Posted 31 December 2013 - 08:14 AM
I had a shop in a tourist area, it's different, but I had a pretty good sales rate of people walking in the door and then buying. Over 7 years, here's what I learned:
1.always greet them if I can, even if only a quick "Hi!" I don't get in their space at first. Every time I say, "Can I help you with something?" they almost always say, very quickly and emphatically, "Just looking!"
2. I generally say, "Welcome to my shop/booth! Have you been here before?" (This can mean at the show) If they want to talk, and you will know, then I'll ask where they are from or if I like something they have on, I will ask them about it. Introverts actually have an advantage in sales, as they don't like to talk about themselves. So ask them about themselves. Remember that you are dealing with humans, not just a wallet. Right???
If it is a group of ladies, I just greet theming see. Mostly, they want to talk among themselves, but sometimes they are fun, and want an audience of you. If I am not busy, I will play.
3. I generally try to be busy with something so I don't stand and hover. People HATE hovering with a passion. They HATE you watching them. It smells desperate and puts their guard up. Even if I am just pretending to arrange stuff, I look busy, and give them a casual, "give me a holler if you need anything! !" In a cheery tone with a smile, like I am not hat concerned with them buying something. I don't like the high pressure. They are going to love something and buy it or not. I know there are leading questions you can ask, etc., but I don't think most artists are cut out for that. I know when people do it to me, and I get squirrely and want out! If nothing sells over repeated shows, then I need to study the market and change what I make if I want to make money.
4. If you can be busy making something easy, pottery related, that is awesome! People love to see your work in action. Make it simple, so they can see you can drop it to help them. I might string Windchimes and beads, something like that. Be comfortable doing what you do best: creating.
I find it painful to go to art fairs. I pick up on people's emotions very easily, and most artists look absolutely tortured and miserable, standing there near their work. Some look like they want to cry, putting on abrave face. I ache for them. I've been there, desperate, as a shop owner, and I can relate. That is why I say bring something to work on. Did you ever notice the busy booths have lots of lookers? It's partly crowd mentality, but also that people can browse without being pressured. Low pressure, work on something that makes you at ease, and be open to change if all else fails.
My 2 cents!
Northern Woods Pottery