24 May 2009
I just received this email from a piercer:
I am a regular reader of your advice in Pain Magazine and I am a huge fan of your recent book. You have made me a better piercer...
I'm one of the only piercers in my area not looking for a quick buck. My question to you is, how do I stop all this negativity in the profession in my area? I believe that what really matters in this is our clients. I want to see them get the safest best piercing the first time around. I am often fixing many of these piercings these guys are doing and coming to find out that I'm being bad talked about, but in the end, I'm the one who is fixing their work. I appericiate your time and again your book was an amazing source of information that all piercees should read prior to getting pierced. Thanks again, JeffThis is my reply: Hi Jeff, Thanks for the positive feedback--I appreciate it, and I'm glad to know that my work has been helpful to you. Unfortunately, the problem you describe is very common. I actually had a nearby piercer telling people that my studio reused needles and didn't sterilize anything, and that we were filthy and didn't know what we were doing! He told people that if they'd been pierced in my studio, they probably had AIDS and Hepatitis from it! My "bad neighbor" piercer had actually maligned me so much that I had people who had been fed the slanderous statements sign affidavits about what he said, and contacted an attorney who issued him a "cease and desist" letter! When people came in--sometimes concerned about what they'd been told, I simply behaved my usual professional way and educated them about the hygiene and sterilization procedures that were used in the studio. It never took long at all to convince everyone that we most definitely did know what we were doing, and that there was no risk of disease transmission from piercing in my place of business. I find it can be helpful to your clients if you have printed materials that clearly explain things. I had one that explained the quality of my jewelry and what was different about it from the cheap stuff down the road--and why it was worth paying more for. I had a sheet that detailed all of the hygiene and sterilization procedures that were carried out in the studio. I had the "Checklist for Choosing a Piercer" from the Association of Professional Piercers. I've also been a member of the organization for many years. And by showing that I meet the membership criteria and follow all existing industry standards, it set me apart from other local piercers. I would also detail the risks they encounter if they get pierced anywhere the jewelry and procedures were below par. This can be done politely and professionally, without badmouthing anyone. It takes time and effort to educate potential customers. But I usually found that it was well worth the effort involved, and that many people became my loyal clients, and also told their friends about the superior treatment they received under my roof. Then again, the saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink," and unfortunately the same applies to people. You can share the information with them, but some simply won't take heed. But many of them will! Keep doing what you're doing the right way! I wish you the best of luck. P.S. Since you agree that all piercees should read my book before getting pierced, I wanted to let you know that it can be purchased wholesale from the publisher to resell in your studio.