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Here’s how I used to treat craft shows. I’d go into crazy-woman sewing mode in the weeks leading up to a craft show. All other marketing and updating of sales channels would stop so I could give my full attention to production.

 

I’d stay up late the last couple of nights before the show, gathering props for my table, tagging products, printing signage, etc.

 

I’d have a busy couple of days selling at the craft show, maybe coming home the first night and making more stock, and then once the event was over, I’d crash.

 

I’d give myself permission to sit on the couch and watch TV or step away from my business for a few days because I had just made a pocket full of money, worked my butt off leading up to the event, and…I deserved it.

 

Here’s when I realized something was off about that plan…

 

I was able to take time off after a craft show.

 

After a craft show should be just as busy as before.

I remember talking to another business owner who had sold at trade shows. He explained how different they were compared to craft shows and how much business they brought him in the form of BIG orders and connections that extended outside of the event.

I’ve been to lots of trade shows and craft shows and really analyzed why one sets you up for future business while the other tends to attract a lot of one-and-done sales. 

In general, trade shows attract other business owners (who place bigger orders) while craft shows attract consumers, which tends to create one-time sales. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities to build orders, contacts, and loyal customers at a craft show.

Once I started thinking about craft shows from a trade show angle, and how I could keep the momentum going after an event, I really did see more sales and retail orders come in post-event.  

This article explains 5 common mistakes made at craft shows that encourage one-time sales instead of opportunities that set your business up for the future.

 

 

1) USING CRAFT SHOWS AS A SALES CHANNEL

Craft shows are a great sales channel and marketing channel. Meaning, don’t just look at craft shows as a way to make a bunch of one-time sales, but also to make connections, grow your newsletter, and increase brand awareness.

 

Your main focus should be selling the product you’ve brought to the show, but don’t simply divide shoppers into one of two categories: will buy or won’t buy. There’s a third category that’s being neglected.

 

Here’s how to look at each craft show shopper:

 

1 – They are not a fit for your products now and will probably never buy – your products will never be right for everyone who walks into an event

2 – They are a fit for your products but aren’t going to buy that day – they may need a little more convincing or just need to wait for the right time (e.g. pay day)

3 – They are a fit for your products and are going to buy that day.

 

On average, over 90% of shoppers will fall under category 1 or 2. So if you’re simply focused on making the sale or nothing, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to market (not just sell) to the 90%+ who aren’t going to buy that day.

 

Here’s how you can add a little more marketing to craft shows:

 

-Reach out to local shop owners before the event and encourage them to stop by. Have a lookbook and line sheet behind your table so they walk away with the information they need to place an order. (You may also be interested in: HOW TO ATTRACT WHOLESALE ORDERS AT CRAFT SHOWS)

 

-Get people signed up for your newsletter, that’s THE best way to stay in touch with shoppers who don’t buy. Getting them to follow you on social media is not nearly as effective and 80% of business cards will just end up in the trash (here’s how to make yours avoid the trash can)

 

-Build your brand awareness so shoppers remember your business’ name after the event and will recognize you right away at future events or online. The more they hear about your business, the more comfortable they come with the idea of buying. Your booth should be so branded, shoppers could see it from across the room and recognize whose it is. “I saw that soap vendor at the last event I went to, I want to buy some this time.” Not “I wonder if that soap vendor is here….I don’t even remember their name or what their soap/booth/logo looked like.”

 

MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS has an entire chapter on branding your display: why it’s crucial, defining your brand and how to communicate it at a craft show.

 

 

 

2) USING YOUR CRAFT SHOW SPACE AS A STOCKROOM

Although businesses will sometimes sell directly to consumers at a trade show, the direct one-time sale is sort of small potatoes to the trade show vendor. They’re after big orders from other businesses, which bring in revenue for months to come.

 

Trade show vendors aren’t creating and housing a bunch of stock to sell at the event, but rather bringing items more as samples.

