From getting your best products displayed in the right way to buying your Stallholder Insurance, there can be a lot of time spent on making sure everything is in place.
However, all this hard work is wasted unless you then make the most of the opportunity you have in order to sell your products/services. Imagine: you are in a room with fellow arts and crafts stall holders, your table is laid beautifully with each of the items on it looking their very best, the room is full of people interested in home-made items. But how do you get them to stop at your stall and how do you engage with customers in the hope that they will make a purchase?
It’s been said for years, but it’s true, the impression that a customer has of you within the first few seconds of an interaction will shape the relationship that you have with them and ultimately contribute to their decision to make a purchase or not. So, if their initial reaction is that you don’t have time, or you don’t listen and demonstrate enough care then they are unlikely to stay at your stall for very long, let alone buy anything from you.
To create a good first impression you need to look and sound professional – think about what you wear and make sure that you have a clean and smart appearance (ballgowns are not necessary!). When speaking to visitors, keep things brief and relaxed with a smile on your face. Make sure that your stall is always clean and tidy as this will not only help to represent you in the best way but will also give your products the best chance to stand out.
When communicating with potential customers it is important to keep things clear and simple. If they ask you a question, then answer it clearly and make sure that all pricing is easy to find. You don’t want customers to have to keep asking you how much things are. It is often better for them to find this information for themselves. If there is anything in particular to be mentioned about a product, what it is for, how it is made or where materials are sourced from for example then why not include a sign with this information? Although make sure that you keep it brief!
If a client wants to tell you a story about a similar product, material etc then listen. Looking bored by what they are telling you will not create the impression that you need. Empathise if a product they are looking at doesn’t quite fit the purpose that they are looking for and just remember that not everyone will be a customer and make a purchase that day.
If you find that people stopping by your stall are interested in your products but are unable to make a purchase there and then, why not invite a future visit? You could direct them to your website or social media page or invite them along to the next Craft Fair that you will be showing at. Be sure to have the details of where and when it will be so that you can share this during your conversation. If you have leaflets for the event, then you can give one to customers so they don’t have to remember the details. Always, have business cards for people to take away, you never know when they might get in contact with you again in the future.
If a customer asks about the process for making one of your products, be sure not to use complicated and technical language that they are unlikely to follow. Keep explanations simple and clear. You might be familiar with the processes but if you are talking to someone who has never come across your methods before then you could easily confuse them and lose their interest.
Potential customers will love to hear interesting facts about how you make your products, how you design them, come up with ideas or where you source your materials. Chat to friends ahead of the fair to see what they might be most interested to hear and keep a variety of facts to hand to use during conversations at your stall.
Remember to maximise customer engagement with a friendly yet professional tone, be sure that both you and your products are represented in the best possible way. Also, keep smiling, this will give you the best possible chance to develop a good relationship with potential customers who will hopefully go on to make a purchase.