Sell More at a Craft Show by Asking this Question

When I bring my husband to Farmers’ Markets or craft shows that will have food vendors, I know we better have full wallets. Just the other day we made a quick trip to our local Farmers’ Market for 2 things and 2 things only. Just as we were about to head out, a question came from behind a table selling salsa and we immediately stopped and headed over.


Although we weren’t in the market for salsa, we ended up buying some anyway. So what was that question?…..

 

Would you like to try some of my salsa?

 

It’s obviously easier to apply “would you like to try _______” to food than something like jewelry, however, you should be able to make a version of the question work for your business and get shoppers to stop in their tracks and head over.

 

Keep reading for tips to apply a shopper-stopping question to any product!

 

If we weren’t big salsa eaters, we would have politely declined and kept walking. However, my husband loves chips and salsa as a snack so he gave it a try. It was, of course, delicious and we walked away with a jar, regardless of the fact that we have 2 full jars at home.

 

She didn’t even have “spicy” salsa in stock, which is my husband’s favorite. She had sold the majority of her stock and only had 3 lonely jars of mild salsa left sitting on her table….and she still turned us into happy customers!

 

While he was taste testing, she didn’t get overly salesy, she just told us a bit about the ingredients and how she makes it.

 

We could have easily said “it’s really good but we don’t need any salsa today”, however, after trying hers, tasting how much better it is than mass-produced salsa, and making a bit of a personal connection with her, we were sold. We’d much rather support her than Tostitos 😉

 

Why does this question work so well at turning shoppers passing by into customers? A few reasons:

 

1 – Who turns down free stuff?

The first step to getting a sale at a craft show is getting them to stop at your table.

 

If you don’t have free food to offer, think of another question you can ask that will pique their interest.

 

Can you give away something small like a pin or bookmark?

 

If the event allows it, you could even offer a small food or beverage item.

 

  • Would you like some chai tea to sip on while looking at my photos from India?

 

If you can’t give an item away to each customer, consider holding a draw for 1 larger prize and ask shoppers if they’d like to stop and enter their name.

 

Once they’re at your table, take a second to tell them about the product they’ll be winning or what it is you’re selling.

 

If it’s not a fit for you to give an item away, what type of knowledge can you share for free?

 

Maybe you can show them something interesting like how one of your products is made, how it works, or benefits they’re unaware of.

 

  • Would you like to see the difference between single and triple plated jewelry?
  • Feel the difference between my cashmere scarves and acrylic scarves…there’s a sample right there.
  • Have you heard about the benefits of charcoal soap? 

 

Most shoppers don’t want to be rude and will take a minute to stop and listen.

 

Don’t take advantage of this though; pick up on their cues and take pauses so the shopper has a chance to say “no thank you” or keep moving if they want to.

 

I once had a vendor selling Norwex cloths stand in my path so I had to stop at their table. They went into their sales pitche and did not give me a chance to say “no thanks” or “sounds good, I’ll look around”. Her pushy tactics ended up annoying me so much that I didn’t buy…even though it was the first time I had heard of the product and did, in fact, find it interesting.

 

 

2 – It’s an easy question to ask

It doesn’t take a whole lot of courage to ask the question and if people aren’t interested, they’ll just keep walking. The first few that turn you down may sting a bit more but it will get easier as the day goes on. 

 

If offering a sample isn’t a fit for your business, brainstorm questions that are quick and easy to ask, and feel natural. 

 

“Can I put you in a new hat and scarf today?” is not a natural question to ask and feels extremely salesy.

 

“Have you purchased organic wool products before?” could be a better fit and get shoppers interested.

 

 

3 – Once people try, they’re more likely to buy

This is the reason large companies are willing to send out free samples. Once you get the product into consumers’ hands, they have more confidence in their purchasing decisions.

 

Homemade and handmade products have qualities you just can’t beat when comparing to mass-produced.

 

When you can show people the difference and they experience it firsthand, it encourages them to purchase because you’ve lowered the risk of them buying something they’re not going to like.

 

If asking a question simply isn’t a fit for your product, don’t force it.

