More to a Craft show than Your Product
In addition to all the physical items to cross off your craft show list why not take a few minutes to think about the psychology of selling at craft shows and see if that doesn’t help to increase your sales.
Many studies have been done on the psychology of selling and the big boys know them well. This means that the research has already been done for you and all you have to do is apply it to your craft show booth and reap the rewards.
Your booth…would you walk into it? When you walk into a high end department store, do you see their extra stock or boxes of office supplies? No, not a chance; then why do craft show vendors leave these things visible to the public? Your booth should be a mobile showroom for your art and be neat, clean and professional at all times. Hide away all those boxes and bags under tables covered in floor length table cloths of some neutral color. Make your customers feel like they walked into a boutique rather than a tent in a field.
How about those displays? There are plenty of ways to make displays on a budget or you can spring for some fancy professional displays. Your choice is going to depend on your budget as well as what you sell. However you decide to show off your work, use levels to bring your work to eye level which makes it appear as less a garage sale and more of a gallery. Be consistent in your design and neutral in your background colors so that the star of the show is your art and not the zebra print table cloth.
What about you? I realize you are going to be standing around for hours on end but you still need to make sure that you appear neat and professional. Your clothes can be comfortable and still appropriate. Some choose to wear “costume” type wear while others are wearing street clothes; either way a dirty shirt and unkempt nails slouching in a lawn chair says flea market, not art sale.
Signs? Whether we want to admit it or not, we tend to follow directions printed on signs (Well, all except that pull/push thing on doors which I always seem to ignore!). If you are selling candles that smell amazing, why not post a sign with something like “All natural soy candles with a scent you have to smell to believe!” Or something simple like “Smell Me!” If you make minky blankets you could post a sign telling people that your blankets are the softest they have ever felt. I can almost guarantee that customers will come in an touch the blanket just to see if it really is as soft as the sign claims.
To talk or not. Of course you are going to greet your customers with a friendly smile and hello when they walk into your booth, but avoid the “used car salesman” pitch. Take a minute to think about your own past experiences in shops and fairs and ask yourself if you want to be hovered over and pitched to while you are looking. Chances are you would prefer a greeting and a bit of space.
Some venues, such as a Renaissance Faire encourage loud and boisterous behavior while others are more subdued. Learn your venue so that you are not known as that obnoxious guy down the line that won’t stop yelling!
If a customer does look interested in your product, give them some basic information to help them make a decision and only go into more detail if they appear to want it. You have to become somewhat adept at reading people and you will misread some, but if you watch their body language, you can usually tell who is in the mood to chat, who is honestly thinking of buying and who would prefer just to kill time looking at some killer artwork.
With a bit of thought, you can make your booth an inviting place for customers to browse before buying which is what we all want.