15 Craft Shows Tips & Tricks to sell more, stress less and have more fun - part deux

7. Nothing Draws a Crowd Like a Crowd - when I had carts in the mall I always had my hubby and daughter come by and ooh and aah over my stuff and make it look popular.

(maybe it's human nature to want what you think other people want and I think sometimes people hesitate to approach a booth when the only person in sight is the seller)

8. Smile

(but not one of those big creepy smiles where you show your gums and everything)

Make eye contact. Say hello and ask people how they are doing. Don't pressure people looking around in your booth. Most people like to browse. It's great to tell people interesting info about something they are looking at, but choose your approach smartly and don't be pushy.

(note- most makers are not pushy, most makers are the opposite of pushy- most of us need a little 'push' in our delivery)

9. Talk about the benefit to the buyer.

When customers would approach my lockets, I used to say "these are made from a little recycled auto part" and they would usually go "wow" and get kind of glassy eyed -

(I still cannot understand why people do not see the benefit in having an auto part hanging around their neck)

then I would say the locket is magnetic and the lids are interchangeable - well that was when they perked up.

The problem was that in a busy show - I didn't always get to that part before their eyes wandered. It didn't take me long to realize that what I thought was the coolest part - the auto part that seemed so clever to me - was not the benefit for most customers - so I started talking about the magnetic lids first and putting them in people's hands

(the lids clicking off and on are somewhat irresistible to us fidgeters)

and my sales went way up.

I did a show with Vinnie (somethingwhimsical) who sells these little BOB (bunch of bolts) necklaces and everytime a customer approached and smiled at his necklaces he would say "they come with an instruction book".

(I heard this about a hundred times that day - I still hear it in my sleep)

Now this instruction book is really something else - it is cool and clever and witty, but maybe not the first benefit to the customer.

When his wife was nearby she would chirp in with - they are called BOB for bunch of bolts and also named as a homage to Vinnie's father BOB who made these for him as a child - well that was the grabber to people because it made it personal and a little story that they loved even more than the alien story in the instruction book and they would be hooked.

10. Make It Personal. You made it. Be proud of It.

I did a show with another maker (briefmoments) who sells these gorgeous kaleidoscope pendants.

Now as soon as a customer approached, Maribeth would immediately own her work. She would say "I make these from bits and pieces of my photographs" and then go on to explain her process. People were immediately intrigued and because she was so enthusiastic (and her work so gorgeous) she sold tons that day.

This was her first craft show and my 30th plus, but I learned something very important from watching her own her work.

So now instead of saying "these are made from a recycled auto part" (not the first thing I bring up but I do say it) - I say "I clean, drill and weld these from a recycled steel car part" - the "I" is the important part because the benefit is often the handmade part - why would the customer want my locket more than some China-made copycat necklace at their drugstore - well, because I am a talented, amazing artist (ack) and I made it! We have to own our work!

Back tomorrow to finish up these tips and tricks!

*fast crowd vinyl print by lori gordon


KJ said...

I read all these tips wherever I can find them. These have been great.

One tip I read, somewhere, is that buyers like to say "I know the artist." So, when you say "I made that" it gives the buyer the ability to say "I met the artist and she is so cool..."

Catherine Ivins said...

ooh I like that KJ!

lynn bowes said...

oooooh . . 'benefit to the buyer' and 'making it personal' really hit home for me. I'm a metalsmith slash jewelry person and frankly, every other booth is a jewelry booth sometimes so creating the need for your item is really important. You've given me some food for thought and the little repetitious (to us) selling phrases that get us to own our work. Lovin' these tips.

:: lynn ::