Learning how to engage shoppers at a craft show is at times, quite awkward and uncomfortable for the seller and the shopper. If you don’t engage, you will not sell. Shoppers will become browsers and pass your booth by. Have you ever been to a show as a customer and refuse to make eye contact with the vendor in hopes of not being noticed or talked to? I have. Let’s work together to change your tactics and draw more people into your booth without being pushy or obnoxious.
Engage Shoppers at Craft Shows
Technology is Your Enemy
Yes, I said it. Technology is not good at craft shows, unless you understand how to use it properly. Everyone these days, are a slave to their phones, readers or tablets. Don’t deny it. You know you are. You may think that at a craft show, it is a great way to pass the time during the slow times. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good game of Keno but say no to Keno at a show.
Why? Here’s Why…..
- Distracted Vendor = Uninterested Shopper
- Distracted Vendor = Lost Sales
- Distracted Vendor = Unfriendly Impression
Being immersed in your technology gives potential buyers the idea that you are not interested in them or their money. Even as a vendor myself, it drives me crazy when I see other sellers not look up from their phones and even try to engage a potential customer. Some people are at the show just to look around but many are there to buy. Make every attendee feel like you are interested in them.
Speak Up for Goodness Sake
Trust me. It won’t kill you to say “hi”. No one will chase you or call you names. A very simple word can make all the difference between the cold shoulder and warm shopper.
Here’s what to say….
- “Hi. How are you today?”
- “I really like….. your….” comment on their shoes, purse, sweater. Talk about how cute their baby is. Talk to their small child. You’ll be amazed at the increase in your booth when you pay attention to their child(ren).
- “Is there any questions I can answer for you?”
- “Are you looking for something special?”
- “If you see something you would like to purchase, I would be happy to hold it until you are finished shopping.” Make sure to get payment first.
Now I am not saying that you need to dance a jig, unless you want to, but here are some moves you can do….
- Go around your products and readjust.
- Make sure price tags are visible.
- Products are easily seen.
- Restock inventory.
- Move your chair around.
- Don’t sit in one place for the whole event. Move your chair from one side to other periodically. This will give you a better and different perspective of the event, shoppers and your booth.
Never ever,ever,ever leave early
Not only will this jeopardize you being asked back to the event, it also gives shoppers the impression that you don’t want to be there. What do you do if you run out of inventory? Good question. Be prepared by thinking ahead.
- Have photos of your work either in a frame, photo album or slide show on your tablet. This way you can show people your work and perhaps receive some orders.
- Have signs that say, “Sold Out, but I can take orders. Take a look at my photos”.
- Continue to give out business cards.
- Keep a photo or a product displayed for a giveaway. Have a sign that says something like, “Enter to win. No need to be present”. This is a great way to build your email list and have contacts for the future.
I am sure that there are many more steps to engage shoppers at craft shows. These are the top 4 that have worked best for me. Next event you are at, try some of these suggestions and see for yourself if this not only engages more shoppers and/or increases your sells.
If you would like to learn more about craft shows, read my blog post, Craft Show 101. Here you will find excellent information about craft shows as well as the Ultimate Craft Show Checklist free for subscribing to the email list.