Last time we discussed the aesthetics of the booth. You, the booth owner, are a critical part of that aesthetic. We discussed the importance of your appearance, but there was one very important thing that I forgot to mention – Attitude! It is all about attitude.
Have you ever walked into a booth or store and been made to feel like you were annoying the person behind the counter just because you came in? Are they busy reading a book, or texting, or talking on their phone?
Engage the prospect or go out of business!
How do you respond when someone walks into your booth? Do you welcome them and offer assistance? Do you say “Good Morning!” or something else appropriate? I pay attention to how the person is behaving. If they seem to be in a good mood and are wearing something nice I may comment on what they are wearing. But BE REAL. People can often tell when you are just going through the motions.
I will sometimes ask how their event has been so far. People generally love to talk about themselves. It makes them feel good. And that is good for sales. If a person is obviously looking for something, I will ask what they are looking for. If I know someone who carries what they are looking for, I will tell them who has it. Why? Why not? If the person is looking for something that I do not carry they are not going to buy that thing from me anyway. People like the fact that I know what other merchants sell. They will often come back for something that I do carry, or bring their friends in to show them what I have. I care about people – I want them to find what they want and need, and I think that people can sense that caring.
I know a jeweler whose attitude is consistently terrible. She is usually quite terse when answering questions, if you can catch her attention. She is often too busy to talk to customers because she is chatting with her friends. I remember stopping by her booth to see what she had in stock. The two men who were watching her booth never even acknowledged my existence, despite the fact that I was actively looking at some of her earrings. I saw her the next day when she was walking to open her booth. I had already been open for an hour. She complained to me out loud about having to go open her booth at this crappy event. I just said “Good Luck!” And she walked off grumbling. Talk about a black cloud! (By the way, I did pretty well at that “crappy event”. To make it even sweeter, my customers were delighted with their purchases.)
I understand what it means to have a lousy event. But, one of the merchants that I know says that he never knows how he has done at an event until he drives away from the site. He makes a very important point. I have seen an event be horribly slow for days and then suddenly on the last day tons of people run in and say something like “I have gas and food money set aside for the trip home, and I am going to spend the rest of my money with YOU!” OK. I can deal with that. I am a professional.
As a jeweler a mediocre event can sometimes pay off weeks or even months later, but only if you make people want to do business with you.