Successful selling at craft shows is all about engaging customers and guiding them to your products. It’s not about crazy pitches or being obnoxious. It’s about building a rapport and a camaraderie with your customer and building a relationship with them that may last well beyond your first meeting.
Compared to selling online, selling at craft shows and art shows can be a great opportunity since you should already have potential customers there who are specifically interested in the kinds of products you’re selling. The fact that they’re already there means half of the selling process is already done for you.
Read on for specifics that will help you be successful selling at craft shows and art shows…
Don’t Be Afraid To Speak To Potential Customers
I went to a craft show once and stopped at every booth. I was curious to see who would engage with me as a potential customer. There were over 100 booths at this show. Only 2 of the sellers approached me and said hello.
Now I understand you don’t want to come across as pushy — nobody wants that and customers don’t appreciate it. But say hello to each person for cryin’ out loud! If you don’t show any interest in the customer then they won’t show any interest in you!
Say hello. Wait a bit. Tell them a bit about your product and why you make it. If they ask a question, answer it. Be personable. Tell them a little more. Pick up one of your products and show it to them.
This isn’t being pushy this is just being friendly. And it’s letting potential customers know that you’re interested in them and you want to help them by letting them buy the awesome product that you make and sell! This is a key concept of successful selling at craft shows and art shows.
Ask Questions That Will Get A Real Answer
So you’re selling at a show and a potential customer approaches. You wait a moment — so you’re not pouncing on them — and you ask, “How are you today?”
The customer replies, “Fine.”
Okay, now what?
Asking a generic question or offering an expected greeting doesn’t do anything to help you engage with that person and it doesn’t do anything to help you show your product to them.
How about asking, “Are you shopping for someone special today?” Or, “Are these the kinds of gifts your family would enjoy?” See how those kinds of questions can get the conversation started?
Explain What Your Product Does, How It Works And Why It’s Popular
Once you’ve initiated a conversation tell the customer a little more about the product. Tell them things about the product that they’ll find useful or helpful to them.
Let them know why people like it and why people buy it. Not only do people want something useful or helpful, they want something that other people already like. It makes the purchase feel more secure knowing that lots of people have made that same purchase.
Get The Product In Their Hands
If the customer is receptive to taking a closer look then get the product into their hands. Let them look closely and let them try it out. If they’re going to fall in love with your product then having it in their hands is the first date.
Give Honest Answers To Their Questions
When customers ask for details about your products tell them the truth. Tell them if there’s anything in the product that could cause an allergy or any problems. And if you have a “secret recipe” then tell them it’s your own formula that you can’t share everything about, but it’s safe and durable — make sure that is true, of course.
Offer A Promotional Deal
For successful selling at craft shows don’t underestimate the power of a good deal. If the customer is lingering or trying things on then they’re looking for something to finalize their decision to buy. If you can offer a discount when they buy more than one, do it. You’ll sell a bit more and they’ll pay a bit less for each item so it’s a win-win.
Accept Credit Cards
Look, you need to accept credit cards. Period. Otherwise you’re losing dollars to save pennies and that’s just crazy.
If you don’t accept credit cards already you can go to Amazon and grab a Square chip card reader, then you install the app on your smartphone. It’s that easy and it will increase your sales significantly.
Let Them Know Who You Are And How To Contact You
Have you ever been at a show and asked a vendor for a card? Of course you have. So if you’re selling at a show why wouldn’t you have business cards?
If you don’t have cards you’re saying two things: 1. You don’t care about the customer being able to reach you and 2. You’re not running a real business. Those are terrible things to say!
Have business cards! They’re cheap and their cost is paid for when just one customer calls you later to buy something you showed them at an event. Successful selling at craft shows and art shows means acting like a professional business and letting them reach you to buy again later.
Along those same lines, have a sign at your booth when you do a show. Let them see who you are and how to reach you later. Provide your website address and make sure you have a website that can accept orders and payments from your customers!
You Can Do Successful Selling At Craft Shows And Events
None of these things are hard. A lot of them are common sense. Be friendly and engaging. Don’t be pushy. Explain what you sell. Help people get something they want and need.
It’s really that simple.