I continually try to think of ways that our members of the “Daryle Lambert Antique and Collectibles Club can be more successful. It occurred to me that perhaps I have been oblivious to something that was right there in my face.
Have you heard the phrase "Buyer's Associate" and if so do you know what it means? My friend in Los Angles and his wife use a buyer's associate for almost everything they buy. It is much easier for them with their busy schedules to have someone else do their buying than to take the time to do it themselves. What a novel concept and my question is can that work for us?
In the past, I have talked about how our former customers should be our best future customers but how does that work? First, we need to keep lists of the items people buy from us and search for other similar items to present to them. That sounds something like being a "Buyer's Associate", doesn't it? Second, if your customers are real buyers then it is up to you to keep in communication with them to see what they are in the market for.
Here is an example of how this just worked for me. I have a customer that has a very large collection of Steuben glass for her table. She was looking through an auction catalog and saw a compote that matched her set and asked me my opinion. Going to the site and finding the piece listed for $500 - $800 it seemed reasonable to me so I contacted her and asked if she would like to be represented at the auction. Her answer was “most certainly” so I made the arrangement to bid by phone for the compote. I had just become a " buyer's associate" but would this be good for her?
The auction house agreed to call me when the compote's number came up and I was to be near the phone. At about 1:00 the phone rang and a gentleman asked if I was ready to bid and my answer was “Yes”, but I didn't want to bid until someone else bid first. The season for that strategy was so that the price would start as low as possible. On the phone I could hear "I have $325 do you want to bid?" "Yes, $350" but that didn't last long and the new bid was $375 and I bid $400. Guess what? That is where the bidding ended so I ask you, did I do a great job for her or what? You see the auction house knew who I was so there wasn't any funny business and I purchased the piece below the low estimate where if the customer had been bidding the price could have been several times what I purchased it for.
In cases like this I will assure you that your customers will be more than willing to pay your commission and thank you for your service. Here is the best part. Yes, you could have purchased it hoping that the customer would buy it from you and exposing your capital but by being the "Buyer's Associate" it required no money outlay by you. Just another way of skinning a cat. You cat lovers please don't be offended.
I hope that in the future we will be able to receive comments on the blog but that doesn't seem to be happening at the present time. I would appreciate if you would send all comment to www.31corp.com until I can solve this problem.