 

They’re creating displays that instantly tell trade show attendees what their business is all about, draw them in, and allow them to see sufficient selection to make an order; not sort through every item they’ve ever made.

 

The purpose of a craft show is to sell directly to the consumer, so you do need enough stock for sales that day. However, it can be beneficial to create a bit of a scarcity (make people think there’s limited quantity of an item while restocking from behind the table as items sell down) and think of your craft show space less like: how can I fit more stock in? and more in terms of: how can I tell my brand’s story through the way I display my products?

 

Stacks of product sitting on a table without props, display fixtures, signage, color themes, etc. doesn’t say much aside from: I have some product to sell.

 

Download MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS for detailed instructions on creating a money-making craft show display. 

 

 

3) BEING ORDER UN-FRIENDLY

How would a vendor at a trade show take large orders if no two items offered were alike? Most retailers do not want to leave it up to the vendor to choose which designs end up in their store. They want to know exactly what they’re ordering (e.g. 20 units of the silver necklace with leaf pendant and amethyst stone; not 20 handmade necklaces).

 

I wouldn’t give up control of the selection I offer. “Hey supplier, send me 5 yards in 10 different fabrics…which colors and prints? You choose.”

 

Whether you’re selling to retailers or not, being set up to take orders and sell one type of product multiple times will encourage more sales after the craft show.

 

Truly one-of-a-kind products are here today, gone tomorrow. Although that may create a bit of urgency to “buy now”, the more than 90% of shoppers who don’t buy will figure there’s no chance that one exact necklace they liked will still be available next week or month.

 

And if they did put the effort in to contact the vendor and ask about the necklace, how would they describe it? How would the vendor know which one they were talking about when they had 20 different, but somewhat similar, necklaces at the event?

 

The majority of shoppers you encounter at a craft show will not buy from you that day. If they like your work, make sure they know they can buy the items they saw, once they’re ready.

 

 

4) BEING UNPREPARED FOR QUESTIONS

Retailers at trade shows ask more hard-hitting questions than craft show shoppers might. What’s your RRP? What’s your minimum order? What’s your lead-time? Shipping costs? What are your net payment terms? Etc. and trade show vendors must be prepared to answer all of them.

 

I went into my first several craft shows as a vendor simply ready to set up my products, take people’s money and put their purchases into a shopping bag.

 

What sales pitch?

 

What USP?

 

What do you mean by “wholesale prices”?

 

Although consumers may not come right out and ask:

 

“What makes your scarves different and better than the vendor down the aisle selling scarves?”

 

They are wondering if your products are right for them. Craft show shoppers may not be business owners thinking about their bottom line and profits, but they are still trying to protect their money.

 

No one wants to spend money on a product that’s not right for them or that doesn’t last. You must think about what your shoppers want to hear, the doubts and questions swirling around in their head as they shop, and be proactive; share what’s great about your products without having to be asked.

 

Download MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS if you need help uncovering your USP, coming up with an effective sales pitch or just tips on how to feel more comfortable setting up and selling at craft shows.

 

 

 

5) OFFERING NO SENSE OF SECURITY

No retailer is going to place an order at a trade show if the vendor doesn’t seem like they have their ducks in a row. Can you imagine them spending hundreds of dollars with a business that doesn’t have a business name, a brand, a website, or an email address?

 

Craft show shoppers may not be spending hundreds of dollars but they still want to know you’re running a legit business. They’re buying from someone who knows what they’re doing, making products that are going to last, and that you’ll still be around next week if there’s an issue with their purchase.

 

They also need to know where to find you after a craft show so they can buy.

 

You must have some sort of online presence that correlates to your business. Meaning, don’t share your personal Hotmail account or direct people to Facebook and ask them to send you a friend request if they want to place an order in the future. Set up an Etsy shop, website or some other platform that allows shoppers to easily find you and place an order.

 

 

To really take advantage of craft shows, don’t show up as a maker; show up as a business owner who does more than just make a cool product.

