Wednesday, May 9, 2012

TWO THINGS TODAY... All Right, THREE (or more)

A couple days ago I released Report #3 from the Gentlemens Chess Club, #3, to anyone who requested AND blog readers have requested... but a lot more could have (you still can). It was 5 pages and absolutely FREE. When I say FREE that's what I mean. There was no salesmanship to get anyone to join GCC to read the first two, which are available to Club members only. I've already sent them out (#3). Soon we (Cody and I) hope to have the online web site up and going at it and you will be able to download directly from that.

Why Does Anyone Do FREE?
Actually the main reason is to build trust and a relationship so that at some time in the future "some" will feel comfortable in doing more with my company, The Chess Butler; maybe translating into a big sale. I take a few minutes to establish  my relationships (yay or nay), some others take longer but since I am in the "chess niche" I want to attract potential customers to what I do. Personalities vary all over the map but I have a legion of folks, from years past, who feel strongly about dealing with me. Some I've met in person.

Recently I was in Chicago and an old-time friend told me, "chess resellers are hurting because of Amazon." That's true, I've experienced it myself. But chess resellers are also hurting themselves when they don't carry my TPi products because people DO WANT them! Resellers have the mistaken notion that they alone know what is best for their customers. None of us know that. I get orders from around the world from people who say, "Why don't the resellers in my country carry your stuff?" The answers are simple: shipping is not cheap anymore, there are debilitating tax laws in countries like Germany, AND they think they know what their customers will pay!? As I used to say: "Morons!" Still true. So I sell to their customers instead, directly. (Did you think I had totally reformed?)

The Fall Classic
Already 3 have registered and one is promising to shortly (and I know he will). It's $295.00 because we have some extraordinary talent lined up and that is coupled with expense. We are limited to 24 so everyone can enjoy it immensely. It will be October 26-27-28. I have a schedule made out but want to check it over and add to it. Andrew Martin and I have worked out a DEAL (for our part) to give attendees something really cool, at a really cool price (I mean, insanely cool in the price department). Need to finish this up. Also, you can save $45 or so if you own a Black Gold Card ($55) off the registration price. It's almost like getting this plastic card for FREE for 2012. Then you can use it for a dozen other things. This year I have sold more of these than at any other time EVER! About 20% more. You can get FREE lists of previously owned products (otherwise $20). You get bigger discounts off of STUFF (books, DVDs, equipment). And more I am unable to think of since I was awakened this morning, in my sleep, to tell me I am now a Great Grandfather! If you want a Black Gold Card, the Deadline is May 12th to those who have never had one.

Looking for a Fictional Writer Who Understands Drama, Tension, and Reality
Rough of Pillsbury cover
I'll probably go to Craigslist for this and I KNOW I will be inundated with at least 100 writers who all think they can do this (and 50% of them should work harder on their skills). I recently advertised for someone great at Photoshop and Illustrator and I was pulverized. I did find someone, 30 years of experience, and we clinched the deal and got the cover designed in less than a week! This is a difficult concept for youth to grasp--ON TIME, close the deal, and get paid. It is for the new book I am about to publish in June, Modern Chess Brilliancies (Hustled) by George Gossip and Harry Nelson Pillsbury. Take a look. Kids ask, "How can I get experience if you don't give me the job?" Answer is easy: Work your butt off night and day instead of going out and getting drunk and having sex. That's how I obtained skills at many things: self-discipline and lots of hard work doing what no one else would do (such as working at 3 a.m. in the morning). The cover looks even better than this rough but I already had this available to go here.

New Books and DVDs
I got several boxes of books in and I will be creating a SALES sheet for them such as Eingorn's A Rock-Solid Chess Opening Repertoire for Black. I think many have been waiting for this one in terms of content. The subhead is: "The French Connection: winning ways with 1.e4 e6 and 1.d4 e6." A Gambit book. Took it to bed for night time reading last night. Great job Viacheslav.

Due to the knee jerk reaction (and the word "jerk" is appropriate), I have been limiting my purchases of new stuff to what I think I can sell to my existing customers PLUS a couple "passersby." I didn't used to limit inventory but rather, increased purchases as much as 20% a year. But the NEW people are often tire kickers: request a catalog, then go online and see if they can save the cost of sales tax by ordering it from somewhere else 1,200 miles away. (This happened last week from a customer in Iowa.) They urgently (???) need the item but are willing to sacrifice 4-5 days (or more I've been told) to save two bucks.

In the Diner Last Night
After two solid months of nose to the grindstone work, my friend Gary and I took the evening off and went to see SAFE because we both like the "slow pace" of Jason Statham! Our bill at "Steak and Shake" was about $15.00 and we tipped the waitress $5. Why? Not because we wanted to throw money away but because she was so attentive to us. Remembered us from previous "movie occasions," and because we wanted HER for any future transactions. She answered (a 11 p.m.) our idiotic questions with aplomb and humor. She wasn't even my "type" though she was cute. We would have tipped her $20 if we had it on us. Most of those people work very hard and are only guaranteed a couple bucks an hour for wages! When a bunch of us were in Savannah, GA a few years back for a Chess Clinic the guys (Jim Perry, Julian Wan, Dale Suilmann, Andrew Martin, Rob Long, and myself) were tipping $20 EACH for meals, or sandwiches, or buying wine because we were HAVING the best times of our lives (nope, no one was drunk). Funny stories with jovial hilarity, talking about everything except chess (and probably some chess). Did those servers LOVE waiting on us? You bet. Try it some time. You will go home feeling "insanely great" as Steve Jobs used to say. They won't forget you.

I am having a SALE on inventory of Chess DVDs because I have to pay the Chess DVD distributor guy. The Euro has dropped like a rock but my DVD prices hadn't (from the distributor). I need a new distributor or to DO it myself, but then, I am dealing with the rigid Germans and I think you have to buy everything which comes out, in quantity, and that includes crap such as DVDs "made" by Grivas. I don't want to get into that trap (yet). You have to be a BIG buying force in order to pull that off where they give you great terms. In the meantime, the LIST will go first to Black Gold Card holders. What is left will go to everyone else. I'm telling you, there are a lot of great reasons to OWN one of those Black Gold Cards for 2012. Most of the time they just occur to me (the reasons) as I am working.

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