Monday, May 7, 2012

Pittsburgh RugLovers tour is filling up

The Pittsburgh RugLovers tour is filling up nicely. One reason I keep hearing is the feeling of community, a feeling of Brotherhood. We don’t try to control every minute of your day. It would be so simple to sit everyone in a Hotel Ballroom and show Videos and PowerPoints. But that is not how I learn, it is a great way to control people but unless the speaker is spectacular it makes me sleepy.

We get people who would feel swamped if 10 rugs came in and others who if it gets under a hundred rugs a week they get nervous. Many of the folks were not washing rugs three years ago and a fair number are over 20 years in the business. 
So why do they come?
We structure the event so people form into groups. We don’t assign the groups they just form. Mark Keshishian and Sons hosted a reception for us at their gallery and without planning a Rug ID class broke out. Suddenly Mark Keshishian and Dusty Roberts had a whole group going through the stacks looking at rugs and comparing. Or at the Rug ID seminar Lisa Wagner had a crowd around her talking shop and picking her brain. Poor Lisa came for a social weekend, after all what are we going to teach her? But instead she coached and tutored a constant stream of people about a wide range of problems. Nathan Koets tells me he gets the most out of the off time talking in the bar after class. Nathan is sharp enough to know  that even after 20 some years in the rug washing pit he can still learn. In fact a lot of our experienced cleaners come to hear how others are doing it and what chemicals and equipment is working for other people.

What is the value of getting one on one time to discuss your issues with Nathan Koets, Mark Keshishian, Dusty Roberts, Lynn Tall, Paul Lucas and so on. But for some crazy reason it does not end on the last day of the event. We make the ties that continue after we go home. Have a problem? Now you have a new network of friends to call when you need them. My mother had a way of mixing metaphors and one of my favorites was what she called, “Out of the frying pan into the fan.” When we get to that point we are not alone any more.

On Friday in Pittsburgh we will have at least 6 restorers showing us how to do the repair and getting us started. Some of us will need the “How to Thread a needle” tutorial and that is OK. You will learn some basic skills but moere importantly you will learn to talk the Talk so that you can sell it and job the work out to someone else. The more your shop does the more your customers will trust you. If you cannot offer repair or appraisals and have to send your customer away you will find a number of them never come back,
On Saturday Nathan Koets will have a new strategy with Bleeders. At my urging Nathan will do as little work as possible. Why? Because we want you to do it for him. Bring your rubber boots because we need you on the wash floor under Nathan’s careful instruction. . It is one thing to watch an expert deal with a bleeder but it is much better when the non-experts jump on in and do it. This is the full gamut from Testing Colors to Cleaning, Remediation and even Dye Stripping.
Sunday we will launch a new idea. Well actually it is an old idea that no one talks about and most people have to learn it the long, hard, painful, expensive way. We will have a special panel presentation of Authority Marketing.
Then we will follow up with the wildly successful RugLover Marketing. Dusty Roberts will show you how to generate substantial business and positive growth for very little cost.
This is where the best get better by coming together. I hope to see you there.