The Importance of Boothmanship
Craft shows and fairs are key sales outlets for most jewelry designers therefore boothmanship is VERY important. You are involved in direct selling, where you will meet your customer face to face.
Be visible at craft fairs. Don't hide behind your display or a book. Demonstrate, answer questions, get out front, introduce yourself, educate the public — and sell!
You are the most important element in your display, and there is no second chance for first impression. If you want to make sales, treat prospective customers with courtesy and consideration.
Greet anyone who approaches your booth with a smile and encourage them to browse. Be friendly but not pushy. Show your customers that you are amiable and approachable, talk to them, ask them a question or make a general comment on the weather, the show, or whatever seems appropriate, anything to break the ice and make them feel comfortable.
You have invested money, time, and effort to set up your booth to attract customers, so don't turn them away from poor boothmanship. Craftspeople are also sales people, and you need to impress your customers with your personal and professional image. Here are a few important points to consider:
- Don't eat or drink in your booth. (You don't want to turn a customer away by answering a question with a mouth full of food.);
- To show good boothmanship - Don't smoke. (Most public buildings now have no-smoking bylaws, but if you are in an outdoor show don't smoke in your booth. You may lose sales from nonsmokers, many of whom simply won't go near anyone who is apt to blow smoke in their direction.);
- Don't read or sleep. (If you sit at the back of your booth reading a book or taking a nap, you do not deserve to sell anything and probably won't.);
- Don't get caught with bad breath. (Always keep a supply of breath mints with you to keep your breath fresh.);
- Don't sit. (If you feel you must sit to rest your feet invest in a high directors chair or bar stool, this way you will be able to talk to customers eye to eye, and they won't have to look down at you.) Make sure you wear comfortable shoes;
- Don't chat to each other. (While it is fine to talk to your friends or fellow crafters when you are not busy, when customers arrive pay attention to their needs or you may lose sales.);
- Don't ignore your customers. (Show interest and enthusiasm in your craft and in the buyer, make them feel comfortable and welcomed into your booth);
- Don't block the entrance. (At the same time don't make your customers feel trapped in your booth, make it easy for the them to come and go as they wish.);
- Watch your body language. (If you sit in your booth with arms crossed, staring at the crowd with a bored expression yawning or stretching, you are not radiating interest and friendliness. Keep busy, talk to your customers, demonstrate your techniques. Try to always look fresh and energetic.);
- Take a break. (Get away after 4 hours even for 10 minutes. If you don't have an assistant with you many craft shows have a booth sitting service so that you can take a break, grab something to eat or drink, or to just rest.)
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