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Topic: How to overcome shyness in dealing with customers  (Read 3175 times)
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kat3drx86
« on: October 28, 2008 05:50:23 AM »

Hi,
I'm in my first series of craft fairs in a long time, starting this Saturday.  I have the display all set, the stock is pretty much set, the only thing is, I'm really nervous!  I'm good at managing stuff and making the stuff and even talking to people once they've decided to buy something, it's just that awkward moment or moments when they're just looking at the table that I don't know what to do.  On one hand, I don't want to bother them if they're just looking but I don't want to lose a sale because they don't think I'm interested because I don't talk to them.  What can I do?
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2008 09:38:45 AM »

Oh, how I relate to this! I have been a teacher for 20 years (junior high and high school, mind you) and have no trouble talking to large crowds. BUT, if someone comes up to look at my stuff and I'm a stammering idiot. I also crumble if they ask the price of something and really want to just stammer out, "You can have it for free! Just don't ask!"
I have tried to overcome this by making pleasant small talk to the customers. "Great weather, isn't it? That's a lovely jacket! My, what big eyes you have!" It seems to make them more comfortable, and there isn't as much of an awkward silence.
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Feast Your Eyes
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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2008 11:12:47 AM »

I'm getting ready for my first craft show in a very long time, also, and am a little nervous,too. I have worked in retail a lot though, and I know exactly what you are talking about.

First off, if you have everything priced, you don't have to worry about that question.

I usually just greet people, when they come up, and make eye contact (this also helps deter shoplifters). I usually also say something like, "Let me know if you have any questions" or the small talk is good, too.

It may help you feel less awkward if you have a craft there to work on. (I plan on doing this.) Not only could it be a draw to your booth as people come over to see what you're doing, it can also show people what goes into your products, making them seem more valuable.

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donnascc
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2008 03:36:33 AM »

First, I hope your fair went well.

I, too, had this problem when I started selling at craft fairs.  Now, I usually greet my customers with "good morning" or something equally pleasant and short, then give them a chance to respond.  After they've responded, I'll say something like, "If you have any questions, just ask", or "There's more jewelry throughout the booth".  It doesn't really matter what you say, as long as you acknowledge the person who stopped to look at your merchandise.
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Michellegio_sew
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« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2008 08:12:35 PM »

I haven't actually done a craft fair, but I will be doing one next year. 

I do have, however, years of sales experience!  (Insurance - fun fun! And also my own sewing business of course, and one of my first jobs was in a convenience/liquor/ice cream store and I basically just talked to the customers and made them happy)

Once somebody comes along my approach would be to smile big & a boisterous "Hello! How are ya?!!!" and if space permits a handshake.

Once you get their attention with a big friendly smile and hello, they will usually stop and look and ask questions or pay a compliment to your product. 

I will probably be making a purse and matching clutch or make-up bag from the same fabrics, that way if someone is really interested in something but says "I can't, it's not in my spending limit" I can say "Well check this out!  Its the same just a different size, does $xxx fit into your budget today?"

Basically just be outgoing and friendly, don't be afraid to "make a fool of yourself" because you are not actually acting like a fool, people will remember you as a really outgoing person!

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« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2008 08:22:25 AM »


Basically just be outgoing and friendly, don't be afraid to "make a fool of yourself" because you are not actually acting like a fool, people will remember you as a really outgoing person!


In no way do I mean this as a personal insult to the above poster, but I wanted to point out that people can, indeed, be too outgoing.   I've only done one sale this year, and I was right next to a booth where two ladies were selling cosmetics-type-stuff  (at a "craft" sale... at one point they looked at me and asked "and who are you with?"  but that is beside the point).  Anyway, they would call out their "hello's" to customers as they were coming towards their booth, and half the time the people were still two or three tables away.  So the result was either A. people bypassed other booths in order to go to the one that had distracted them, or B. they were so annoyed at being hollered to that they rushed right by all of our booths.   A few times people would be looking at my stuff, and the table next to me would call to them and lure them over.

I am more shy about selling and advertising my things, so I wasn't about to start competing for people's attention. Also I hate feeling pressured to buy something, so I would have been one of the customers who ran right by.  I'm kind of in the same situation as the original poster.  I want to be friendly and approachable to people but I don't want them to feel like I'm breathing down their neck as they look at my stuff.
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« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2008 02:00:59 PM »


Basically just be outgoing and friendly, don't be afraid to "make a fool of yourself" because you are not actually acting like a fool, people will remember you as a really outgoing person!


In no way do I mean this as a personal insult to the above poster, but I wanted to point out that people can, indeed, be too outgoing.   I've only done one sale this year, and I was right next to a booth where two ladies were selling cosmetics-type-stuff  (at a "craft" sale... at one point they looked at me and asked "and who are you with?"  but that is beside the point).  Anyway, they would call out their "hello's" to customers as they were coming towards their booth, and half the time the people were still two or three tables away.  So the result was either A. people bypassed other booths in order to go to the one that had distracted them, or B. they were so annoyed at being hollered to that they rushed right by all of our booths.   A few times people would be looking at my stuff, and the table next to me would call to them and lure them over.

I am more shy about selling and advertising my things, so I wasn't about to start competing for people's attention. Also I hate feeling pressured to buy something, so I would have been one of the customers who ran right by.  I'm kind of in the same situation as the original poster.  I want to be friendly and approachable to people but I don't want them to feel like I'm breathing down their neck as they look at my stuff.

ACK!!! No I certainly didn't mean like that!  That is just plain rude what those ladies were doing!  I meant say a friendly hello if they come and look at your stuff, or if they look at you!!! 

(I know you didn't mean to insult!)
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mmd32
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2008 12:09:15 AM »

Yep, what they said about a friendly Hello, how are you, let me know if you have any questions; and then just be there, ready to answer any questions if they DO have any. They are more likely to just walk away if you look disinterested or too busy for them.

Also, you have a much better chance at making a sale if you DO make a connection. People walking by are in sensory overload, so things are all just passing before their eyes. If you say hello, it causes them to pause, SEE you, and then they drop their gaze to your wares to figure out who they are talking to. Once they are actually LOOKING at your stuff, you have a better chance that they will actually see something they like. KWIM? It's also a good idea, along those lines, to have your most amazing, eyecatching products, right where they will see them when they DO drop their gaze. I was lucky, and the product I was selling was a mesmerizing display of handpainted windtwisters, and once they saw them, after I caught their attention, they would usually stop in their tracks with their mouth open for a minute, lol.
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« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2009 09:06:44 PM »

Like "Feast Your Eyes" said just start with small talk.I tend to be shy and quiet too but I find if you just say."Hi,How are you,If you need help let me know or Hi,Are you having a nice time at the craft fair?" usually works.They usually will feel comfortable with just that and with the latter they will usually start chattering on their own and you won't have to worry about being the one to carry on a conversation.
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« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2009 09:45:27 AM »

cam0ovas i think what youre talking about is spruiking customers & attention seeking  Grin ..i think what michellegio was talking about is how to make small talk and convey a friendly feeling towards potential buyers that have come to her stall  Wink this is really coming in handy for me, as i will be having a stall for a fair early next year  Smiley thanks everyone
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