EFFECTIVE SELLING CONVERSATIONS FOR CRAFT-SHOWS PT. 1
Hello and welcome to Part One of the “Selling at Craft Show” series. Today’s post is about the basic process which underlies all selling. Previously we discussed how to get craft show visitors to your booth. Once they find it, a few show visitors will quickly peruse your work, select an item they like and buy it. In general, however, your products don’t sell themselves. Even lifesaving innovations don’t, as expert M. Plummer states in an article he recently published.
Many vendors are apprehensive about selling. They see it as pushing people to buy things they don’t want, or don’t really need, or might not be able to afford. The stereotypical cliché is the now almost extinct used car salesman who scares potential buyers off the lot with trite sales pitches.
The Harvard Business Review offers a much more intelligent and modern perspective. Author S. Erdinger writes that sales experts:
“... engage in a mutual dialogue about what a client is trying to accomplish and then apply the solutions offered through their products or services to the client’s needs.”
This is far from the old selling concept. Instead it is much closer to the forward thinking approach of teamwork, where you and the visitor at your booth work together to find a solution to her wants /needs, which turns into a purchase. As a vendor it becomes your goal to establish what the customer wants and connect that want/need to the value which your product offers.
The fundamentals of the selling process are always the same. They have been in place for thousands of years - perhaps longer. For craft show vending they look like this:
This might look daunting at first, but with some focus and self directed learning it can be mastered quickly. The even shorter version goes like this:
Step 1: Find out what the customer wants.
Step 2: Describe how product will satisfy this want/need.
Step 3: Politely ask for the sale.
In the next post we will dive deeper into the selling model and discuss words and phrases you can use right away at your table or booth. Until then, here are three quotes that should make you more comfortable with selling:
· “Approach each customer with the idea of helping him or her to solve a problem or achieve a goal, not of selling a product” (Brian Tracy - CEO of Brian Tracy International, a global leader in training and development)
· "Allow other people to speak first; the important factor is not who talks… it’s who listens." (Ilana Eberson - President of The NYC Business Networking Group)
"People don’t buy because what YOU do is awesome. People buy because it makes THEM feel awesome." (Tara Gentile - Entrepreneur, podcast host, speaker, and small business educator)
Selling should be fun, guilt-free and stress-free. Listen carefully, be genuinely caring and interested in helping people and make each customer feel they are special, and you will really enjoy selling.
Don’t sell. DO make it an experience!