 

 

How do you encourage craft show shoppers to find you after an event? Share in the comments:)

The post 5 Ways You’re Using Craft Shows Wrong appeared first on Made Urban.

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If you’ve created holiday themed products, you have limited time to sell them. Which means you must work hard to market them. As you probably know, they aren’t just going to sell themselves.

(If you haven’t created products for the holidays, here are 3 quick and easy steps to boost holiday sales with minimal effort)

 

This article is focusing on marketing channels and marketing methods…NOT sales channels.

 

You can create listings on Etsy, add new products to your website, sell at a craft show, etc. But those are your sales channels.

 

To get potential customers to your sales channels so you can sell your products, you must use marketing. Which requires making use of marketing channels and implementing marketing methods on those channels (there are a wide variety of both).

 

You’ll find more clarity on sales channels, marketing channels, marketing methods, more examples and how to discover you best channels and methods in HOW TO SELL HANDMADE BEYOND FRIENDS & FAMILY.

 

But for now, let’s quickly go over a few of the marketing channels and methods found in the ebook to get you started.

 

 

 
 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Probably the most common form of marketing used by handmade business but unfortunately, not the most effective.

 

Too many businesses use social media to promote their products to followers as much as possible.

 

They become that friend who’s always asking for a favor and eventually we just start ignoring their messages.

 

“It’s Larry again…wonder what he want’s this time.” Oh Larry, a relationship can’t just be all take, take, take. Sometimes you’ve gotta give!

 

You’re trying to build a relationship with your followers too. They’ll begin to expect that every time you show up in their feed, you’re going to be promoting a product and asking for money. 

You must give back to your followers once and a while or you’ll turn into a Larry.

“But I’ve gotta make sales!”

When’s the last time you posted to Facebook and saw a flood of sales come in?

 

Or even one sale?

 

If you’re not seeing the results you want from your social media marketing, make sure you’re not making these 3 (very) common mistakes

 

And then give the Trojan Horse Strategy a try next time you’re posting to social media and see if your interaction increases. 

 

Also, try different marketing methods through your social media marketing channels. For example, instead of just posting photos to Facebook, try sharing links to articles on topics related to your products, try posting a video, try using Facebook live, etc. You’ll find more marketing methods for each marketing channel in here.

 

Remember, you’re not using social media to make a sale. People don’t typically head to Facebook or Instagram to shop; they log on to be inspired, informed, entertained, etc.

 

People also don’t typically go from follower to customer in two simple steps. There are many steps in between so trying to make a sale is a bit aggressive on that type of marketing channel.

 

Instead, use social media to make a connection, build trust, stay in sight, etc. Getting followers onto your newsletter list is the most logical next step if they don’t buy. 

 

 

NEWSLETTER

You should absolutely be collecting email addresses during this busy holiday season. Your business is going to encounter hundreds of potential customers who are gift shopping, majority of whom will NOT buy from you.

 

And those who do buy are likely buying for someone else.

 

Wouldn’t it be great if they eventually bought one of your items for themselves too? Which may not happen until their bank account recovers from holiday shopping.

 

Are they going to remember your business in the new year and just think of it out of the blue? Chances are slim to none.

 

But if they’re on your newsletter list, you’re in control of when they receive a message that reminds them of all the items they were admiring when shopping for someone else.

 

You can do the same if you get them to follow you on social media…but it’s harder to get someone to follow you when they’re in the middle of shopping (you don’t want them getting distracted or leaving your website to go to your social media page…keep them where the sales happen!)

 

And it’s also harder to get your messages to them…and at the right time. Social media algorithms kind of hold our posts hostage and decide if and when they’re worthy of being shown.

 

Once you have a newsletter set up and subscribers on your list (not sure how to do that? Simple to follow instructions are here), you can send an email blast after an event, letting people know about the great items or deals they missed or sharing stock that’s still available.

 

Or you can get in contact with website shoppers to let them know when stock is running low, when custom-order deadlines are or when orders must be in by to receive items before Christmas or New Years.

 

Creating urgency is a great way to clear out more stock.

