Perceived value is everything when it comes
to selling your work. You don’t want to put hours and hours into a product that
your ideal customer loves and would pay top dollar for, only to have them think
it’s cheaply made because it’s thrown in a Ziplock bag for packaging.
Online, photos and text are King. But in
person, there are several details that need your attention to be sure more
shoppers are saying Sold! rather than
See ya! These are 5 areas
you may be lowering perceived value which ultimately lowers your sales.
I love using analogies so let’s imagine EOS
(a strong brand I reference frequently) as a small handmade business, debuting
their products at a craft fair. These are made up scenarios to help you see how
a major lip balm brand may have flopped because of these mistakes or
succeeded by doing the opposite.
This article covers a brief outline of the
solutions to these mistakes and if you’re looking for more details, you’ll find
everything you need to know about making the best impression possible at craft
fairs in my e-book: MAKE MORE MONEY AT CRAFT FAIRS. I’ve noted the Chapter each
solution is covered under so you can check out the Chapter outline by following
And every great craft fair table starts
with great products so our sample chapter MAKING PRODUCTS THAT PROFIT is a must
read. Free to download and available instantly; just enter your email after
following the link below :)
PRODUCTS THAT LACK DIRECTION
This is probably the most common mistake
among craft show vendors and I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of it as well. We’re
creative creatures and want to show off just how crafty we can get. But when
you’re constantly changing or expanding your offering, it makes it really hard to build a
MISTAKE SCENARIO: EOS has created their signature pod
shaped lip balms and are launching them at a craft fair. But they also made
shampoo, conditioner, laundry soap, hand soap, foot cream and face cream to
sell, in hopes they reach a wider audience and make more sales. They have a
hard time displaying their products because there isn’t a cohesive theme to
them. They group each type of product together and hope shoppers will work
their way through the selection (instead of drawing their attention to a
specific product or collection).
Shoppers are most interested in their lip
balm but at the end of the day, EOS didn't notice because they
only stocked a few of each product and therefore their sales were scattered
across the board.
They also have a hard time standing out at the
craft fair since shoppers don't notice anything unique about their products.
There are a couple other vendors selling handmade bath and body items so shoppers don't feel as though the need to buy
from EOS. It's more a matter of price and convenience.
SOLUTION SCENARIO: EOS decides to debut
just their lip balms and hand creams at the craft fair. Their limited product
selection allows them to focus on all the details that make their brand
unique. Their colorful pod shaped packaging is used for both their lip balms
and hand creams and their products are marketed towards customers interested in organic
They created three different flavors/scents for
their two products which makes it really easy to display and direct shoppers’
attention towards one collection at a time. Mint comes in turquoise packaging,
Strawberry comes in pink and Honeydew in a lime green. The product groupings
create bright blocks of color on their table that instantly catch shoppers’
Find the SOLUTION in the Sample Chapter 5:
MAKING PRODUCTS THAT PROFIT
FINISHING TOUCHES AREN’T POLISHED
When we make mistake # 1, it leaves us
with very little time to focus on the details. We’re too busy trying to perfect
a wide variety of products and build up enough stock in each that we don’t put thought or
time into packaging, tagging, wrapping, etc.
MISTAKE SCENARIO: EOS nailed their pod shaped lip
balm container but didn’t carry that through to their other products so their
brand lacks direction with a hodge-podge of packaging.
Their wide selection of products means that
they're basically jacks-of-all-trades, master of none. It also leaves them with
a lack of direction when it comes to targeting their products towards a specific
Wrapping is an afterthought since most of
their time went into producing 7 different types of products and when a sale is made, they simply toss the item into a generic bag and thank the
customer for their purchase.
SOLUTION SCENARIO: With 2 products, they are able
to properly brand and design pod shaped containers for both their lip balm and
hand cream to help them stand out.
2 products also allowed them to test
different formulas to find a combination that produced an amazing lip balm and
hand cream. There are now able to brand all their products as 95% organic,
100% natural and paraben/petroleum free.
They stamp their logo on colored bags and
match the bag and tissue paper color to the color of the collection the
bought item is from. They offer to spritz each shopping bag with the
fragrance of the collection, which carries the delicious scents of their
products throughout the craft fair and has shoppers following their noses to
find where it's coming from.
This one is also covered in our sample
chapter: MAKING PRODUCT THAT PROFIT which you can download right now!
