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Author Topic: Selling at fairs - disheartening  (Read 15095 times)

ejralph

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2012, 02:00:07 PM »
ROFL!

Well I guess if we don't fight our own corners in life, no-one else is gonna do it for us!

Of course though - words are easy to come by and easy for me to spout. Actually finding out what to do to create those much-needed sales though, that is the tough nut to crack.

I think people who are trying to genuinely supplement some or even make all of their household income from their own talents have it incredibly hard. But it can be done.

Time and again I hear people spouting "lack of money" or "that's too expensive" as reasons their work doesn't sell and I so think that money isn't always the big factor we think it is. Even potential customers will talk about money as though it is the reason they aren't buying - but so often its an excuse or its because they don't even know themselves why they aren't buying.

The reality is, they didn't get their desire buttons pushed ENOUGH to spend the money. Because people spend silly sums of money all sorts of stuff they probably don't need - even when they claim to be broke.

Forget focus on pricing. Instead focus on creating desireability.

Its hard if you have your stuff in other people's shops or galleries. Unless they are excellent sales people and really coming from the same angle you are, they are unlikely to really sell your work with a passion. But when selling online or face to face, you can control much more of that yourself.

We've talked about this theme before in other threads. I remember holding Peter's work up as a great example of how you can create desireability by having a funky, unified look for your work. If you have a gorgeous pair of earrings on offer - people will ask themselves "shall I buy or not?".

Have 10 different, but thematically similar gorgeous pairs of earrings for sale and the question then can so easily mutate from "shall I buy" to "which colour do I want?"

Even having those options allows you a chance to interact with the customer and start talking about what colours suit them or appeal to them.

I knew a lady on the craft fair circuit years ago who was a genuis at closing sales. She did this trick very often with having a similar design in many colours.

If someone was browsing her stall, she would be quite theatrical in her greetings too them and instantly notice whatever they were looking at. Instead of talking about the design, she would focus on colour - pick up the item they were looking at and very flamboyantly hold it against their skin or face and say "no no no! - this isn't the right one for you" and then pick up a different one from the same range and say "no - THIS is the colour you need. It works with your blonde hair, etc etc"

They would get so caught up in the "which colour" conversation she had created, they almost forgot to ask themselves IF they would buy and got carried along onto WHICH they would buy.

Obviously lots of sales ARE lost simple because of lack of funds. But I remain convinced far fewer than people assume. The challenge is to throw that assumption out when trying to sell face to face. Force out thoughts of "will this customer want to pay for this" and just replace them with "I am going to make this customer DESIRE this!"

Another fantastic example of creating desireability in a product is Katwise on Etsy. Look how many people like her FB page and how quickly her coats sell out. Yet we are all asking far less for jewellery and beads.

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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Peter

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2012, 03:31:32 PM »
In my "Past Life" I worked in retail for a couple of companies and did quite a bit of sales training. One of the training courses I taught was "Selling Basics" and it revolved around the acronym "GAMES" (yes I hate acronyms as much as the next person!). I used to teach staff to play "GAMES" with the customers. How does it work?

GREET - Say hello to EVERY customer, make the first move and take control.

ASK - Ask what they are looking for, ask what they are interested in, ask any OPEN ended question that they HAVE to respond to and that you can use as a start to a conversation. Even if they say they are "just looking" start explaining about what they are looking at.

MATCH - Hopefully from the conversation that you are having above you can begin to decipher the kind of thing that they are interested in and you can begin to match THEIR desires with YOUR products. You can use a technique called "FUNNELLING" here to find out what the customer is looking for and matching their desires.

ENQUIRE - Again, ask questions,  How do you feel about this blue necklace as well? Would you like to try the bracelet that matches? (here is where you can get additional sales).

SELL - Be confident and ASK for the sale. "So the necklace and bracelet is 45, would you like me to wrap it up or straight in a bag?" The saying is three "no's" and then go. If they are dithering make their mind up for them. Let the customer think that they are in control but phrase your "ask" so that they only have the option to purchase.

Right the way through the process assume that you have already made the sale, your confidence will pass over to the customer. You might not always sell, you might sometimes put the customer off BUT over time as you become more confident in selling you will sell more and you will be able to adapt the technique to suit each individual customer.


FUNNELLING - Is a simple technique to find out what somebody is looking for.....again it just revolves around having a conversation with the customer but asking the right questions.

So a customer is interested in buying a necklace, you need to ask questions that "Funnel" the customer towards making a decision.

Who is it for?
What style do they like?
What length do they like?
Is it for a special occasion/ outfit?
What Colour?

Ask questions that Funnel the customer towards a single item (or items) that matches their needs and that you can sell to them because THEY have already identified it through your questions as being what they want (hope that sentence makes sense!). Never ask what price range they are thinking of, the idea is to match the product however expensive it might be and let the product sell itself because it is what matches what they want.

So there we go......I hope it might be of help to some of you. I confess that selling my stuff is a whole new ball game to me and I sometimes struggle to push myself as much as I should, but I do find that having a framework which I can work around certainly helps.

 :D :D :D :D :D




ejralph

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2012, 08:58:22 PM »
excellent tips there Peter!