Use that newsletter! It’s one of the most effective marketing channels out there. And yes, it’s definitely more effective than social media. 

 

 

 

BLOG

You may have started a blog on your website, but if you haven’t, you can still use this marketing channel. Instead of implementing the ideas below for your blog, pitch them as guest posts for others’ blogs.

 

A blog is a great place to implement the Trojan Horse Strategy and give visitors something entertaining, educational or inspiring to read, while slipping a product mention in.

 

A blog post should almost always be focused on how you can provide value to readers. What type of information can you share to make their life better, easier, happier, etc.? Once you have that determined, find a way to weave a product mention in so it feels natural.

 

People who haven’t gotten their Christmas shopping done yet would probably appreciate a handy gift guide, such as: Best gifts under $50 for that hard to buy for person.

 

This list may suggest one or two of your products but mainly consist of other business’ products.

 

You could then get in contact with those businesses and ask if they’ll share a link to the gift guide on their social media, blog, in their newsletter, etc.

 

There are many other types of blog posts you can create to help drive readers to your product listings.

 

  • Best places to shop for gifts in ___________ city (drive people to a shop that carries your products)
  • My favorite holiday events around _________ city (drive people to the next craft show you’ll be at)
  • Why giving __________ (your type of product) for Christmas is the perfect gift
  • Etc.

 

Get creative, put the reader first and make use of the Trojan Horse Strategy so that an article is information AND it helps promote your products. 

 

 

 

GET FEATURED

If your products or business have a unique angle, sending out a press release may get you featured in a local newspaper or on a local TV or radio show.

 

What do I mean by unique angle?

 

The media is looking for a story, not an announcement or advertisement.

 

“Suzy is selling jewelry you can buy as gifts” is not headline I would click on or stick around to hear about after a commercial break.

 

“Give a necklace this Christmas & save a cat’s life” gets me wondering; how can I save a cat’s life? The answer may be that a business is partnering with a local cat shelter and donating a portion of sales to it. It’s an interesting story that also promotes a product.

 

Have a look at the types of stories that are covered in your local newspaper, on the radio or TV.

 

You might see a story about a business selling a product that makes a great gift and gives back by donating profits to a local charity. Or a product that’s the latest trend, which trend it’s replacing and where to buy it. Or maybe a business is making a common product out of an uncommon material.

 

Starting a business or selling a product is not news; what do you do that’s a bit out of the ordinary and interesting?

 

If you’re hoping to be featured in a magazine, you must work months in advance. Have a look at this article for a better understanding of a marketing schedule and how some channels require you to plan ahead).

 

You may also look into how you can get your products featured on the home page of a platform such as Etsy. Or on your favorite blog or website.

 

Start with great photos, great branding and great copy (e.g. product descriptions) to increase your chances of getting featured. From there, look into each platform and what they’re specifically looking for when choosing brands or products to highlight.

 

 

 

PAY FOR AN AD

Think niche when looking for places to advertise. Where are you most likely to reach your target audience who’s perfect for your products (as they aren’t for “everyone”, or “women of all ages”…right? If they are, please read over this article).

 

Some advertising platforms will allow you to target a specific group of people. You may be able to decide the gender, age, location, etc. of the audience your ad is shown to. Which can help it reach the right people and perform better.

 

But you may find it more beneficial to find where your niche market is hanging out and then place an ad there.

 

Let’s say you’re selling hair accessories that are made for people with red hair (you choose colors that look great with red hair, the model in all your photographs has red hair, your branding appeals to redheads, etc.).

 

If you place an ad for the accessories on a general fashion blog, it’s going to have a lot of competition, reach a small percentage of people who are a true fit for the product and the ad is likely to be ignored.

 

But if you place an ad on HowToBeARedhead.com, RedheadRevolution.com, SimplyRedhead.com, etc. (yes, those are real sites) your ad is going to have less competition, stand out to website visitors and get more clicks.

