3 Simple Ways to Be a Better Salesperson





3 Simple Ways to Be a Better Salesperson

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.


So remember:

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!

Find out more here.


Image by Image in Cafe.

When You’re Selling, Always Ask Yourself These 2 Questions





When You're Selling, Always Ask Yourself

I just finished reading an excellent book – To Sell is Human by Daniel H. Pink.

Since we’re talking sales and selling this week, I wanted to share a few of his key ideas with you.

First – if you’re immediately turned off by the words ‘sales’ and ‘selling’ – bear with me. I’m guessing you’re reading this because you have something to sell, but you feel uncomfortable labelling yourself as a ‘salesperson’ (even though, deep down, you know you are – you have to be).

I – like you – used to have a really negative reaction to these words. Selling is pushy. Icky. Inauthentic. Smarmy. All those 80’s Glengarry Glen Ross stereotypes. Right?

Well… no. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be. Ironically, I internalised this perspective growing up, even though my father – one of the best men I know – was a salesman! I had absolutely zero – less than zero – interest in going into business or sales when I grew up – it seemed not only boring, but had a kinda negative connotation for me, though I couldn’t really pinpoint why.

I guess life had a different idea, and here I am today – happier, more joyful, and – I believe – doing more to serve others than ever before in my life… through doing business! Who woulda thunk it? Certainly not me 10 years ago – if you told her what I’m doing now, she would have raised an eyebrow at the least, or laughed outright in your face at the most. And yet… I wouldn’t change a thing.

Amongst other things, I’m a saleswoman (I think that’s the first time I’ve ever typed that in relation to myself – and it still feels a tad weird, I’ll admit). The thing that makes me okay about being a saleswoman is simple. I believe that what I’m selling is good. And by good, I don’t mean a good product (though it is that, too) – I mean it’s good for you, good for the world, and good for me, too. I believe that my work fulfils a need, makes people happy, adds nothing but good to the world. And that – dear reader – is why I’m happy and proud to sell it.

Now – to get back to what Pink talks about in his book: he argues from the premise that every one of us is already in sales. Now, by sales he doesn’t mean we’re all selling products (though if you’re reading this, you probably are) – he goes broader and deeper to include any interaction we make with another human being where our goal is to ‘move’ them in some way.

Think convincing your kid to eat their dinner. Think asking your boss for a day off. Think haggling over a house price. And, of course, think of the woman standing behind a handmade market stall, selling someone her wares. All of these interactions are a form of sales – of attempting to convince someone of something.

Of course, the most successful way to do this – to move people – isn’t to try to trick them, lie to them, or aim to convince them of something that’s not in their best interest (perhaps your internalised view of what a salesperson does – and yes, some of them do still do things this way, unfortunately).

No – the best way to do this is to come from a place of service.

You’re trying to get your kid to eat her veggies because they’re good for her. You’re asking for a personal day off so that you can take care of you – which in turn means you’ll be a happier and more productive member of the workforce, because you feel valued. You’re putting yourself in the shoes of the person selling their house, and trying to find a price that is fair for both of you. You know that your ceramics are not only functional – they’re beautiful, sturdy, and will give the buyer a lifetime of use and joy.

Helping and serving someone else while also getting what you need out of the ‘transaction’ (whether monetary or not) are not mutually exclusive things. You can – and should – achieve both.

This is the idea behind the phrase ‘win-win’ which you’ve probably heard before today, especially if you’ve worked in business before – or if you’ve read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (a classic book that I highly recommend). Yes, you’re trying to sell your goods. AND you’re trying to sell them to someone who will value them – someone who wants or needs what you are offering.

In the last chapter of his book, Pink boils it all down by proposing two questions that you should ask – and answer – every time you find yourself trying to move someone – to sell.

These questions are the ‘service test’ – are you really thinking of the best interests of the other person?

1. If the person you’re selling to agrees to buy, will his or her life improve?

2. When your interaction is over, will the world be a better place than when you began?

And, as Pink states – “If the answer to either of these questions is no, you’re doing something wrong”.


Sure – there are still plenty of unscrupulous, smarmy people out there who aren’t aiming to serve anyone but themselves. But I don’t think you’re one of them.

You create something you love – with love – and you want to share it with the world because you believe it’s worthy, and it will make someone’s life better, brighter, easier, and happier.

You are in the business of helping – of serving – other people. And if you don’t think your product is making people’s lives better, and the world a better place – keep creating new things until you do.

Because then, selling isn’t a dirty word. It’s simply helping people to fulfil a want or a need in their life – in a way that benefits you both.

If you can answer the questions above, you can enter each and every sales interaction from a place of integrity and authenticity – which will make the entire process not only more natural, enjoyable, and positive for you – but for your customer, too.


Image source: Image in Cafe

Want to learn how to truly serve your next customer in a way that is effective, authentic,  and leaves you both happy at the end of the transaction? Check out our NEW self-study e-course – How to Sell More at Markets & ShowsEnrol now and get learning straight away…

Do You Struggle with the Idea of Being a Salesperson?





Do You Struggle with Being a

Want to know a secret?

Most people do!

When I first started selling in a retail setting, I found talking to customers awkward and often felt red-faced after conversations didn’t quite turn out as expected.

Sometimes I’d feel like I was being pushy and that I was a fraud.

Often I would feel tongue-tied, or like I didn’t know the right words to make the transaction go smoothly.

It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking that ‘selling’ is all about being a ‘salesman’. Dodgy car dealers and pesky telemarketers are what comes to mind when you think of ‘making a sale’.

In reality, you are just being there to assist your customer, show them what’s available and make them feel special. Simple!

Sometimes it’s not easy to step out of your quiet, comfortable and sometimes isolated studio or home space where you’ve been creating and nurturing yourself and into the bustling sales arena at markets and shows.

