Do you enjoy making your handmade items, lovingly packing them up the night before a big market, and arriving that morning to set up your stall in your own unique style… but feel you’re not making enough sales to make it worth it?
So often, makers obsess over having the ‘perfect’ stall set up – convinced that how their stall looks will make or break their income at market. However – while it’s awesome to have a professional stall set up – that’s only part of the story. You can have the most amazing stall in the world… but if you’re not using savvy sales techniques to serve your customers, you’re going to be losing a lot of sales.
In the words of Julie Frahm of AussieJules – “…the best stall layout is not necessarily a factor when selling successfully at markets, and I have found my most successful days are often when something has not gone quite right for me, and I’ve had to pick myself up and compensate by talking more to my customers!”
How you interact with your customers (or not…) makes a HUGE difference to how much money you walk away with at the end of the day. Thankfully, even if you’re not a natural salesperson (maybe you’re shy, or introverted… or just don’t have any sales experience) you CAN learn.
Today, I want you to take a quick look at how you’re approaching your customers and see if you’re doing everything you can to make their shopping experience enjoyable, fun and memorable.
1. Take a good look at yourself
First impressions really do last in the retail industry, and by setting up a market stall you’re entering into a sales setting which comes with certain expectations from your customers.
The basic rule is that if you look like you care about your appearance – no matter your personal style – the customer will feel that you care about them and their needs.
You don’t need to change who you are or buy special clothing, just pretend you are going somewhere fancy for the day and dress accordingly.
You will find that you will feel more positive when you look at yourself in the mirror if you have made an effort in your appearance that day – and your customers will notice.
If you make jewellery or clothing – wear your own product! Your customer might notice it on you before they realise it’s an item you have for sale. It also shows them what the product looks like when it’s worn on a real person.
2. Greet your customer
When you walk into one of those big chain stores, you’ll usually have every sales assistant clamouring to say hello and ask you if you need any assistance.
This is a tried and true technique to show your customer that you have seen them arrive and that you’re ready to help them with their every need. However, some people are shy, or worry that they’re going to ‘bother’ their customers by making eye contact or looking at them. However, people like to at least be acknowledged, and know you are aware of them and there if they need you.
Make eye contact with your customer and say ‘hello’ as they arrive at your stall, and watch your customer’s body language to see if they want to talk or prefer to be left alone to browse. Also – always use your natural personality and don’t try to emulate anyone else – if you’re quiet, you don’t have to be loud.
3. Give your customer all of your attention
When I’m in Sales Assistant Mode, I am all about my customer.
In conversation with my market stall neighbour, I will cut off mid-sentence to say hello to my customer. I would never take a phone call when my customer is standing in front of me and I would most certainly never read a book.
However, I’ve seen so many other stallholders making these same mistakes at every market I attend.
If you give your customer your full attention at all times, you will make a long-lasting impression on them and they are more likely to return to your stall or online business.
If you are ignoring your customer, they will not feel valued and might not even bother purchasing from you if they feel you aren’t available to assist them.
Be the best you – dress and act the part.
Say hello to your customers – make them feel special.
Give your customer your undivided attention – be available at all times.
Do you do (or see others doing) things wrong at markets or shows that drive away potential customers? And, do you have any advice for what sales techniques have worked for you – or that you’ve noticed other people using?
Want to learn more about how to be a successful salesperson at craft markets and shows? It’s not something that comes naturally to many of us – but you can learn how to do it – and even enjoy the process! Check out our new self-study e-course – How to Sell More at Markets & Shows. Enrol and get started straight away!
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