Vendor event, craft show, state/county fair, expo or shopping days – doesn’t matter what you call it, it’s an event where your direct sales business is represented. In many cases, direct sellers are permitted to have inventory on hand for cash and carry. If you’re going to invest the time in setting up and manning a booth, make wise business decisions to make your time spent worthwhile.
The five tips below are extra steps you can take to help ensure more traffic and more sales to your table or booth.
1. Free: Have lots of FREE signs. People love the word FREE. Many will take something just because it’s free, even if they don’t initially think they are interested in it. This can work both for and against you. It can work against you if you are far too liberal with costly marketing collateral and product samples. But it can also work in your favor if you have a take-away that they can put in their hands and later visit your website. Most customers won’t ask “Is this free?” No one wants to look like a cheapskate. So if you have samples that you want them to take, make sure you have signage on your table that reads FREE samples, please help yourself.
2. Call to action: Do you have a product you want them to try? Have signs that are professionally designed, not handwritten scribbles, that read: Open and Sniff. Or Try it Before You Buy It. I saw a beautiful wickless candle display that had candles packaged in plastic clamshell cases. Her intent was to have the customers pop open the cases to smell them. Yet without the instruction to do so, no one did. They viewed it as opening a package that they may not purchase. Be clear how you want your customers to behave.
3. Forms of payment: If you accept credit cards make sure you clearly display that you do. Many craft show vendors are small home businesses or hobbyist and customers do not expect them to have the ability to accept credit/debit cards. I’ve heard customers walk past tables saying to their shopping partner “I should have brought more cash.” If they had known plastic payment was an option, the vendors likely would have sold much more.
4. Product details: Your product may seem self explanatory to you, but to shoppers who are not familiar with it may be confused or have a false impression of what your items are or what they do. If you have a product that warms wax with the heat of a lightbulb – have a small sign that simply says “It’s a lightbulb!” It’ll either make perfect sense to the customer or it’ll be intriguing so they’ll pause long enough to ask questions. If your product looks like soap or lotion but is actually anti-bacterial foam, then put a placecard next to it so that the customers understand it’s not just a product they can pick up at the dollar store.
5. Don’t hover. Yes engage your customers with a simple Hello. But don’t ask them forty questions. Don’t start yammering so much that potential customers can’t get away fast enough. Allow them time to soak up what you are selling and give them an opportunity to express interest, either verbally or nonverbally. You don’t like to be attacked by salespeople and neither do others.
Follow these easy to implement tips to have a more productive vendor event. You have an excellent product that you’re proud of, so don’t make simple mistakes that could be costly. It’s difficult to determine the cost of lost business that you never received because of inadvertent self-sabotage.
And most importantly, have fun – else what is the point in doing it.
About the Author: Laurie Ayers is a Michigan work from home mom and a Superstar Director with Scentsy Wickless Candles. She enjoys helping men and women start and maintain a home based business in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Germany, Ireland, France, Spain and the UK. To download a FREE Start Up Guide which provides more details about how to start a home business as well as to learn about our compensation plan go to www.thrivingcandlebusiness.com/how-to-start-a-candle-business/ or for updates on Facebook LIKE www.facebook.com/ThrivingCandleBusiness and twitter @directsalesblog