We have started a Wednesday night Camp Fire story telling event.  Last night, 1eggman or Ron, volunteered to be our story teller for the evening.  Ron is a great story teller.  Here are two from his selling experiences, one as a follow up from last week’s Kicking Bear story on Competition and a fable.  Enjoy!
The Returning Customer

I was doing a show right before Christmas, the best show I did each year, and I had a very good customer there, Bob, who always purchased a lot of my higher priced eggs. Usually for the Christmas show I had some special eggs with me, that he had ordered, and this show was no exception. Since he had never seen the eggs before, I always had them on display and he usually would walk in the booth and immediately recognize them as his.
This day I had 3 women in my booth and I know they had at least 250 years on this earth amongst them. One saw a Special Egg of Bobs and asked the price. I told her it was a Special order but if she wanted one like it, it was $3500.00. I thought she was going to pass out. She looks at another egg and this woman sure had class because it was $1200.00. She then gets into some filigree eggs, all displayed on one shelf, and asks what they cost. As I’m telling her between $250.00 and $1,000.00, in walks Bob, says hello and starts looking around. Bob was about in his mid- 30’s. He sees the one Special egg, says “That’s Mine” and sees another and just points at it. I nod, he tells me they look fabulous, says ” Those 2, this one, this one and pick me out 4 of the filigrees. Then says ” I have to pick up something else, I’ll be back in about 15 minutes.” We are now looking at about $8,000.00 spent in about 5 minutes.
Bob turns and walks out of the booth and those three women have their eyes glued on him and I swear they were drooling. Finally, one looks over at me and I will never forget her words: “What’s his name and is he married?” They must have spent another 10 minutes in my booth, discussing how they could get Bob to come for dinner. I was trying my best to keep from rolling in the aisle laughing and the best part came when Bob came back and I told him what happened. He asked me if maybe he should get Security to walk him to his car.   He is still a great customer and
No, the women weren’t waiting for him outside.
Where Do I Find God?

Once there was a man who lived in a beautiful log cabin. He seemed to have everything but was never happy. The man believed it was because he was unlucky. One day he had enough and he went to a very old and wise woman to find out why he was not lucky. The old and wise woman thought about it and told him he must visit God and ask him that question. “Where do I find God?” The man asked.
“Travel to the West until you reach the end of the world and there you will find God,” said the Old woman. So the man set off to find God and ask why he was not lucky. He walked for a day, he walked for a week, he walked for a month and he even walked for a year until he came to a clearing which was surrounded by wolves.
On one side were these strong and vicious looking wolves. On the other was a small scrawny wolf. The man decided to walk towards the scrawny wolf. As he passed the wolf asked.
“Where are you going?”
“I am going to visit God and ask him why I have no luck,” answered the Man.
“Interesting. If you find him can you please ask why I am not as strong and as vicious as my brothers,” asked the Wolf.
“Of course.” The man answered and he walked off.
He walked for a day, he walked for a week, he walked for a month, he walked for a year until he got to a beautiful forest. The trees were vast and stretched far up into the sky but in a small clearing was a short leafless tree with wimpy branches. As the man walked by the tree called out, “Excuse me where are you going?”
“I am going to visit God and ask him why I have no luck.”
“Fascinating. If you find God can you ask him why I am not as tall and strong as my brothers,” the tree asked.
“Of course,” answered the man and he walked off.
He walked for a day, he walked for a week, he walked for a month, and he walked for a year until he came to a small blue house. Surrounding this house was a beautiful garden filled with vibrant colors and bright flowers. From inside the house came the most beautiful woman the man had ever seen. On seeing the man, the woman invited him in for dinner and to spend the night. The man agreed and enjoyed a wonderful feast cooked to perfection by the woman. As they ate, the man told his story and at the end the woman asked, “That is a lovely story. If you find God can you ask him why I am so lonely?”
“Of course I can,” answered the man. Then he went to bed.
The next day he set off and walked to the West. He walked for a day, he walked for a week, he walked for a month, he walked for a year until finally he reached the end of the world. There sitting on cloud, fishing, was God. The man called out, “Excuse me. But God can you tell me why I have no luck.”
God looked up and said, “You have all the luck you need. It is all around you, you just don’t notice it. Be more observant and you will find your luck.”
This made sense to the man and he began to ask the other questions he had promised but God just raised his hand, “there is no need to ask the questions. I already know what they are, for I know everything” and God whispered the answers into the man’s ear. The man thanked God and began to walk home.
He arrived first at the beautiful woman’s house and knocked on the door. The woman was overjoyed to see him and asked him for her answer.
“God told me why you are so lonely. You must get married.”
“Of course. It makes sense. Will you marry me?” The woman asked the man.
“I am sorry, I can not, for I must find my luck. But the first nice man I see, I will send back to you,” answered the man.
With that he continued home until he reached the beautiful forest. The small tree saw him and asked for his answer. “The reason you are small and have no leaves is because buried beneath your roots is a chest full of gold. It is blocking you from receiving nutrients.”
“Of course, that makes sense. Please, some workmen left shovels over there. If you dig up the chest, you can keep the gold inside,” said the tree.
“I am sorry, I can not. For I must find my luck. But the first strong man I see, I shall send back,” replied the man and with that he continued on his way home.
He reached the clearing of the wolves and the small scrawny wolf asked him for his answer. “The reason you are small and scrawny is because you do not eat enough. You must eat the first big stupid animal you see.” Of course replied the wolf, that makes sense.
And the wolf did.
Follow Up On Competition
Competition is something we all learned about last week, something that will never hurt you if you welcome it and learn from it. Share your art and talent with someone else, maybe someone who does entirely different work, and what comes from it could very possible benefit you both.

