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Business Development: Let's Talk Pricing, Part 1

Business Development: Let's Talk Pricing, Part 1  -  by Teddy Wright, Education Director

As a studio owner we are always looking for new products, promotions, and venues to sell our product. We create samples that will sell and change our displays so pottery will sell. But are we pricing to sell?

Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?

  • Customer #1: I have three small children at home, so I don’t have time to come in and paint. All of my free time is after 9:00 p.m.
  • Customer #2: I love personal gifts but I have no creative skills at all. I can’t paint a stick figure.
  • Customer #3: I’m a school teacher at Smith Elementary. We have a kiln here but I love the little sharks you sell. I have $3.00 per person to spend. Can I purchase 100 sharks for $3 each? We will paint and fire them at the school.
  • Customer #4: I work at a not-for-profit organization and we are doing our annual auction in May. Can you donate a party? We will put your name in our brochure and you will get exposure to 100 families.
  • Customer #5: Do you sell your samples?
  • Customer #6: Will your fire pottery I have at home? Or I’m taking a wheel throwing class, but they don’t fire. Will you?

If you said no to any of these questions to your customers, you are loosing a lot of money every day. Once a customer is in the door, they are already interested, so making a sale is your next step. We all work way too hard to let business walk out the door.

These customers represent:

#1 – Pottery To Go
#2 – Custom Work
#3 – Turn-key Business
#4 – Different Mark-up on Pottery (Don’t always stick to the 5-7 times mark up)
#5 – Finished Ware or Sample Sales
#6 – Opportunity Fee

This may sound like a lot of work, but you are already doing a lot of work with your monthly calendars and promotions. All you need to do is:

1. Establish six pricing structures with the same inventory you already carry.
2. Train your staff.
3. Put the pricing structure in your brochures and on your website
4. Notify customers MAKE THE SALE!

Still not sold on different pricing? Stay tuned in the upcoming months when we’ll look at each customer in-depth.

Next month: Pottery To Go.

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