View Full Version : Did I Make A Potential Customer Mad?

12-05-2012, 01:02 PM
Last night I received a phone call from a protential customer about a cutting board. He told me he had upgraded to better Henkles knives and bought a Chefs Choice sharpener. (I know, I can hear then groans from here!) Knowing we have members in his area I strongly suggested joining here and taking advantage of those who know and learn how to sharpen instead of grinding away his edge on that carbide knife destroyer. He wasn't concerned in the least.

I don't know if he will join or buy one of my boards but at least I tried to point him in the right direction.

Cutty Sharp
12-05-2012, 01:14 PM
Depends how you said it, I think. You could have made him interested in jumping in a new direction, or you might have taken the wind out of his sails. (Mixed metaphor- sorry.) I'm sure there are people who feel quite chuffed and sophisticated when they buy a Chefs Choice sharpener.

12-05-2012, 01:21 PM
I imagine he just dropped a few hundred $ and was feeling quite good about things at that point. He may have been put off a bit. If the Henkels he bought are the more traditional German type, the sharpener is probably just fine (sure, the aggressive wheel will kill the knives after a while, but if he doesn't use it that often he should get a decent life out of the knife). But as CS said, it's all in how you worded things.

Nothing wrong with pointing people in the 'right' direction, although many (most?) will probably find the whole premise of KKF a bit, uhm, extreme :knife:

12-05-2012, 01:34 PM
When I first became obsessed with his hobby of our I managed to inadvertently ruffle a few feathers when comparing German steel knives to Japanese knives. I've since learned that the best way to approach it is from an unbiased angle and simply compare to the two types pro's and con's. I find that with this approach people can decide for themselves, and to be honest, for most people the softness of a german knife is better as they typically don't have the knife skills nor the sharpening skills or even the interest to learn to care for knives. Plus the brand means a lot to many people, for example there are far superior watches than a Rolex however a Rolex has massive brand presence, similar to Bose.

Dave in terms of how I would have handled a situation like yours, I would have avoided disparaging the knives and the sharpener (not saying that you did that) and simply offered the fact that if the person had more questions about knives and sharpening that this would be a great place to go to learn. Show them the path and let them choose to pursue, I've learned that if I try to force my hobbies and interests on others that they quickly become disenchanted by them.

12-05-2012, 04:05 PM
Important business advise for the future. Tell people about KKF and how they can get ejumacated on all things sharp and pointy AFTER you have their credit card number. :lol2:

12-05-2012, 04:14 PM
AFTER you have their credit card number. :lol2:

Maybe I was a little to enthused so I may have put him off a bit especially when he said he dropped over $100 on the "sharpener". Oh well, at least I tried. And I'm loyal to KKF!

12-05-2012, 04:15 PM
Important business advise for the future. Tell people about KKF and how they can get ejumacated on all things sharp and pointy AFTER you have their credit card number. :lol2:

+1 Yes. :lol:

By the way, nothing frustrates me for customers who believe that the edge pro can sharpen Japanese style knives and can't be convinced otherwise. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT!?

Dave Martell
12-05-2012, 04:57 PM
The truth hurts to hear sometimes but like my drill instructor said, "If you had something hanging out of your nose wouldn't you want someone to tell you?" I think it's best to speak the truth and let them deal with it however they will.

12-05-2012, 07:51 PM
Double bevel edges from a Chefs' Choice are serviceable, if the blade isn't too brittle and the user has a less than a little skill. The real problems show up when you need thinning behind the edge and that is true for any knife.

12-05-2012, 08:05 PM
One of the first things that I learned in the sales biz was to never disparage a customer's previous purchasing decisions. Sell them what they NEED and let them disparage their own bad decisions after the fact.:D

12-05-2012, 11:32 PM
Taylor's First Law: You can't tell a man he has an ugly baby.

Corollaries to Taylor's First Law:

a) Even if he begins to realize that his baby is ugly, he will admit it only to himself.

b) Even if he knows that the baby is ugly, it is still his baby and he will protect it with his life.

Keith Sinclair
12-20-2012, 07:23 PM
When I taught my first class at the Culinary school,I asked if any students had a knife to sharpen,alot of hands shot up.This one kid had a wusthof wt. the thickest bolster I've seen,also a stainless Santoku,both very dull.I picked the Santoku to sharpen,the Shuns & Forchner's sharpened up well,but this kids Santoku was really crap stainless I put a decent edge on it.

When he asked me about his knives,I told him flat out you need a new knife,order one of the knives that I recomm. in the class handout.his friend just laughed.

This kid got a stone set,a new J-Gyuto,Later I went one on one wt. him,he picked up quickly techs.Back bevel,final bevel,burr removal,Now he is sharpening other students knives for 10.00 each.I did not exactly say his knives were junk,but he got the message,& in his case it worked.:knife:

12-20-2012, 10:16 PM
I think the fact that he actually recognised that knives need to be sharpened and bought a device to accomplish this is pretty admirable in the first place. The vast majority of people don't. Stainless to most means you can dishwash them and they'll stay sharp forever. I was branded a knife nazi for buying and using a Furi pull through. I don't know what I'll get called now that I've got specific sharpening stones and a sink bridge etc etc. Adolf perhaps? More appropriately Hirohito as I'm now starting to buy Japanese knives.

It's pretty easy to get carried away by this purist, little world of J-nats and J-knives.