What to say to customers & how to sell
Let’s be honest sales can be hard work! I will take a punt here and say all of you love what you do and the products you produce but you would be the first to admit you are not trained in sales and may lack these skills? Am I correct?
Selling your products and services at markets can be daunting and a bit scary! In this blog we will use our long successful background in sales to give you some tips and tricks to make you feel more comfortable engaging your customers, give you ideas of conversation starters which will lead to you selling more products!
If you can take on board some of what we suggest people will be more likely to buy from you or at the very least take a card and sign up for your mailing list. Leaving them with a positive view of you and your business means they will likely also tell their friends about you!
SHOULD YOU SIT OR STAND AT A MARKET?
Firstly, you need to consider your body language and how it is perceived by your potential customers. Where will you be at your stall? In the front, to the side, behind the table and should you stand or sit? These are all valid questions as whichever you chose you are sending out body language signals to your customers.
Sitting down – We would HIGHLY recommend NOT sitting down. This is a major turn off for your customers. They feel you are too relaxed and not engaged in your products or in them and creates an instant barrier and gives the wrong image.
Customers should feel welcome as soon as they see your stall, if you are head down looking at your phone, reading a book, knitting, talking to your friend etc. how will you see the customers approaching? you are not ready to engage with them and many will walk on by!
We recommend standing up as much as possible! We know this isn’t always easy during a long market period and some people can’t stand up for long periods of time due to health reasons, but the customers want to see you relaxed, happy and confident in your products.
If you need to sit down that is fine but keep it as short as you can and KEEP YOUR HEAD UP, make eye contact with customers even when they are not at your stall as this will bring them over.
If customers do approach your stall, make the effort to stand up to engage them and then sit back down once they have passed. Another tip is if you must sit down maybe take a taller chair and perch on it rather than sit to give you height and the illusion you are standing.
GET ONE CUSTOMER INTERESTED AND THE REST WILL FOLLOW
It is a fact that people do not like to miss out on anything! You will notice that some stalls are always busier than others, this is because when a few people have stopped and are engaged in the stall others will see the crowd forming and want to know what they are missing out on and come to check it out.
If you can get that one customer interested and at your stall long enough you are automatically winning! Once you have all the people do not ignore them! You want to make all the customers feel valued, if you are talking to one customer make sure to make eye contact and smile at all the others to begin the engaging process making the customers feel acknowledged.
SO YOU HAVE THEM AT YOUR STALL WHAT SHOULD YOU SAY & DO??
Knowing when to talk to your customer and knowing when to be quiet and let them browse is an art you will learn, the more exposure you have to customers and the more markets you do the easier this will become.
You need to also look at yourself and take note, are you a quiet person who needs more confidence or are you naturally confident and need to tone it down? Knowing this and how to address it will draw people in and not scare them off.
Saying “HI” and smiling to every customer who glances your way is a simple thing that will draw customers over. By doing this you will notice they may have been going to walk past but your friendly face changed their mind.
Take note of the buyer’s body language, some will want to engage, and some will want to browse quietly without feeling pressured.
The customers who actively engage and openly start a conversation asking about you and your products make your life easier. You know what they are interested in and you can go from there providing the info they need/want.
Some customers however will not do this, and it will be up to you to get the conversation started and get them engaged. When you try and engage them you may notice they want to browse quietly this is perfectly fine making your customers comfortable is key.
Being able to understand this difference take practice, the more you try the more you will succeed in understanding your customers.
HOW DO YOU ENGAGE A CUSTOMER?
It is always wise to attempt to engage your customer in conversation, you will quickly work out if they are willing to chat or want to browse.
Some easy starter questions you can try are listed below – it is worth noting here when asking questions try to avoid questions that can be answered with one word.
What is your favourite part of the market so far?
Do you live locally, or have you travelled?
Ask relevant surrounding questions. For example, if you sell dog coats you might ask:
What kind of dog do you have?
Are you looking for your dog or as a gift?
What dog does the gift receiver have?
Are they holding something else purchased from the market already? If so make comment on that
Have they picked up or look interested in one of your products?
volunteer positive information about the product
Tell them how it is made
Tell them things that are not obvious about it (material, process to make, organic etc).
BE REAL and do not lie – customers will know, and it will put them off. If you do not know the answer to a question say you don’t know but you will find out for them, and then make sure you do follow back up with them
Don’t be too pushy if people like you and your products, they will buy it
YOU THINK YOU ARE NOT A SALESPERSON?
You likely feel weird or uncomfortable about promoting how amazing you are, and it isn’t easy to do for many people. Approaching sales as a conversation rather than a sales pitch is a better way to think about it.
The biggest hurdle has already been overcome for you as the customers are already at the market to support local handmade items!
Being knowledgeable about your products is the biggest sales tool you have.
Along with being passionate, trustworthy and having great listening skills being able to explain your thoughts and the processes that go into your creations is what the buyer is looking for along with being able to meet the people who made them.
Confidence comes with practice, not everyone you try and engage will respond but don’t take it personally the more you try the more you will learn what works for you.
IT ISNT ALL ABOUT YOU
Many stallholders forget it isn’t all about them, goods sales is being able to listen to your customer and show a genuine interest in what they are saying.
If they are looking at a product try and got more info about them ask questions like,
Are you looking for yourself?
Is it a gift?
Do they have a place at home in mind for the item?
Do they want to see it in a different colour?
Never interrupt your customer or talk over them, there is nothing more off putting.
CLOSING THE DEAL
Closing the deal is the hardest part of any sale, going from chatting to making the sale takes, you guessed it, practice. If you get the feeling the customer isn’t going to purchase today make sure you let them know where else your items can be found and give them a card so they can look you up easily later.
KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER
1. Know everything about your product
You need to know not only how your products functions but also all the special features it has. You need to talk these special features up and make sure your customers know them too
2. Know your customers and what they are looking for
Know who your potential customers are and what they want from a product. What is the most important factors they look for in products and tailor your sales pitch to these points.
3. Always follow up
Following up any potential sales leads is key, this is mandatory across all sales types and illustrates why you need to have some way of capturing these leads. Follow up emails are a great way to reconnect with your customers after the event
4. Use rejection as an opportunity
Sales and rejection go hand in hand, facing rejection is always hard. Sometimes they go with a competitor product, sometimes they don’t have a current need for your product or the funds to purchase right now. The most important thing to remember is it isn’t personal.
If you can control the controllable things and use rejection to strengthen your sales game you will go far. Rejections often show you the weakness in your product which you can then tweak to turn your weaknesses into strengths
5. Have fun and practice
The more you practice your sales skills the easier and freer flowing it becomes. If you make a mistake don’t dwell on it dust yourself off, learn from it and move on. Have fun in what you are doing, your enthusiasm will shine through and the more you enjoy and believe in yourselves the more your customers will as well.
We would love you to comment below with your best sales tips!
Looking forward to seeing you all soon