 

If you’re planning to spend money on ads, get specific and be strategic. Paying for advertising on any platform won’t give you results. Know your niche market, create an ad for them and place it where they’re most likely to notice it.

 

 

There are many other marketing channels and methods to take advantage of; these are just 5 to get you started.

 

For more ideas, instructions to implement, etc. please download HOW TO SELL HANDMADE BEYOND FRIENDS & FAMILY.

The post 5 Ways to Market Handmade Holiday Products appeared first on Made Urban.

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November and December are two of the busiest shopping months of the year, thanks to all the gift-giving opportunities. Many businesses earn the majority of their revenue in the last quarter of the year. Are you ready to make the most of holiday sales?

 

By the end of October, there’s not a lot of time to get fancy with sales and marketing…you really should be prepared by now and ready to focus on filling orders.

 

But not to worry, you can make the most of sales in the next two months with little effort.

 

It’s all about getting your shoppers into a gift-giving state of mind.

 

They’ll not only think:

I love this necklace/candle/art/etc.

They’ll also think:

It would make a great gift too. I should get one for __________

 

I’m sharing 3 steps you can easily implement to get your products under more Christmas trees this season and boost. those. sales!

 

But first, let me explain why it’s more than just gifts purchased…

 

 

 

GIFT-GIVING PURCHASES…THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

Do you ever:

  • Head into the grocery store for one thing and walk out with five?
  • Walk into a store for a top and walk out with the top and a pair of earrings?
  • Meet for “one glass of wine” with a friend but end up splitting an entire bottle?

 

Just because we’re not planning to buy an item doesn’t mean it’s off the table.

 

Most shoppers will be shopping for someone else during the holidays but you can still dazzle them with your products and increase your sales per transaction.

 

Shoppers won’t completely ignore that stunning necklace / lotion that’s perfect for their skin type / scarf that will turn heads, etc. just because they’re not in the market for it.

 

And shoppers of handmade know there’s urgency to buy a coveted item NOW. Or it may be gone tomorrow. 

 

Making your products more gift worthy attracts shoppers who might not typically shop with you. Once you get them to your table or website, you have an opportunity to sell 2 (or more) items:

  • one for the gift-receiver
  • one for the gift-giver

And if the gift-giver doesn’t end up buying for themselves that day, don’t forget to get them on your newsletter!  It’s muy important.

 

Okay, you get it.

 

Encouraging people to buy your products as gifts is an all-around good move.

 

Now let’s figure out how to do it…

 

 

 

STEP 1 – SPRINKLE HOLIDAY CHEER

A simple update of website colors, styling of photos, props on a craft show table, etc. can instantly add a holiday vibe to your business and products.

 

There are lots of little places to add a sprinkle of gift giving cheer; just think about the areas you communicate your brand.

 

For example:

 

  • You inject your brand into a website through colors, text, images, etc.
  • Instagram communicates your brand through style of images, captions and hashtags
  • The design of tags and packaging help carry branding into your products

 

 

Where you add a touch of branding, you can also add a splash of holiday.

 

For example:

 

  • Website – you may update the color of text, add a few “gift-giving” or holiday keywords, add a few new photos that have a holiday feel, etc.
  • Instagram – instead of your products photographed on a plain white background, try adding a sprig of evergreen and a couple pine cones, or a gift-wrapped box and Christmas ornament next to your item. Add holiday hashtags such as: #GiftsForMom #ChristmasIsComing or #StockingStuffer
  • Tags and packaging – they may get a little refresh by switching up the color or adding a holiday themed stickers/stamps.

  

 

HOW TO SELL HANDMADE BEYOND FRIENDS & FAMILY has many more examples of marketing channels, sales channels and where to add branding.

 

 

 

STEP 2 –  GIVE YOUR PRODUCTS A MAKEOVER

 

What do you think of when you see green, white, red, pink, orange and blue together?

 

Now what about green, silver and a deep red shown together?

The second gives off a holiday or Christmas vibe right?