 

It will feel unnatural for you and the customer and may push shoppers away.

 

Instead, you could try one of the tips in this article:

 

And always be sure you’re following local laws:

 

You may also be interested in:

 

To learn how to create a craft show or farmers’ market display that sells more, sign up for my FREE 5 Day Challenge.

You can read a bit more about the free challenge here or sign up below!



Finally understand why your hard work isn't resulting in more sales

Join over 18,000 others and sign up for the
Made Urban newsletter


Powered by ConvertKit
Previous Post
Next Post

15 Comments

  1. Carolyn Thomas says:

    I did the freebie’s. They are something small and not got a lot into them. The more I gave out the more the people stop and look at my products at my booth. We gave out our business cards with them. I got a lot of feed back even after the show….Thanks for the tip….

  2. Made Urban says:

    That’s so great to hear Carolyn! Glad the tip helped, thanks so much for sharing!

  3. Sandra Cherry Jones says:

    I like your idea! I plan to try it at my next show. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Made Urban says:

    Great to hear! Let us know how it goes 🙂

  5. Eileen Kenny says:

    I am very new to your site and impressed with what I have seen and read so far… great tips gives me a lot to think about
    thank you for sharing your knowledge

  6. Made Urban says:

    Thanks for reading Eileen! I’m glad you’re finding the information useful 🙂
    Erin

  7. MacKenzie Proudlove says:

    Great tips! I’ll be sure to do this.

  8. Peggy Harris says:

    I produce unique crochet items like toys, games, children’s items, one of a kind household items, etc. I have made a children’s fishing game where the “fishing pole” is made from a stick and has a magnet at the end (fishing hook) picking up the fish which have a washer crocheted into their “mouths.” I ask everyone who passes if they’d like to go fishing. I almost have no one that doesn’t stop, young and old, and this allows me to get them into my booth to see my products. Most of the time the kids are fishing and the parents are looking over my wares. Since I started this, my sales have nearly doubled. Once they are in my booth I ask if they crochet or knit and it always starts up a conversation where we become familiar with each other. My “freebie” is allowing them to play the game. The benefit is great customer interaction. I love your books and newsletters. They have helped me immensely.

  9. Made Urban says:

    Thanks for reading MacKenzie and Peggy! Good luck at your next event!

    That’s a great idea Peggy! Craft shows are such a unique atmosphere and you get shoppers who want to interact and discover new things (not like shoppers rushing through a busy mall with an intention). Perfect example that you don’t have to give away free stuff to pique interest; interaction, an experience, etc. work too!

    ~Erin

  10. My products r hand painted & decorAted bottles with homemade footbath salts inside. Giving away footbath salts is costly. What would I give away?

  11. Amy Zubieta says:

    I love this idea!! I have a home start-up called Butterduckie and I do laser cut state puzzles and I’ve been racking my brain on the best method to draw in customers, as I gear up for my first ever craft fair in October. I would love to do a “beat the challenge, and get something” . I can see this being so much fun!! Thanks for the great idea!

  12. I make rice heating pads & Burp Cloths. How can I display them so people can see them as they are walking around?

    Thank you

  13. La Rae Moncada says:

    Hi! I have done your 5 day Challenge and loved all your valuable information! I want ALL your publications! Do you have a package so I don’t miss any tips?

    1. Made Urban says:

      Hi La Rae Moncada! Thank you so much for your interest, I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the 5 day challenge!

      I have 5 ebooks and 1 planner, which you can read more about here: https://www.madeurban.com/blog/made-urban-ebooks/

      I have a bundle to buy the 5 ebooks at a 25%, which you can purchase here: https://gum.co/allebooks

      The purchase doesn’t include the planner (https://www.madeurban.com/blog/success-planner-handmade-business/)

      If you’re interested in the planner as well or a different bundle of ebooks, please email me at info@madeurban.com or comment here to let me know which ebooks you’re interested in and I’ll send you the link to purchase them all together at a discount 🙂

      Erin

  14. Nina M Andersen says:

    I do acrylic paintings from tiny to huge…what can I offer to help sell my craft…they are all one of a kind…I never duplicate any of my paintings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.