5 Ways To Get Customers To Buy NOW!
(Though article addresses jewelry, techniques apply to all crafts)
Selling at craft trade shows is unlike any other kind of selling. In the craft show circuit, your window of opportunity is short and sweet. Well, maybe not always sweet, but after implementing a few chosen selling techniques, you can make your success a whole lot sweeter.
Given the investment you have made, financially and with your own blood, sweat and tears, there is no time like the present to make those sales! This means you have to court your visitors and bring them around to the notion that they need to pull out their wallets there and then.
The following countdown list covers five top strategies you can use at your craft trade shows to get customers to buy NOW!
Craft Trade Shows Tips
5. Creating Points of Connection - Craft trade shows offer a much greater opportunity to create customer connections both with your brand and your products. You have a captive audience with which to work and much greater control than on your website. While you can, with time, convert visitors into buyers online, craft trade shows give you the opportunity to measure results immediately. How do visitors respond to words, visuals, signage, and tactile experience?
In sales, every point of contact that your visitor makes with you, your brand, or your product, brings them one step closer to making a purchase. Your job is to present as many of those "contact" opportunities as you can. Starting with a warm greeting, followed by sharing some product knowledge and, finally, by getting your visitors to touch and try on your designs.
At craft trade shows the first point of contact is visual and, while you have your visitor's attention, you can move them through to interaction. Creating comfort and a feeling of being a welcome guest will increase the time you have to work with your visitors to bring them closer to your work.
Once you have engaged your visitors in conversation with a little friendly talk and by sharing stories, or details, about your work, it then becomes easy to usher your audience closer to that purchase by getting them to touch your work and then, of course, try on your designs.
Getting people to touch and try your work on is as easy as conversing about one of your designs and putting the item into your visitor's hands, while saying "feel how light these earrings are" or "see how the necklace can easily be converted to a short necklace by doubling it up."
The more reasons you can find to put an item into the hands of your customers, the closer you bring them into experiencing what you have to offer. By the time they are actually over at the mirror trying on that necklace, you are many more times as likely to make that sale.
Sounds simple enough, however, selling something so personal as your own work can sometimes impede that ability to really connect with your visitors with greater ease, and in a manner that doesn't scare them away. For example, simply saying "would you like to try that on?" can sometimes interrupt the flow rather than warm up your visitor.
Depending on the level of interest, bringing a visitor closer to your work with a seamless invitation, such as handing them an item, rather than asking a question, can keep the pressure down while increasing that level of interest. See how many ways you can find to get your audience to engage with your products through touch, sight and words and you will increase that impulse to buy now.
4. Offer Customization - One of the best ways to encourage immediate sales at craft trade shows is to make it known that customers will receive more when they shop right there and then. There are various ways you can do this such as offering length adjustments, exact matching options, customization of designs and in-person choices.
For example, choosing items in person will allow customers to find a perfect earring match to a necklace when your gemstones have a wide range of variances such as being more yellow in tone, or opaque versus translucent. You may offer interchangeable charms, or components that customers can select in person, or you may be able to add, or remove parts to make a perfect fit.
While all these things may be obvious to you, it is important that you continually communicate the advantages to purchasing right at the show, to your visitors. This means that you will let all your potential customers know that if they want that perfect match, perfect fit, or customized option, they will only get that at the show.
This creates a sense of urgency and touches on the age old concept in selling which is "the fear of missing out." It is proven that when people feel that they will not have as good an opportunity in the future, they are many times more likely to make a buying decision now.
While selling your work at craft trade shows can be a building process, it's your job to find as many reasons why prolonging a purchase decision will be disadvantageous. Look at your collection, one item at a time, and see if you can find ways to offer add-on benefits that ad value for your visitors when they make that purchase in the moment.
3. Create Urgency - There are many more ways to create that "buy now" sense of urgency at craft trade shows, and you are only limited to your imagination in terms how you can create motivating reasons to buy now. A great example of this is with items that you only produce for the Christmas show season, or any season for that matter.
There may be items in your collection that you produce in limited quantities, or collections that are limited to the season, or even items that you make only once a year. Let your customers know that you have a limited quantity of certain items, or that you may run out of items during the last shows of the year, if that's the case.
When producing a collection for craft trade shows, the reality often is that you either may not want to over produce, or you may have under produced. Turn that in your favor by communicating scarcity to your visitors. While there may be that natural inclination to inform customers of the "scarcity" issues, what may not be instinctive is just how much you need to repeat this to your visitors.