 

What about when you think of the scents cinnamon, floral, almond and grapefruit VS. cinnamon, gingerbread and white chocolate?

 

The first scent combination just makes you think of soap or candle scents while the second makes you think of Christmas soaps or candles.

 

Do soaps make you think of Christmas and gift giving? Meh

 

Do “Christmas scented soaps” make you think of Christmas and gift giving? Totally!

 

Instead of buying a variety of yarn colors, gems for jewelry, soap dye/scents, etc. focus on winter or Christmas themes. You’re not redesigning products, you’re simply swapping in new colors or scents your ideal customer (or ideal gift buying customer) might prefer this time of year.

 

 

BUT MY STOCK IS ALREADY MADE!

If you’ve already purchased your materials and made your stock, try grouping colors, styles or scents together to make holiday-themed collections.

 

For example, green, white, red, pink, orange and blue could turn into 2 holiday-ish collections:

 

  • Green, orange and red (Orange might not scream “holidays!” on its own but can read as gold when this color combo is placed in a holiday setting)

  • Soft pink, soft blue and white (I think of a pastel winter wonderland; I love the look of soft colors against white snow) 

 

 

PRICE POINTS

Remember to think about the different price points people shop when it comes to gifts.

 

  • Stocking stuffers may be around $10 and under
  • Secret Santa or office colleague gifts may be around $20
  • Close friend or extended family – $50
  • Husband or immediate family member may get higher priced gifts around $100

 

If you can plan your products and even product groupings around these price points, you’ll make it easy for people to shop.

 

 

 

STEP 3 –  CHANGE THE CONTEXT

A simple suggestion can change the context of an item.

 

Orange juice in a regular glass makes you think of juice with breakfast.

 

Pour that orange juice into a champagne glass and now you’re thinking about mimosas with brunch.

 

Pair your products with a gift box and all of a sudden they look like a great gift!

 

You can take the same products you’ve been offering all year and change the context of them with:

 

WORDS

Imagine a sign next to cat products that reads: “I’m a great gift for cat lovers…come on, we all know one”. Now people who aren’t cat owners are thinking about buying your products.

 

Try putting new words next to your products and see what it can do. Instead of “Fridge Magnets” a listing can be re-named to: “Fridge Magnet Stocking Stuffers” to put them in a different light.

 

 

GIFT WRAP

Display a couple products gift-wrapped or with a bow on top. You could also offer gift wrapping as an add-on or complimentary service during the holidays. A sign or website text that reads “Add gift-wrapping to any purchase” reminds a shopper your products will make a great gift.

 

 

GIFT SETS

Group a few items together in nice packaging…instant gift. Instead of a gingerbread scented bar of soap and a gingerbread scented bottle of lotion sitting on opposite sides of the craft show table (or website), group them together in a box with red tissue paper and you have a Secret Santa gift (while the soap sold on its own makes a great stocking stuffer).

 

 

 

*Remember to offer a newsletter signup during this gift-giving season. Your business is going to encounter hundreds of shoppers, many of whom aren’t shopping for themselves.

 

The best way to keep in touch and remind them of the items they were admiring before Christmas, is through a newsletter.

 

Not sure how to set one up….here ya go! 

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

You’ve taken care of your sales channels and ensured shoppers are thinking of gift-giving once they make it there.

But, you still must put the work in to drive people to those sales channels. Check out 5 WAYS TO MARKET HANDMADE HOLIDAY PRODUCTS to ensure all that gift-giving work doesn’t go to waste!

What are you making for the holidays that will make the perfect gift? Please share in the comments! I love hearing about your work

 

The post 3 Steps to Boost Sales for the Holidays appeared first on Made Urban.

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If you haven’t noticed by now, I love translating my riveting life experiences (buying an outhouse and eating blizzards for dessert) into business lessons.

 

This article is yet another lesson taken from the exciting pages of my life, this time when I was bathing suit shopping.

 

Who wants to try on bathing suits, right?

 

Especially after you’ve just finished a big dinner and a pint of beer.

