This is “Black Friday Weekend” and like a lot of you, my wife and I went shopping. The first store we went into we were “mugged” by a sales associate the second we crossed into their space by asking “can we help you” or “can I help you find something?” Our first instinct is to say “No, we are just looking!” Most people will agree that this is what we say, and hope the sales associate does not follow you around trying to point out different items.
Now take this micro look of our day and relate this experience to your booth or space at a show. How do you interact with your potential customers? Do you pounce on them like a cat, or give them some space to take in your work and ask questions?
Over the past 40 plus years of selling in many different venues, the common thread among all of them has been sincerity, honesty and the ability to have whatever the item was that was being sold relate to the individual who was purchasing your item. The best way to do this was not to “feature dump” on them. What I mean by a feature dump is telling them all the nice features about your product. The best way to sell them your product is having them relate to your product and you do that by telling them a “story” about it!
I have found that by just showing a nice looking pen to a potential customer they say “they are beautiful” but when I start to tell them about how it was made, where the wood came from, the process in making the pen, all the steps including showing them and letting them feel a 12,000 grit piece of sandpaper, gets them involved in the sale and then they are a part of that sale. Sure the pen has to be made well and look good, but I can tell you that over the years I have sold some very ugly pens that my wife has said would never sell, but yet they still do because of the way they were presented to the customer by involving them in the sale!
Just two weeks go at Paradise City Arts Festival I told a story of how I obtained some “Holy Land” Olivewood and the customer could not wait to tell another friend of hers the “story” of the pen! 20 minutes later her friend came back and bought another pen made from the “Holy Land” Olivewood because she was involved in the story! This technique works better than just telling the customer the pen is gold plated or made from wood. Get excited about your product them the story of how it was made, where the wood or acrylic came from. A buzz word that I use a lot is reclaimed wood or recycled material – you are being eco-friendly, and that is always good.
So, tell a story about your work don’t always just “feature” dump on them and expect your customer to buy it because you told them everything about it – get them involved in the process and watch your sales go up!