MAKERS MUDDY THE BRAND'S MESSAGE
You’re always representing your brand so
it’s important to look and play the part of someone who’s an expert in what
you’re selling. Just as you’d be a little weary of a salesman trying to sell
you on luxury while they’re wearing wrinkled clothes and swearing like a
trucker, your shoppers are scoping you out to see if you and your brand seem
MISTAKE SCENARIO: EOS business owners stayed up LATE
the night before the craft fair trying to make enough inventory for each of
their 7 products. They roll into the event in sweat pants and a t-shirt and
haven’t even thought about their sales pitches. They figure: We invented the product, we’ll know what to say and how to sell it.
They stumble over their words and miss mentioning some really important
selling features their ideal customers would be interested in.
There is also so much to cover when it
comes to the benefits of each product. It's a bit of a struggle to find the right words on the spot to tie everything together since
their products and branding lack focus.
SOLUTION SCENARIO: EOS business owners knew that if
they wanted to successfully sell products that promoted beautiful skin, their skin better look its best and they needed a good night’s sleep before the event. So they used the steps and
worksheets in our e-book to be prepared and plan accordingly ;) Their brand is all about
natural beauty so they keep their looks fresh and clean and make sure their
lips and hands are looking moisturized.
They spent time thinking about the features
that really make their products stand out. They know lots of companies sell skincare
products made from organic ingredients so they examined several aspects of
their business to pull the important pieces together that would help them make
sales. From the reason they started their company and their values, to their manufacturing
and product benefits; they worked out the
perfect pitches for the business and each product.
They also want to get feedback so they
can continue to improve their product to appeal to their target market so they brainstorm some specific questions to ask shoppers. Being so prepared makes them
feel comfortable at the craft fair, which makes their shoppers feel
Dressing the part and proper selling
techniques are covered under Chapter 7: CREATING A DISPLAY THAT SELLS
(YOU are an element of your display that helps Attract Shoppers) & Chapter 9: PERFECTING YOUR SELLING SKILLS
DISPLAY DETAILS THAT DETRACT
Craft fair props from your tablecloth to
your signage should be well planned and used to strengthen your brand and
product’s value. There are so many elements that go into a great display that
not only attract shoppers but also help convert them into customers.
MISTAKE SCENARIO: You guessed it; trying to keep up
with stocking 7 different products didn’t leave much time to think about their
display. They pulled a white tablecloth off their dining room table and emptied
a few baskets around the house to hold their products.
The props don’t match, let alone work with
the products. Signage is made right before the doors open by quickly
scribbling some prices on heavy paper and folding them in half to create cards
to sit in front of each grouping.
SOLUTION SCENARIO: EOS started thinking about their
display props the second they were accepted to the craft fair. They were able
to purchase different props that work together and emphasize their products.
Signage was professionally printed and matches the colors of their collections.
This solution is covered in Chapter 7:
CREATING A DISPLAY THAT SELLS
DISPLAY DOESN'T INCORPORATE KEY ELEMENTS OF MERCHANDISING
Craft fairs are getting more and more
competitive each year. You need to think of your space as it’s own store and
create a unique atmosphere for shoppers to walk into. Merchandising is a job
retailers take very seriously because they know where and how they place their
products, can make or break sales. I worked for 2 multi-million dollar retailers
over 10 years and picked up several tricks of the trade (which are obviously
shared in my e-book). I was also able to see, firsthand, how little merchandising tweaks could make a big impact on sales.
MISTAKE SCENARIO: EOS owners thought: people care about the product, not what’s
around it so they arranged their products on the table and thought that was that. But shoppers don’t notice them from across the room since their
display doesn't implement height or eye-catching elements. The lack of composition leads people who do stop by to
feel overwhelmed, not knowing where to look next.
SOLUTION SCENARIO: Purchasing the proper props
allows EOS owners to group their collections together, add height to their
display and create compositions that create a natural flow to their space. They
also had some signage made so shoppers notice their brand from across the room
and remember their name.
Shoppers can take in one collection and message
at a time and walk away with a clear understanding of the brand. With limited
time to grab people’s attention, they ensure their space communicates who they are, what they're selling and why shoppers should care about their products.
This solution is also covered in Chapter 7:
CREATING A DISPLAY THAT SELLS
What do you think? Did this article spark
any ideas for you? If so, share them below! I love hearing your feedback and
answering any questions you may have :)
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