 

I’m sharing why I was persuaded to try on, and buy, an expensive bathing suit and explaining what I call the bathing suit sales technique.

 

My husband and I recently went to the mall to get my laptop fixed, have dinner and grab some things for an upcoming trip of his, which required a new pair of swim trunks.

 

I didn’t need a bathing suit because I wasn’t invited on the amazing guys trip and because in September, there was already a foot of snow in my city…but I’m not bitter.

 

I went into the bathing suit shop with my husband, headed to the ladies side and slowly weaved through store, waiting for him to be done.

Here are the factors that encouraged me to become a customer:

 

  

FACTOR #1 – OPTIONS

If you’ve been reading my blog or have joined one of my free email course ( and ), you know I’m all about scaling down. I believe too many handmade businesses are spreading themselves thin by trying to offer too many products.

 

So I’m not suggesting you offer more types of products.

 

The bathing suit sales technique teaches us to offer more choices in limited products.

 

The store offered bathing suits. There are plenty of other products one may need when wearing a bathing suit; sandals, cover up, hat, beach bag, etc. The store may have carried a few of these items (I didn’t notice), but their focus was clearly bathing suits.

 

They carried limited types of products but a wide variety of options within the bathing suit category.

 

As I was browsing, a navy bathing suit top caught my eye. It was the exact style I’ve been admiring for a while, but the matching bottoms next to the top were not my style at all.

 

When I looked up, I noticed there were several more top and bottom options in the same navy blue fabric. Out of reach, there were a pair of bottoms that I loved just as much as the top.

Now I was starting to contemplate trying a bathing suit on and imagining wearing it on my next vacation.

 

HOW TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU

We all have slightly different tastes. You never want to try and appeal to everyone’s tastes but you can take a few preferences and offer options for them.

 

Start with one product and think about what the common preferences might be within your niche market. For example:

 

  • A jewelry maker could offer a pendant necklace in silver and gold and maybe even with a small pendant and large pendant.

 

  • Someone who makes scarves may offer the same color and knit in a regular style of scarf, infinity style and cowl style.

 

  • A soap maker may offer soap in a bar, on a rope, or in liquid form.

 

This is also a great way to create a cohesive product line (along with having a signature style) and not go too crazy with variety. A jewelry maker could easily offer three styles of necklaces, carry each in gold and silver, as well as a understated option using a small stone and an overstated option using a large stone. There are 12 options to choose from without having to design 12 completely different designs. 

 

It’s best to showcase options together. If that alternative bathing suit bottom were on the other side of the store, I likely wouldn’t have found it and would have talked myself out of a sale. At a craft show, group variations together in a secondary display. Online, show options under the same tab, group thumbnails together, or even suggest them under a: “you may also like” or “related items” section on a product listing page.

 

 

FACTOR #2 – DON’T HESITATE

As I was staring up at the bathing suit bottoms and admiring them, I was also talking myself out of trying the bathing suit on.

The sales associate was right next to me, steaming items, and my actions were clearly showing I was interested in the bathing suit. But she didn’t ask if I wanted to try it on or if she could get a size down for me.

 

That sales associate’s hesitation almost lost the store a sale.

 

Yes, it would have been just as easy for me to ask her to get my size down but I was looking for a sign to buy or not to buy. I didn’t need a new bathing suit and really didn’t want to go into the dressing room, so I was looking to be nudged in one direction or the other. 

 

“Did you want to try it on?” was all I needed.

 

When my husband came out of the dressing room, I asked him if he liked the bathing suit and the sales associate finally asked if I wanted to try it on.

 

Once I said yes, I was one step closer to buying.

 

 

HOW TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU

Don’t assume shoppers will decide on their own to buy, even if they love an item. We’re all looking for signs whether we should spend our money on an item or watching for red flags (e.g. bad customer service, product flaws, etc.)

 

I’ve tried a piece of clothing on, been on the fence about it and had the sales associate tell me it looks great. All of a sudden, I see it in a different light. My “I’m not sure” turns into “she’s right, it does fit me great…okay, I’m going to get it!”