The same applies here. Don’t get so involved in your work that you don’t take the time to look around you and try different things. Just like bread will get stale if you just let it sit, so will your Art and Creations if you don’t try to make something new. Be it a new design or technique, folks are always looking for that new and unusual item. Just look in the Walosi Treasury or think about all the brains that are straining right now, trying to come up with something special for the Anasazi Challenge
Never be afraid to take both criticism or suggestions, they just might be the key to something new that could make a huge difference in your life. How many new items do you keep, or set aside, because you don’t like them? Do you give them away, keep them for yourself? I have taken those items to a show, designs I didn’t like and just knew they wouldn’t sell, and sold them the first day. Some I’ve had more then one request for at a show. Remember, it’s the customer that decides if they want an item, not you. Sometimes, what you don’t like can be a great seller. Look around and visualize.
Don’t Mess with Ron!
When I had my EggArt Gallery in Old Town Fredericksburg, VA, I had a young man and his fiance who stopped in every weekend to see what I had new. They never bought anything but they always would have someone new with them and I did get quite a few sales because of them. They also brought me coffee or iced tea, depending on the time of year, and sometimes a sandwich. Wonderful kids.
One day they come in and tell me they are getting married and want a Special Egg, one they had seen before. It was an Emu egg, would have their names and date on it and sold for $500.00. It also had roses and 2 lovebirds and I always had that part already finished, just in case I needed one in a rush. I got the needed information for the engraving ( names and date of the wedding ) and she said her mom and dad would be in to order it.
That evening, in come mom and dad, introduce themselves and ask to see the egg the daughter wanted. I show them pictures of it, they say they love it and ask how long to do it. I tell them about a month ( I always want to make it sound like the customer if getting a deal and hate being rushed ) and they tell me they need it in less then 3 weeks. I tell them I’ll have it ready for their daughter before then, they give me their name and phone number and while I’m putting an emu egg back that I was showing them, they leave. No deposit but I really wasn’t worried since the kids were in every weekend.
Anyway, I call them on a Tuesday, the wedding was going to be Saturday and they tell me they will be down Thursday to pick it up. Thursday evening, I am in the back of the shop and in they walk. I tell them I’ll be right with them, go to get the egg and as I’m walking up I hear him telling her “Now you keep quiet and let me do the talking.” I know I’m a little hard of hearing but now I’m thinking : What the heck.
I show them the egg, they are looking at it and Mom looks like she is thrilled. Dad looks at me and says “I don’t know, this really isn’t what I expected.” I tell him it’s like the poicture I showed him, he making all sorts of gestures with his wife and telling her he doesn’t believe their daughter would like it. I tell him I know she would and it’s exactly like what she wanted and I spent extra time making it special
After a few more minutes of him hee hawing with his wife, he tells me that they are sorry but I should have shown them an egg like it, not just a picture, and he knew their daughter wouldn’t like it. I tell hom No Problem, take the egg from him and put it back in the box while he and his wife discuss things. Finally, he turns to me and asks what I was going to do with the egg, all the time making it sound like they are really sorry that I wasted my time carving it. I tell him I’d probaly use it as a display egg, he says he doesn’t believe that would be appropriate, looks at his wife ( who looked like she was ready to die ) and tells me: I’m not going to pay $500.00 for something I don’t really like but I’ll give you $200.00 so you don’t lose out totally.
I tell him, only my best work leaves the shop and if they don’t like the egg, I’m not going to sell it to them. I then tell them, here, I really can’t use it so you just might as well take it and give it to your Daughter, No Charge. While I’m finishing packing the egg, his wife starts to say something but he stops her and she just glares at him. I put the box, with the egg, in a bag, hand it to him and tell him to tell his Daughter I hope they have a lovely wedding. As they turn to leave, he looked like he was pushing his wife out, I tell him: “Oh Wait, that egg has my name engraved in it and I wouldn’t want anyone to see I did it, if it’s not my best work.” I take the bag from him and tell him it will only take me a minute to take my name off it. He tells me no problem and is smiling from ear to ear.
That smile left his face in an instant when I set the bag on the table, raised my hand overhead and smashed the box and egg completely. I handed him the bag, told him I hope they enjoy the egg and now, “Get the hell out of my Gallery and don’t ever step foot in it again.” His wife was screaming and hitting him severely, he went to say something and I started from behind the counter, telling them they had better leave before I toss them out. All I heard was the wife screaming at him ” You ignorant bas%^$#, that egg was beautiful. Now what are we going to do?”
The Bride and Groom stopped in about a week, or so, later, apologized and asked if I would do another. I already had one done, that I planned on giving them myself, but asked who was paying for it. They said her Dad and I told her to tell him I wouldn’t until I was paid for the first egg. I also wanted full payment, in cash, for the second egg before starting on it. To my shock she said I will and he will put up the money or Mom would kill him. I couldn’t go through with that, went in the back and brought their egg out. It was worth it to see the tears she shed when she saw it and I told them it was my present to them.
That evening I got a call from her to let me know Mom and Dad were on the way to my Gallery to pay for the first egg and the one she had ordered. She never told him I already gave it to them and yes, I did get paid for both.
Join us next Wednesday night at 8:00 EST to hear another tale from Kicking Bear!