Making money with craft show customer service!
Thrill of all thrills - you've got a potential buyer in your booth! Now what?
First smile, make eye contact, greet the customer and start a simple conversation
- anything but, "Can I help you?" Walk the fine line between being available and
being pushy. And definitely never sit in a corner reading a novel!
Ask questions to create a personal connection like, "Are you looking for a gift
or for yourself? "What colors do you enjoy best?" "What are your favorite styles of crafts?"
Buyers often come to craft shows to see unusual objects and meet the artists, so
give them what they came for. Explain briefly about your crafts and how you make
them - if it's a unique process. Talk about a specific item they may be showing
an interest in - strictly from an informational standpoint. Listen, answer any
questions and take feedback openly.
Don't assume anything about a potential customer - treat everyone with respect
and attention. However, don't cater to extremely difficult or rude visitors who
have something negative to say about everything: "I can make that myself!",
"I saw one just like that at another booth for half the price!" Just smile and
say okay. Or you can say something pleasant like, "You may have difficulty finding
everything you need to create something like this" or, "All my items are original
designs and I don't think anyone has copied them!"
Don't take negativity or rejection personally - everyone will have an opinion!
As long as the majority of people don't feel that way about your crafts, you'll
do fine. You'll never please everyone and not everyone will buy from you, but
everyone's comments can have some value. Learn from any comments that may be
helpful - you may get clues as to future modifications or new items to create.
If a customer seems prepared to buy and has some hesitation, practice some sales
techniques for overcoming objections. Find out what the real problem is -
whether a woman isn't sure her husband will like it or if it will fit in her
home - and see how you can solve it. Can you offer to make a custom item, ship it
later or call her husband on the phone? Offer cash, check or credit card options
to make buying an easy process.
When you find real fans of your work, do what you can to turn them into collectors.
Make sure they have your upcoming show schedule and contact information and you
have theirs. Tell them you'll keep in touch and let them know when you produce
new items. Also, send every customer a thank you e-mail or card when you return
home. It's a very personal touch and only done by high-end stores with exceptional
When concluding a sale, learn to be efficient in wrapping the item, taking the
payment, giving the customer a receipt, your card or brochure and getting them
to leave their contact information. They can either sign your guest book or fill
out a form and drop it in a box for a drawing.
Your expedience in finishing a sale allows you to move on to other customers who
may be waiting for your attention. Have lots of pens, receipt books, shopping
bags and marketing materials. You may also want to carry decorative gift boxes
that would be easier to use for gifts than wrapping paper.
As you do more and more shows, you will come to create a profile of your ideal
customer--their age, income bracket, interests, gender, how they dress, what
they like, what they purchase most often and other characteristics that will
help you plan your future craft items, pricing and display.
Natalie Goyette shows you how to make your craft show business profitable in
her best selling ebook: Craft Show Success Secrets. Visit her site: