There are a few easy ways to increase your sales at art fairs, trade shows, craft fairs, etc. that are often forgotten. I want to outline a few today to help you up your game as we head into the show season that is Spring. Don’t let yourself down again this year. Instead, learn a few of these tricks and you’ll be tops at in-person sales in no time.
1. Leave your negative feelings back at your hotel. If you’re feeling stressed, tired, not-so-incredibly-confident, or any other depressing sort of mood, give it up while you’re in your booth.
2. Be nice to everyone, whether you think they’re going to buy or not. This kind of goes along with #1, but it’s very important that you don’t let someone’s appearance or actions make you give up on them before they’ve had a chance to show interest. People will surprise you.
3. Say hello to everyone who walks by your booth. Everyone. People like to reciprocate. You’ll end up with plenty of people saying hi back to you but you’ll also end up with people over-compensating, feeling compelled to come into your booth and check out your art. And once you get someone into the booth, it’s much more likely they’ll make a purchase.
4. Once people are in your booth, it’s incredibly important that you get them to use as many of their senses as possible. With art, people are already seeing it. But could you get them to touch it too? Perhaps pick up smaller pieces and put them in people’s hands. Or tell people they can reach up and touch the paint if they like.
Hearing, tasting, and smelling are so much more difficult to achieve with art, but if you can cover one of those too then you’ll see customers connect so much more with your art – and that translates to even more sales.
5. People are going to ask questions and one of the ways to impress them and make them feel confident in your abilities as a business owner is to answer their questions before they ask them. That sounds scary, but the more you watch your customers interact with your products, the easier it will become.
If you can’t think of anything to say, just ask them what their favorite piece in your booth is and then ask them to tell you why. At the very least, you’ll be connecting with them through speech (or hearing – one of the five senses!) and finding out more about who your target customers are and what goes through their minds.
6. Give your booth an aesthetic boost. Most first-time craft booths are awful. Perhaps it’s because most artists have an eye for their medium but aren’t as talented in other mediums. Whatever the reason, do plenty of internet browsing for pictures of other artist’s booths (especially in your medium) and feel free to copy their work the right way. Bonus points if you can attend other shows and see beautiful booths in person – don’t forget to snap pics!
7. Provide something a potential customer can take with them. So many people give a little something extra to the people who buy, but I think that’s really a waste. The people who bought already are taking something home of yours (or it will arrive in their homes soon). You should be more focused on getting them onto your email list where you can keep reminding them that you exist.
But for people who don’t become customers before they leave your booth, you need to hand them something remarkable and memorable. People come away from these shows with sometimes hundreds of business cards. Make whatever you hand them stand out from the crowd of line sheets, generic copy-paper-printed catalogs, and boring business cards.
Do one of those three exceptionally or do something totally different. Use your most creative side and brainstorm tons of ideas and pick something that will not only get you noticed when you hand it to the potential customer, but will also get your “thing” kept and brought all the way home and then rediscovered enough that this person seeks you out online and eventually becomes a customer.
Do you have any show secrets to divulge? Post them in the comments where everyone can learn!