In the last post of this series I’ll examine ways to increase profits with effective salesmanship. Good customer service and a positive attitude can make or break sales at craft shows, so you have to always try your best to excel in this aspect of running a business. Every crafter has a bad day or feels drained once in a while, but you should still push through and be pleasant to shoppers. Here are a few tips to help you along the way:
Be Friendly and Charming
This may seem obvious, but not greeting shoppers can turn someone off immediately. Before they even make it over to your booth you want to be smiley and approachable. I’ve seen artists with beautiful work make no sales because they ignored customers and barely even looked up. If you are an extremely shy person who had a hard time talking to people, invite a more outgoing friend to help at your booth for the day. It could be the difference between very few or many sales.
Don’t Be Pushy
Rather than pressuring your potential customers, win them over and gain sales by being helpful and engaging. No one likes a cheesy “hard sell” when shopping, and it could potentially put off customers. A lot of people go to craft shows to socialize, do a bit of browsing, and to shop if they sees something that catches their eye. You can drive a shopper away from your brand forever if you try to oversell them.
Shoppers love free samples and are more likely to make a purchase if they like them. If you make a bath product (like soap) or sell edible goods (like chocolates), make small tester sizes for them to take with or to try at your booth. Place cute little baskets full of minis on your display and label what each sample is for clarity. Also include potential allergy information to be on the safe side. If you can’t give out samples, you can still provide freebies like buttons, stickers, or postcards branded with your business’ info and photos. This way people are more likely to remember your company in the future!
Demonstrate How Your Products Work
Another way to appeal to shoppers is to do demonstrations at your craft fair booth. Show them how your products are used in a quick and informative manner. If the purpose or method of use isn’t obvious this is essential, and this technique can even be effective for items like scarves and necklaces. For example, I like to demonstrate on myself how to wear my faux fur scarves in a few different ways, and it has lead to many more sales than if I just let them sit there on the display. Always make sure that your spiel doesn’t bother your neighboring booths by being excessively loud, smelly, or intrusive.
Use Beautiful Packaging
When you’re wrapping up a customer’s purchase try to make it as beautiful as possible. You don’t have to spend a lot on fancy packaging- just make sure it is clean, sturdy, and the colors and style match your logo and branding. Tissue paper and gift bags can be purchased inexpensively at your local dollar store, office supply shop, or from many places online. I always ask the customer if they want their item(s) in a bag or gift box. Many prefer to use their own bags or to put it on right then and there! In this case I always give them my business card which would go in the bag anyway.
Be your charming self, offer great packaging, and don’t be afraid to demonstrate or offer samples of your items and your sales are sure to increase at your next craft show!