I personally hate the "shall I ring this up for you" tactic people use to try to close a sale. I am sure it works with many people though. And you are exactly right - lead the customer to the product they have described a need of by your clever questioning and most will stop dithering and realise the common sense in buying something wonderful and handmade.

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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ickledookie

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2012, 11:30:40 AM »
Pete that is awesome stuff!!! Thank you so much for sharing.  ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D

MelMcG

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2012, 03:13:52 PM »
Peter, that's brilliant!!

Mel  :)

Carrie

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2012, 07:56:20 PM »
I am impressed  8)

RockyGurly

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #21 on: July 21, 2012, 11:03:19 AM »
There aren't many events to sell things at where I live, so the Sunday craft fair is really popular! That said, people who charge alot for their product usually aren't very successful. It's impossible to get the customer to understand all the time, effort and money that you put into each item, and they just aren't willing to pay 50$ for a necklace. My stuff is pretty cheap in comparison (because its so tiny, I use less materials) so I generally do really well.
However, if you're having trouble, tweak your prices! I do alot of earrings, and I bumped the price up 3$ and all of a sudden they were selling like hotcakes! I bumped my bracelets down 1.50 and they were suddenly more popular to. You'll make more money selling lots of things for a couple bucks less then selling none of very few at the higher price.
And you can't just expect your product to sell itself, you have to stand up and really engage with your customer, even if they just walk by and look :) The people who complain about poor sales (at the craft fairs I attend, mind you) are usually the ones who just sit in their booths barely acknowledging their customer unless the customer asks a direct question. How you intereact with them makes a huge difference :)
I try to attend every larger event I can, but there just aren't that many. So I'm always at every Sunday craft fair, whether I make much money or not. If anything, I get to interact with the locals and remind them of the larger events I'll be at, and lots of people will bring that up when they see me at a larger event. So if you have a free weekend, and it doesn't cost much, there isn't much to lose :)
And, you're using polymer clay people! The possibilities are absolutely endless! I've only seen a couple other people using polymer clay at the events I've been to, and I always do better. Why? From what people tell me (always feel free to ask the customer questions) it's because most people do the same thing over and over again, what I do isn't new, but it's totally unique in the town I live in and it's been unique at every show I've attended. And by a lucky chance, it happens to be a trend right now. I do my tiny food jewelry, and people are delighted to see something new! Even though it's sold in stores, places like Claire's don't have a product that's hand crafted (factory hands don't count) and good quality. So really let your creative juices flow and try follow trends, people love things that they recognize from other places!
I'm rambling a bit, but I'm just throwing out my observations :D I do alot of observing at these things since I'm so new to selling, but it seems to be working really well for me. I've gone from almost nothing to a huge booth and setup and great reputation in just a few months (but then again, I think my age makes people feel more inclined to buy from me  :-[ )
All in all, don't give up on craft fairs entirely! :D

ejralph

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #22 on: July 21, 2012, 12:10:49 PM »
Wonderful observations Elise - and "factory hands don't count!" - love it!!! I think we need that on a t-shirt or something!

Emma
Emma from Sunny Sussex, UK
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RockyGurly

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #23 on: July 21, 2012, 08:52:54 PM »
That would be an awesome T-Shirt  8)

ickledookie

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #24 on: July 22, 2012, 07:48:56 PM »
I did a flea market today selling my old card making stuff & did very well! Most things were no more than a 5 but the things that sold the most were 4 for a 1 like tiny embellishments & peel off stickers. Soooo I think I'm gonna start making lots of little charms/beads & stuff that people can use to embellish their cards with!

After reading what Pete said about sales I did try & greet more people, sometimes it worked sometimes it didn't! But hey ho....I ain't giving up anytime soon! Quite looking forward to making lots of new inexpensive polymer clay stuff now & have tons of ideas swimming round my head now!

Peter

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2012, 08:00:02 PM »
Just back from a two day food festival and we did OK. It was VERY hard work and we didn't do quite as well as I had hoped but compared to the horror stories that we heard from some of the other stall holders I think it was a victory!! And the sun was shinning so all is good with me!  :D :D :D :D

Peter

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #26 on: July 22, 2012, 08:39:10 PM »
And I am so glad you did well Angie!!!!    :D :D :D :D

Talking to every customer is very hit and miss (not everyone IS going to buy something) BUT at the least you are giving people who might be interested in buying something an opening and you are being proactive! (you can tell I did a course once!!  :D ).  It won't always work but as Elsie was saying, the worst thing that you can do is just sit in your chair!

The selling techniques that I posted are very much a guide and the real art of selling is learning how to judge each customer and work out the best way to sell to them, it is HARD!

And you never know who you are speaking to! One of the ladies I chatted to yesterday didn't buy anything BUT owns a gallery and wants to have some of my lovelies (and for once at a reasonable rate of commission!).  You never know where having a good natter will lead!   :D :D :D




Carrie

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #27 on: July 22, 2012, 09:55:01 PM »
Well done, Peter - that's great news!

ickledookie

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2012, 12:11:04 PM »
Oh Pete that is FAB news!!!  ;D ;D ;D ;D

Bev

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Re: Selling at fairs - disheartening
« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2012, 01:56:59 PM »
Thanks for the info - although I know I will never make a salesperson - & great news for you  :) :)