THREE LITTLE SECRETS TO SUCCESS AT CRAFT SHOWS
Finally! The fall and Christmas season are upon us. For many makers this is the most important part of the year for generating revenue from indoor craft shows. At this time, many of the main steps for being successful at a show should be behind you, including:
Selecting the shows which are likely to generate the best revenue for you
Identifying which type of customers to expect at the show (Affluent? Mostly women? Age 50+? Millennials? Families with children?
Creating sufficient inventory for these customer types
Promoting the show(s) to friends, family, existing customers and potential new customers via email, social media and word of mouth
But being successful at a show requires other additional preparations as the event approaches. There are three important steps you should include in your last-minute activities one or two days before the show. They will help you sell more:
One important step champion vendors take is to set specific goals for the show. They know that people who establish outcomes or the results they want to achieve ahead of time are more productive and successful. Just wandering into the vendor space, setting up a table or booth and then drifting through the day won’t cut it. Knowing your goals and achieving them will provide you a massive sense of accomplishment and pride. It will also help you determine how successful the show was for you.
Commonly, vendors define their goals in sales. Your goal might be to have sales of $300, $500 or even higher than that per show-day. It should be a ‘stretch goal’, i.e. high enough to provide a healthy challenge, but not impossibly difficult to reach.
While a sales target is the primary goal, some vendors also set secondary, less important, goals. A useful secondary goal might be related to finding new potential customers. It could then be defined as “Obtain X number of new customer emails.” Over the course of a few shows, this will nicely expand your client mailing list.
More experienced vendors sometimes set conversion rate as a second goal. It defines the portion of people that purchased from you AFTER they entered into a conversation with you. An effective vendor will probably convert two or three out of five conversations (40% - 60%) into a
2. KNOW AND REHEARSE YOUR WORDS
Words sell, and you need to have your value proposition ready. The value proposition expresses in one or two sentences why the customer visiting your booth should buy your products. You need to know you value proposition cold. Know it so well that you can recite it perfectly, at any time, anywhere in any situation. Here’s an example from a vendor who sells DeoRocks an “all natural deodorant“
“DeoRocks is the world’s only natural mineral salt deodorant. It works to prevent odor while other products attempt to mask it or plug pores with harsh chemicals. DeoRocks™ is a hypoallergenic deodorant that is safe, healthy, and totally effective”
Knowing your value proposition and inserting it naturally into your conversations with buyers will give you confidence, and bestow the halo of professionalism to you. That - in turn - will lead to more sales
3. CONSIDER YOUR CUSTOMERS’ SHOES
Of course, the footwear of visitors at your craft show is fairly irrelevant to your success – at least in the literal sense. Figuratively, however, it plays a significant role. Before each show, place
yourself into your customers’ shoes and remind yourself how you would like to be treated if you were the customer.
Chances are there are a few things you-the-customer would dislike, especially being pressured into a sale. Therefore you should remind you-the vendor that the first words out of your mouth should not be “I’m having a huge sale and will take 30 percent off right now if you will buy three items immediately, I accept MasterCard and Visa, but prefer cash, which pieces should I wrap up for you?.”
That customer and a few others around her will depart from your booth faster than the speed of light. A simple “Hello how are you” or “May I ask what you are looking for” are much better approaches. They will often yield a response that can lead into a conversation, and from there, to a sale.
As marketing expert Steve Yastrow said: “A sale is the result of a great conversation”