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Making sales at a craft fair isn’t just about your products and your display; it’s also about how you present and market yourself. Here are some mistakes I see other vendors make regularly that will cost you sales – no matter how lovely your work and booth are.
If you are guilty of any of these (we all have been from time to time 🙂 ) take note and make improvements.
Mistake Number One – You rolled out of bed early to set up this show – and it shows!
It can be hard to get up super early and set up for a big event. You’re tired, it’s a lot of physical effort and perhaps you just aren’t a morning person. I understand. Sadly, we do live in a society though that judges us on our appearance. If you look like an unmade bed in unflattering clothes with your hair barely combed or just slapped in a ponytail and no makeup it will impact your sales.
You don’t have to dress to the nines, but do wear nice clothes that flatter you and take a few minutes to do your hair nice and apply a bit of makeup to get a more polished look. When you care about your appearance, it shows the customer that you are a professional who takes your work seriously. Lazy grooming can give the impression that your products are also “lazy”. Be professional.
Get Enough Sleep
Just like a lazy appearance can give a bad impression, lack of sleep can also impact your attitude and enthusiasm. If you are sitting in your booth yawning and exhausted, you won’t have the friendly, relaxed appearance that puts your customers at ease. It’s harder to engage with people also when you feel groggy.
Put the Phone Down
This is one of the most annoying things about modern society, the constant need to be glued to one’s phone. When you walk into a store, the person serving you isn’t on a phone, distracted by Facebook etc. They are there to do a job and to pay attention to their customers.
I refuse to buy from vendors who have their heads down in a phone and only look up long enough to say hi – if they even bother to do that. It’s rude, it’s unprofessional and I’d rather spend my money with those who are engaging and professional. *hint* a lot of people feel this way and it will cost you sales. Look at your phone when no one is in your booth and use it sparingly.
If your display is built up and is rather high it may be a good idea to sit at the front/side of your booth rather than at the back if others can’t see you. While shoppers don’t want to be stared at and stalked; they also don’t want to go into a booth that is empty. Make sure that you are at least visible to your guests :).
Keep Gum and Mints Handy
If you drink coffee as a form of liquid enthusiasm, be sure to also keep the breath mints or some gum on hand to kill the coffee breath. The same goes in general, nothing can kill a first impression like a shot of bad breath to the face of a potential buyer.
Don’t Eat in Your Booth
Eat away from your booth when possible. If you walked into a business and your first visual was of someone stuffing their face and talking to you with a mouth full of food – you’d probably not going to be too impressed right? Have someone man your booth for you while you eat. If you must eat in your booth be very discreet about it.
Don’t Hard Sell
This annoys most people and will cost you more sales than it earns you. Be friendly, but don’t be over the top. When you walk into a store and see a sales person immediately make a beeline toward you, chances are you cringe a little. While friendliness is great, being obnoxious not only hurts your sales but those around you also.
Think about it. You might be the 50th vendor a person has passed today. If 30 of the other ones were hard selling, sales pitching etc unsolicited, by the time this person gets to you they may not even want to enter your booth for fear of being “stalked” again.
A simple Hello, followed by a “let me know if you have any questions” is a great way to open communications and put the ball in your shopper’s court. It gives them the control of their experience.
Be friendly like a flower, not invasive like a weed ;).
Posture & Body Language
Don’t slouch or slump, sit or stand straight while remaining relaxed. This conveys professionalism, confidence and makes you more approachable in general. If you’re slumped over on a table, or bent over a phone etc. it conveys a negative attitude.
Also, you want to appear open so avoid crossing your arms over your body or taking other defensive stances. It may be natural, particularly if you are more introverted, so try to be mindful of how your body language may be inadvertently sending the wrong message.
So, have you committed any of these faux pas? Chances are you have, especially while learning :). If so, not a big deal, just be mindful of your personal presentation in the future. It can and does have an impact on your sales :). The goal isn’t perfection of course, but improvement. Any little steps you take will have positive rewards over the long haul.
Did I forget anything? Share your thoughts below!