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I generally don't go rushing up to everyone who walks into my booth. I position myself in the center and greet everyone who comes in. Depending on how they are going through, I offer information about the wood and the way I produce the items. I generally never give them the speech about how I think they really need any item.

Does my approach seem too passive? Do others have better luck being more aggressive with the sales pitch? Just curious.

Thanks for reading.
 

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Monte,

Sounds assertive to me. Your work speaks to a certain group. Others will be curious but even though you have a great product I might just be window shopping? I'm sue you ask if they have any questions? Hiigh pressure might drive people away?

Are things going slower than expected?
 

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I've heard open ended questions are a good tool used in sales. I find some of my best experiences shopping have been when the saes person is genuine and sincere after that everything else just falls into place.i think your spot on fr not pushing the sales.
 

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No experience in booth sales, so maybe I'm way off base….

I would rather deal with a potential "friend", as opposed to a "salesman"....
I would strike up a conversation…. try to "get to know" them.
Your items should sell themselves…. Make your customer want to buy from you.

Hard to put into a few words, what I mean….
 

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I hate salesmen. I don't mind someone trying to find out if I want/need their item, but I don't like pushy.

Somehow I really can't imagine you being that type of dude.
 

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I always like to get a friendly conversation started with everyone possible but I never steer it in a high pressure sales talk….That might work with sales of an intangible…but not with the work we create…
I have never met a potential client who enjoys a high pressure sales pitch. It will drive them away… I always believe that we should let our work do the talking.
 

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Nope, not at all. In fact, I walk right out of places where folks are high pressure. It could be just me, but I am a lot more likely to purchase something from someone who is personable and allows me to look around. If I have a questions, I'll ask, but I don't want to be chased down.
 

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Def being a bit pushy turns most folks off. I always greet and be polite, and friendly, but some folks are more blessed with the "Gift of gab" than others, so I can chat more with these folks. I always try to keep the mood lite hearted, and that seems to go a long ways. Just being able to know who is more receptive to a bit of conversation and who is not, is key in my opinion. This has served us very well in our sales department. Im a firm believer in letting my work speak for it's self. If somebody is on the fence over a piece, then if they are inclined to be friendly and blessed with the gift of gab, then usually they buy from us.
 

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I agree with all who have replied. Definitely a low keyed approach is appreciate by most people. One thing that I think would add some real interest to your booth would be a video going from collecting the tree to milling and on to the finished product. Most people don't know the process and would be interested. I really draws people into a booth (I tried it on a Powerpoint show), you can show other projects than what you bring to the show (what you can do on consignment), it's an ice breaker that starts conversations and it is only a laptop and a cd so not a lot more stuff to carry. Just a thought.
 

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Definitely a video of a product from felling the tree, to milling to the end production. We probably don't have any idea of how many people actually have no idea about how a wooden project is made.

The 2-3 minute clip will bring a lot of people in to your booth to as more questions, it will also make your work more personal.

As far as high pressure goes - no way, I have been in sales for the last 7 years and I have seen it not work. I have actually made many more sales by saying "I really don't mind if you buy from me or not, it does not make a big difference to me" than by trying to pressure someone into buying.

people like to buy, they don't like to be sold.
 

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I kind of sit in the booth behind a table with my work on it. If I think someone is even remotely interested, I'll encourage them to pick up anything or touch the wood… the tactile sense sometimes sells the product. I just try to be friendly and answer any questions ("did you make these" - my snarky answer is "no, I bought them in China" - but I always answer politely that I both designed and made them). I always thank them for looking.
 

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Ellen- i sometimes think about the same answer.

Monte- sounds like you are on the right track. I tend do do the same thing and also encourage people to pick up our games and play with them a bit. Course when they ask me how to solve I tell them it comes with the solution :)

Hope the week is going good for you, we are looking forward to a 12 hour jazz festival next weekend.

CtL
 

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Low pressure is far more effective than any high pressure tactic-at least for me, my family and friends. You want to be friendly, conversational and there to help, but never pushy. Of course, the best way is to get to know your customer and direct him to items he likes or you think he might like, without appearing to do so. Good luck.
 

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You'll notice that companies like Ethan Allen send
out rich catalogs that convey a rather idealized
portrayal of the manufacturing process, making
it seem more humanized than it may be.

Since you mill your own lumber you might have
somebody take pictures of your process from
tree to finished goods and make up a book
or display for people to examine. It can be
a conversation starter.

High pressure often involves a price-increase
threat. The "price is going up monday" close
is the best close and easiest close to use I have
ever seen. You do have to back up the
threat though and if you're constantly putting
the price down for special sales nobody will
buy at "regular" price.

If prospects are showing buying signals a good thing
to do is have some bonus item to throw in,
a 3 for the price of 2 deal you can tell them
about and so forth. Make it something you
express verbally so once the conversation about
your work is opened, you can say well, "I have
a bit of extra inventory right now I want to
close out and I saw you were intrigued by
X, and I'd like to make you a special offer…"

That's one way to use a more pressurized selling
approach without coming off as desperate or
obnoxious.
 

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Some real "meaty" ad vise here (pun)... I always like to find the common ground, like the dog she is carrying in her arms, "That thing is not trained to kill is it?" ... The ice is broken and the questions will come out easier.
Like Monte said the most important thing is to greet the people, acknowledge their presents with a smile … No one likes to be ignored.
 

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A lot of good responses above.

From my past experience working in retail sales, I learned that an approach to customers always involves a question that they are required to give a specific answer:

What not to say:

"Can I help you?" Usual Response: "No" or "No, thank you." End of conversation.

Better Approach:

"How can I help you today?" or "What can I help you find?" This requires a response that opens up more dialogue, and usually leads to a sale.

In the craft show booth, greetings to potential customers can be tailored specifically toward getting them interested in the items you are offering, and the process it took to make them. Your own style and mannerisms come into play here. Good luck!!
 

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Monte - I think that some people make good high pressure sales people as it more fits their personality. I have had a few sales people work for me, and they had different styles. I think the biggest advantage a sales person has is when they realize they should sell the way it fits their personality. As I only know you from your postings and conversations on LJs, I feel that high pressure sales would not really be your schtick. You have a very likeable personality. Spend some time with the customer and the sales will follow.
 

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High pressure sales tactics just annoy me. The last thing I want is someone who thinks they have enough sales savvy to convince me to buy something I don't want or can't afford. When we're at a craft show, more often than not it's just something we've chosen to do for cheap entertainment to get out of the house….if we're just scanning the booths and seeing what's there, a high pressure sales approach just makes me want to leave. You can tell a lot about the customers just by watching for a while. It's fine to acknowledge folks and offer to answer any questions they might have. If it's a really unusual item, with some interesting tidbits of info associated with it, I usually don't mind hearing about those if I've shown some interest in the item. On rare occasions we might buy something we like and want, but it's not because of a whiz-bang sales pitch.
 
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