It’s occasionally terrifying and often an awkward shift to get from one head-space to the other.

I often find it difficult to snap out of thinking about what’s happening in other aspects of my life; Did I feed the dogs this morning? I can’t believe the postage prices going up AGAIN! What was with all the traffic today?

When you are selling in a retail setting, just like a market or show, you need to put all other thoughts out of your mind and concentrate on one golden rule:

How can I make my customer happy


Think about what makes you a satisfied customer when you shop in retail stores or at markets.

Can you adopt any of these practices to look after YOUR customers?

Customers want you to ask about THEM, to make them feel special and like they are the most important person in the room.

Leave your bad morning or stressful life at home and think happy thoughts so you can show your customer your winning smile.

Treat your customer well and sales will be a happy consequence.

Can you think of a time when you were the customer, and the salesperson was obviously caught up in their own life or troubles, and left you feeling less-than-cared-for? Share it with us in the comments – along with what that experience taught YOU about being on the other side of that interaction.

Did it affect how you treat your customers?


Image sources: Image in Cafe & Kath Chown

Want to overcome  you lack of confidence and knowledge when it comes to selling successfully at markets and shows? Check out our NEW self-study e-course – How to Sell More at Markets & ShowsEnrol now and get learning straight away…

Available Now – Get Started Straight Away! : How to Sell More at Markets & Shows

How to Sell More at Markets & Shows - Square Image 1


The first Create & Thrive self-study e-course – How to Sell More at Markets & Shows – is now available!

I’m really excited to be bringing you this course, written by my friend and creative business powerhouse Kath Chown. Some of you might know Kath from her B&M shop in Brisbane – Handmade Highstreet. Some of you might know her from her attendance at handmade markets throughout Brisbane over many years, selling her own creations. Some of you might know her from her time as the president of BrisStyle.

If you don’t know her, you’re missing out, because she’s not only passionate about handmade and craft – and helping others grow their businesses and crafty know-how – she’s also a gorgeous, warm person whose smile lights up a room.

In fact, before I knew Kath well, her presence and attitude at markets always stood out to me. Now, of course, I know that was no accident. It’s because she’s been working in retail since she was 14, and has learnt a lot of important skills and strategies along the way that has enabled her to become exactly what she teaches you in this course – a genuine, warm, and effective salesperson who deeply cares about her customers.

To celebrate the launch of the new course, we’re going to be publishing a number of posts on the blog this week to help you get comfortable with the idea of being a salesperson.

Do you struggle with negative feelings around selling?

Do you have trouble with the idea of yourself as a salesperson?

We’re hoping to help you tackle those fears, talk about how to change your perception of sales & selling, and show you that it can be done in a genuine, honest, fun, and non-icky way that is a win-win for you and your customer.

Tomorrow, Kath will be talking about the fact that most creative people struggle with the idea of being a salesperson – and the one thing you need to remember that will help you to overcome this feeling.

On Wednesday, I’ll be sharing some brilliant insights from a book I just read on sales, as well as some of my own personal story about how I went from loathing the idea of sales to being a confident salesperson – and what I believe the key is to being comfortable with the sales process.

On Thursday, Kath’s stopping by again to give you 3 simple ways to be a better salesperson at markets and shows – a little peek into what she teaches in the course!

The brilliant thing about this self-study course is that you can get started straight away – no waiting! Just click here to find out all the details of what you’ll learn, and once you’ve registered and completed enrolment, you get your first lesson straight away. You’ll get each subsequent lesson (14 all up) each day via email at the same time. Each lesson is an easily digestible and actionable step towards creating a successful sales environment and process at your next market or show – from the moment you get ready and walk out the door at home beforehand to after you’ve come home again and beyond!

This is often the busiest time of year for makers – with the increase in markets and shows (as well as sales to shops and online) in the lead-up to Christmas. Don’t let potential customers walk away because you don’t feel confident and knowledgeable about how to serve them.

Enrol in How to Sell More at Markets & Shows right now, and get learning straight away.

Ask yourself – how many more items will I need to sell at my next market or show to earn the money this course will cost me? I reckon you’ll find it’ll pay for itself pretty quick-smart!

Jess x 

Launching Next Week – How to Sell More at Markets + Shows




How to Sell More at Markets & Shows - Square Launching next week


The busiest season of the making and selling year is upon us – and for those of you who sell at markets and shows, I have something exciting headed your way!

I know I teach a lot of stuff focussed on online selling – because that’s my thing, it’s what I know, and so it’s what I feel comfortable teaching – BUT I also know that many of YOU head out to craft markets and shows on a regular basis as part of your business strategy.

So, I’ve co-opted a good friend of mine – Kath Chown, who has many many years as a retail salesperson, handmade marketeer and runs her own handmade B&M – to create a resource just for YOU – the marketeers.

It’s going to be our first ever self-study e-course – delivered via email over 2 weeks – and its goal is to teach you how to vastly improve your market and show turnover through becoming a better salesperson. You will learn how to make the face-to-face sales process more fun, natural, and effective (in a non-icky way) and sell more of your lovely wares!

It’s for those of you who hide from customers; get frozen and don’t know what to say; lack the confidence and strategies to talk about your work in a compelling way… and those who hate the terms ‘sales’, ‘salesperson’, and ‘selling’ because you associate it with an icky, dishonest, used-car-salesman vibe.

We’ll show you that it doesn’t have to be that way – that it can be an honest, fun, and enlivening process for you and your customer.

Sound good? Keep your eye on your inbox, because it will be launching next week – just in time for the holiday market season!

P.S. Yes, that’s Nick and I at our Epheriell stall at the BrisStyle Markets a while back! Photo by Image In Cafe.

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