Sunday, April 3, 2011

Workshops - What Do Customers Want?

When we have new customers we often mistakenly assume they know how to use the tools and products we demonstrate. What tips do you give new customers that they appreciate the most?
I always start out by asking the customers who has used punches, a Big Shot etc, depending on what tools I will be using.  I them ask them sweetly to wait until I show them some tips on how to use the products before jumping in.  Things like using a separate Stampin' Scrub for Staz-On, or how the new punch design works best when it is used flat on the table (and you can use it upside down to center the image you want to punch) . .. even if they have been told these things in the past, a refresher is always good.  It helps prevent MY products from being ruined. 
I think my most popular "tip" is the bow-making advice I have taken from SUDSOL!  People are always so thrilled when they can make a nice bow!
I always show everyone at a workshop HOW I cut the  cardstock to make a card. Most people don't even know how you get to the card part so I take a 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock and show them how to cut it in the middle and fold it. They are always amazed and excited that it is easy to make a simple card with cardstock.
Believe it or not I show them how to mount and use stamps. If they are really new they have no idea how to put the new stamps together, how to open an ink pad, how to get ink on the stamp (rub it? Pat it? Upsidedown or rightside up?), clean the stamp. If they don't even know that it's not surprising that we can overwhelm them with a three layer card in four colours with ribbon, buttons and bling! :0) Sometimes people say "I've been to these workshops before but I didn't order anything because I didn't know what to do with it!"
I know personally that the more layers, embellishments, and bling the better I like it, so I have to force myself to remember what it was like the first time I stamped.
The tips my gals appreciate the most are these: 
1)  How to apply adhesive so things stick but they don't break the bank by over-adhereing stuff.  If they are using good adhesive, they don't need to cover the back of the cardstock!

2)  How to stamp something and then hold the punch upside down so they can see it through the "hole" and then punch the item while centering the image they want punched.  (I hope that makes sense.)

3)  How to use their measuring tool (I always recommend our Fiskars cutter).

4)  How to use markers on their stamps to omit an image if they choose.

5)  If you want all the colors, buy spots instead of full inkpads but always buy the re-inker when you buy a pad or a spot!  Never be without a re-inker!

6)  Your projects will only be as good as the tools you invest in and cardstock counts as a tool. "Cheap" products will give you cheap looking projects.

 7) How to use the Stamp-A-Ma-Jig!

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