Creative types tend to have a reputation for not being the best sales people, they prefer to let the art speak for itself and allow the customer to decide whether they like it or not. Selling your art isn't about being a "salesman" but rather engaging with the customer. If selling at craft shows makes you feel a little uneasy, here are a few tips to help you relax.
Easy right? If you look like you're approachable and having a good time, customers will naturally be drawn to your table. You definitely don't want to intimidate anyone from coming over by having a scowl on your face.
Another easy one. When someone comes to your table, be sure to give them a quick hello. Even if you're busy with another customer, acknowledge them with eye contact and a smile, they'll know you appreciate them stopping by.
START A CONVERSATION
Just finding something to talk about with customers, aside from your products, can be a great way to put both of you at ease and have them staying at your table a little longer. Of course you're there to let customers know about your products, but take some time to find out about them. Ask them what the weather is like outside if you've been indoors all day, how their day is going, if they've been to the show before, etc. Asking questions is the easiest way to start a conversation, especially when you don't like to do the talking.
No customer wants to feel like they're being stalked the second they walk in the room or like they're being stared down the entire time they're shopping your table. Once you've said hello to them, stand back a little and let them shop. Look for cues to strike up a conversation if they pick up a piece with an interesting story or one that needs some explaining.
SHOW AND TELL
Letting customers know what's unique about your products is the best part of craft shows and markets. Educate them on how you made the item, what it's made out of, how you came up with the idea or even just share a bit about yourself. If you've been traveling the world for the past year and are creating these products to share your inspiration, let them know. People love to buy items that have a unique story behind them.
Erin L Mooney