Other simple statements can also sway me, such as “it would look great with __________” or “it would be perfect to wear to ___________” which get me imagining the piece in my life.

 

Don’t let people shop in silence and wait for the sale. Ask for it!

 

  • Ask if they want to try an item on.

 

  • Ask if they want to smell a scent or sample a lotion.

 

  • Go ahead an tell them you offer your greeting cards in a packaged bundle…even if they don’t ask.

 

Online, use product descriptions and button text to prompt shoppers.

 

  • Tell them to click through the photos to view details in the back.

 

  • Suggest items that work with the product they’re looking at.

 

  • Encourage online shoppers to contact you if they have any questions…and make it easy (include a contact link in each description, let them know you’ll respond within 24 hours, etc.)

 

  • Or even set a pop-up to appear after they’ve been on a page for longer than a minute, which can encourage them to buy.

 

I recently wrote an article on how to ask for the sale, so if you’d like more ideas on how to do so without being pushy or feeling uncomfortable, please check out: HOW TO ASK FOR THE SALE AT A CRAFT SHOW

 

 

 

FACTOR #3 – SHOW IN A GOOD LIGHT

I had gone from “just looking” to trying the bathing suit on. But there was still the option of me not buying if I didn’t like what I saw when I looked in the mirror.

But each dressing room had this soft, warm lighting that illuminated from behind the full-length mirror. It made my skin tone look warm and didn’t shine a spotlight on all my flaws. It made me feel confident enough to open the door and get the sales associate’s opinion on sizing; that doesn’t typically happened when bathing suit shopping.

 

The store knew that minds can easily change in a dressing room and took steps for their products to be shown in their best lighting when being tried on.

 

 

HOW TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU

Your products must also be shown in the best light possible; both literally and figuratively.

 

You should be photographing your products in good lighting; natural, indirect sunlight and no flashes (or using professional studio lighting).

At a craft show, you may want to add your own lighting to your space. It could be a soft table lamp with a bulb/shade that helps cast a warm light. A jewelry maker may use spotlights with a bulb that makes pieces sparkle.

 

Also be mindful of the background. A piece of jewelry placed on a carpet or a blanket photographed on the grass does not show the pieces in their best light. A customer is never going to store or admire their jewelry on the ground and a beautiful knitted blanket isn’t going to be used outside.

 

At a craft show, always bring a tablecloth to cover rental tables and make sure it’s as wrinkle free as possible. Choose a color, pattern or texture that compliments your products and be mindful when choosing other props your products will sit on. There are lots of craft show prop ideas in CREATING A POWERFUL DISPLAY.

 

You can also help show your products in a good light by speaking or writing highly of them.

 

I cringe when I see a one-sentence product description. Stating that a handbag is: “Green and 18” x 12” is the equivalent of describing someone as “nice”. Not exactly a glowing review or any way to paint a detailed picture.

 

If you need help with product descriptions, please check out my product description series.

 

PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS THAT SELL:

 

Handle products with care as you show them to customers at a craft show or wrap a purchase. Together, all these elements will help show your products in their best light possible.

 

 

Those were the 3 factors that took me from “just looking” to a loyal customer:

 

  • Having options to choose from
  • Being encouraged to try the bathing suit on
  • Seeing the bathing suit in the best light possible

 

There are many other keys to making a sale; you’ve got to get someone into a store (or craft show booth) before you can sell to them and making the sale requires more than one question.

 

These three factors are a good place to start and if you need more help with your display or sales techniques at a craft show, please download MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS.

 

If you’re after a start to finish guide for implementing the factors that build a strong, successful business online and off, please download HOW TO SELL HANDMADE BEYOND FRIENDS & FAMILY.

 

 

Please share in the comments how you plan to try the BATHING SUIT SALES TECHNIQUE.

 

The post How to Implement the Bathing Suit Sales Technique appeared first on Made Urban.

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