Hiring the Right help for a long, and very large Craft Fair can make or break you.
Hiring the right person, or persons, can be a daunting task especially when you are not familiar with how to do it.
Before you begin your search, you first have to ask yourself exactly what are you looking for in finding the right person. Not everyone you interview will ever know what a pen is, let alone how to sell it. So what do you look for? In my previous life as a sales manager (for thirty five years), I interviewed thousands of potential sales candidates. So, the first thing I look for is good communication skills. Do they listen well and then clearly and concisely speak? Do they have good non-verbal skills? In other words do they observe people, and then take a cue from that? For example, a potential customer keeps looking at a particular pen then browses a different section but keeps coming back to a particular pen. Would they know enough to go over to them and explain that pen to then? Are they friendly and outgoing? Do they display confidence when speaking? Most important are they honest and trustworthy?
These are all very good questions to ask yourself while you are speaking with a potential candidate. So where do you start? The best way is to ask other vendors if they know of anyone who is looking for part time sales help. I found two sales associates that way for the Grand Central Terminal Show who were familiar with selling crafts, and they worked out very well. You can also use a temporary agency, they will be more money but the candidates will be pre-screened for you. Of course you can use online services but the best way is word of mouth from other vendors and your own instincts. If your “spidey” sense is telling you something is not right, chances are you will be correct.
The price for the help will vary depending on your location, how many hours they work, and what tasks you expect of them. The simplest task is just having another set of eyes to make sure you don’t let a potential customer slip away because you are selling to another customer (or making sure a pen doesn’t get stolen). The highest level is opening and closing your booth and being responsible for cash and securing your booth. Just remember, more responsibilities = more $$. I hope this will shed some light into the hiring practice for you.
Happy Turning – more importantly happy selling!