTREMELY expensive, but
that he’d always be happy with my work. A week later he came to my
shop with a piece of silver.

Jeff Herman
hermansilver.com


#2

I agree with Jeff. I think that attitude and personality play as
great a roll in a craftperson’s success in business as does their
skill level. Half of the job is doing the work and the other half is
human relations of one kind or another, maybe it’s more like 70/30?
Over the years I have know a number of very highly skilled
goldsmiths who were terrible failures as independent business
people. They would come to me and tell me all the reasons that this
is such a hard business to succeed in and how they can’t understand
how I have done it. I think you need to whole package, not just the
skills but a good work ethic combined with the right attitude and
personality. Mark


#3
I agree with Jeff. I think that attitude and personality play as
great a roll in a craftperson's success in business as does their
skill level. Half of the job is doing the work and the other half
is human relations of one kind or another, maybe it's more like
70/30? 

Sometimes there is a situation that 23 years of retail does not
prepare you for.

A woman, probably in her 70"s, with what I perceived as a possible
German accent shows me a silver filigree ring, several parts have
broken off. I tell her it probably will cost more than she is willing
to spend, she asks how much, I say $100, she says she will think
about it. Then she pulls out a gold and diamond tennis bracelet, how
much to fix this? I explain Iwill have to drill out and replace the
hinge wire and weld it and polish it. I tell her it will be $80. She
says she had a quote of 70 somewhere else, she says she won’t pay
more than

Richard Hart G. G.
Denver, Co.


#4

Somehow I sent an incomplete email:

I agree with Jeff. I think that attitude and personality play as
great a roll in a craftperson's success in business as does their
skill level. Half of the job is doing the work and the other half
is human relations of one kind or another, maybe it's more like
70/30? 

Sometimes there is a situation that 23 years of retail does not
prepare you for.

A woman, probably in her 70"s, with what I perceived as a possible
German accent shows me a silver filigree ring, several parts have
broken off. I tell her it probably will cost more than she is willing
to spend, she asks how much, I say $100, she says she will think
about it. Then she pulls out a gold and diamond tennis bracelet, how
much to fix this? I explain Iwill have to drill out and replace the
hinge wire and weld it and polish it. I tell her it will be $80. She
says she had a quote of $70 somewhere else, she says she won’t pay
more than $60, I said I do not let customers set my prices. She
starts saying I am rude, she can’t believe how rude I am, asks if I
am Jewish. I told her to get the F out of my store, she said
something about my mother, I told her she reminded me of my mother,
and mentioned the word “bitch” before she got to the door.

66 years old in June, 23 years at this location, surviving this
economy on 23 years of good customer service, high quality custom and
repair.

When people give you crap, don’t take it personal, their mother did
not raise them right.

Richard Hart G. G.
Denver, Co.


#5

Richard,

I would never tell someone that a repair will cost more than they’re
willing to pay! I let the customer decide that, otherwise, they’ll
think you’re talking down to them. Some people like shopping around
a repair the same way we buy cars. That individual may have had her
mother’s jewelry - never assume.

Jeff Herman
hermansilver.com