In sales you often have to repeat scripts more often than feels comfortable in order to drive the point. As in tip number four, you want to encourage the desire that stems from the "fear of missing out." You are doing yourself, and your visitors, a disservice when you don't inform them of specialty items, special promotions, seasonal items, low-stock items, not sold online items, one of a kind designs, or limited designs.
This is your one chance to make that sale and your potential customer's one chance to make the purchase. Don't let them walk away thinking "I have her business card. I'll buy it online", especially when you know that half of your designs are not available online.
2. Overcome Objections - Craft trade shows are the perfect place to learn what objections people have to making an immediate purchase. Online there is sometimes no way of knowing what makes a visitor pass up the opportunity to buy and it can be a slow road of trial and error before identifying the barriers to purchase.
In person, you have the unique advantage of being able to ask questions and engage in live dialogue. In sales, it is said that people have two objections. First is the objection that sounds about right. It's logical and understandable. Beneath that though, lies the "real objection." This is the objection that you want to get to know. Without knowing that objection, you will not as likely to be able to help anyone overcome their true objection.
Let me give you a real life example that I learned at my craft trade shows. I sell barrettes and people are always attracted to them, but what happens is they pick up the barrettes and they see the price. As soon as they look at the price, out comes the first objection "it's too expensive." It is easy to remedy that objection just by letting them know how the barrettes are made, but without stating our barrette guarantee, I cannot help them overcome their real objection.
Nine times out of ten the real objection is that customers have been dinged too many times on barrettes that fall apart. Why? Because they buy cheap barrettes! So, if they are accustomed to purchasing cheap barrettes that continually break, they feel like they don't want to commit to a high-priced barrette.
When I let them know that the barrettes are soldered and not glued, that we guarantee them and that they will last at least ten times longer than most barrettes, they are sold! Suddenly they start to imagine they will have their barrette for ten or twenty years and the barrette looks a whole lot cheaper. The barrier to purchase has been removed.
The catch is, the solution to the objection must be real. If you say the product will last... it should last. And, if you say it is guaranteed, then guarantee it. I have customers come back year-after-year wearing their hair barrettes and telling other people how great they are. Sure the barrettes last for a long time which means they don't really need to purchase another barrette from me, but just the opposite happens. They return to purchase new designs again and again.
Your customers will have different objections and it may take a little digging to find out what the barriers to purchase may be. The sooner you start to ask your visitors and yourself these questions, the sooner you will be able to effectively help potential customers overcome their objections.
Find and identify potential problems and issues, and then create the solutions to move your visitors from browsers into buyers.
1. Create Great Customer Experiences - At the top of our selling techniques for craft trade shows is the number one way to motivate customers to buy now. Create great customer experiences. Nothing opens a heart (and a wallet) faster than having ones needs met and offering an experience that has people feeling great! Not only will a fabulous experience encourage immediate sales, it will keep customers coming back.
Starbucks knows this and it is deeply bred into their business model. In the many years that I have shopped at Starbucks, I have only ever had one mediocre experience... and I don't even buy coffee. I frequent Starbucks regularly for their chai tea latte, breakfast sandwiches, lunch wraps and cake pops for my kids.
I will tell you though, I wouldn't frequent Starbucks, or even return to Starbucks if they didn't make it so super comfortable to shop. That may not hold true for a select few people, but it holds true for me. Why? Because I can be rather shy and I tend to avoid shopping experiences that feel like a hurdle for me.
I know when I shop at Starbucks, I could be an annoying pain in the ass and say "I want that chai with a shot of.. and that wrap warmed but only for... and can you give me an extra little cup of.... with blah, blah, blah on the side?" and they would still serve me with professional courtesy. I don't do that, but I know that I can ask for what I need without feeling the least bit uncomfortable.
This is the kind of experience you can create that will turn your visitors into buyers and your buyers into loyal customers. It is both an immediate sales strategy and a long-term strategy for building your business. When you give customers and visitors exceptional service, you create the strongest connection you can have.
When visitors stop at your booth and they feel warm, welcomed, connected, taken care of, and informed, they are many times more apt to make a purchase. Even when visitors leave your booth and continue to look around the show, which booth do you think they will return to when they have finished their rounds? Yours!
Look for ways to connect and engage by offering premium level service and by showing a genuine interest in those who stop at your booth. Be of service, ask questions, inform and use your great sense of humor if it comes naturally. Lead with your heart and stay on top of your game by being the consummate professional, and you will convert visitors into buyers at all your craft trade shows.