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TOPIC: Selling your services

Selling your services 1 year 2 months ago #13104

  • Peter Nowlan
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Hello, this is first post, I have yet to introduce myself but I wanted to take a few moments of your time to respond here.
A couple of years ago I decided to take my sharpening to a different level by opening up a business, I was excited, scared, nervous but I was confident. This is what I did: ( I know I will likely state the obvious in many cases and for that I apologize in advance)

I created a business card and presented myself to the manager of a high end kitchen store. The first thing I asked him was " who do you recommend when people ask where to get their knives sharpened?" His response was "nobody, there is one place in town but we steer people away" so I knew there was a window of opportunity for me. The next step was the important one, I had to prove that I was capable of sharpening kitchen knives, to establish a level of confidence in him, enough for him to recommend me to his customers. Customers that have been going to his store for years.
He asked me to come in the next day and show me some knives, to run the gauntlet so to speak and I did this. That was two years ago and I have sharpened for him ever since, I am in the store 4 days a week.

It became a drop off/pick up location for customers. In order to make this work however I needed to sort out what the store gets out of this. The Manager just happens to be extremely knowledgeable about knives and is also very cooperative. We worked a 70/30% deal so I get 70 percent. Customers pay the store and they just pay me at the end of the month. I have 4 drop off locations like that now in various parts of the city.

The key, from my perspective is to establish a level of trust with the store and ensure that they get something from it as well. What has happened over time in my experience is that the fact that the stores now have a dedicated knife sharpener, this actually draws in more customers and potential purchases from them. While dropping off a knife for example they may pick up a toaster....you get the idea and this is something you can present to the Manager. (not a toaster but the idea that advertising sharpening could pull in people to your store)

You need to run the gauntlet though and to do this, I offered to sharpen one of their own knives. "Give me the dullest knife you have" and go from there. There are different ways to do this of course. Just your ability to discuss knives, bevels, micro bevels, burrs, angles etc. will often be enough to demonstrate a level of knowledge that is usually far beyond most of the people working in the stores selling the knives. Your passion for knife sharpening will become evident as you excitedly discuss scratch patterns and HHT with bewildered but impressed staff. Dazzle them with knowledge and you will survive the first test.

Bottom Line for me was that getting the knives sharp was the easy part, selling myself and getting other people to trust me with their knives was the challenge. Word of mouth really is the key though, and customer service of course.

I am sorry to ramble on, I just went through this a little over two years ago and it has been a very positive experience for me.

Last Edit: 1 year 2 months ago by Peter Nowlan.
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The following user(s) said Thank You: cbwx34, LukasPop, mark76, Mikedoh, JedBowen, LeoBarr, Bobg

Selling your services 1 year 2 months ago #13106

  • cbwx34
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Welcome to the forum.... great first post. Thanks!
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Selling your services 1 year 2 months ago #13136

  • EamonMcGowan
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Welcome to the forum! It is obvious that you are a fine addition! :woohoo:
The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result?
An old Irish toast, May the wind always be at your back, may you always have work and may you be in heaven a half hour before the devil knows your dead. Cheers!
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Selling your services 1 year 2 months ago #13266

  • mark76
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Welcome to the forum! Very good points you make..
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