There is something about being behind that table at a craft show that can be a little intimidating, especially if you are a little shy, and that is conversing with complete strangers.
If you say the wrong thing shoppers may think you are pushy and be turned off.
If you say nothing they think you aren’t helpful, or not interested, and they may walk away.
What’s a creative business owner to do?
I was behind the table this past weekend at a show and I think I’ve hit upon the right approach.
Questions. Questions not necessarily related to what you are selling. Try these conversation starters:
1. Hi, how are you?
2. I love your sweater, hair, jewelry etc. Be sincere, people can tell when you are making things up.
3. Talk to the kids, ask them what grade they are in etc. The adults will often answer or tell you other things about the child leaving you opportunities to talk to the adults as well.
4. Candy canes (or other candies that aren’t choking hazards) in a basket or bowl on the table. People will ask if they can have one or you can simply offer them one. The trick here is to use a SMALL dish or bowl and only put out a couple of dozen at a time. It keeps people from taking a handful and filling it back up gives you more opportunities for conversation.
5. Is it handmade? (see number 2)
6. What is the best thing you’ve seen at the show so far?
7. Is the sun shining yet? Or other appropriate weather related questions.
8. Where are you from? Did you drive a long way?
9. Do you buy handmade items often?
10. Did you come to the show looking for something in particular?
And finally, be sure to end with “If you need anything, I’m here to help.”
BONUS: If appropriate wear some of your creations or display them in an unexpected way. This will lead to shoppers asking you questions.
Asking generic questions makes you appear interested, friendly and not at all pushy.
What are some other questions you can ask shoppers in order to break the ice?
By: Vicki O’Dell , The Creative Goddess