Farriers' Roundtable

Q:  “How do you sell owners who think they can shoe their own horse cheaper?”

—A Midwest farrier

A: “They ‘can’ shoe their own horses cheaper and—even if they don’t want to do the work themselves—they can always find someone who will do it cheaper.

“So if price is the highest item on an owner’s criteria list, we’re not going to sell that owner on the idea of using professional services. Rather than wasting time and energy trying to approach these owners with direct sales, we’re much better off to ‘sell’ these owners indirectly.

“One form of selling indirectly is by doing high quality shoeing work on a daily basis. Eventually, when these owners change their criteria and place the horse’s welfare and performance ahead of the dollar figure, they will look to other professionals within the equine community. If you’re doing every horse as if it is the most important horse on your schedule, your name will come up.

“Another form of indirect sales comes through professional affiliation. Good, strong, professional organizations place themselves in the public eye to promote their members so the individual members don’t have to be self-promoting. By affiliating with and working within an organization that addresses the consuming public, you will be promoted to those consumers. Likewise, when you take advantage of certification and endorsement programs within such an organization, you will be promoted accordingly.

“Ultimately, I think attempts at direct sales in the farrier business are generally a waste of time and energy…

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