Author: Tracy Matthews, Flourish & Thrive Academy
I just adore vintage jewelry. In fact, several years ago, I started collecting vintage jewelry to wear with my own pieces from my custom jewelry collection.
Recently, I attended a vintage jewelry show and I was so excited!! I was really excited about the potential to add another lovely piece to my jewelry collection.
As a curious observer, I was amazed as I observed the “busy” booths vs. those that were “dead”. Actually, I am super sensitive to this because of my years doing trade shows and live events.
Ultimately, our goal (esp during the holiday season) is to get as many sales as possible. The holiday season for most designers can result in over 50% of annual revenue.
When I walked around this show, I heard a couple of people complaining about how terrible their sales were! In fact, they were complaining as I was standing right there. They couldn’t even be bothered with me, so I walked away.
Result: Sale Lost!
Why this doesn’t work: This may seem obvious, but negative energy begets negative energy. I don’t know about you, but I only want to shop from people who are positive and fun. When we did live events and tradeshows, there was always someone standing. Regardless of how the show turned out, during the show, it was always the best show ever.
I moved on to another vendor with an amazing ring in a snake motif. In fact, it was a perfect fit. The proprietor and her partner were packing up and could barely give me the time of day (the show closed in 2 hours). Regardless of the fact that the ring was perfect, guess what I did?
I walked away: Sale Lost!
Why this doesn’t work: When packing up is more important than making a sale, your priorities are really eff-ed up. Regardless if the client buys now or later, giving excellent service can mean a client for life.
Next, I moved on to another booth and asked to see a necklace. Before the guy even took the necklace out of the case, he told me the price without being asked or even mentioning the other features of the piece. Just the price! Of all, for me this is one of the biggest turn-offs.
So guess what?
I walked away: another Sale Lost!
Why this doesn’t work: If you are leading with price, you are assuming two things: either that the client can’t afford what you are selling or that the only thing that matters is price regardless of value or design. If you are marketing your products based on price rather than value and benefits, you’ll have a hard time keeping clients interested unless you want to compete with Walmart some day. I highly doubt that is the case.
Sidenote: yes, some people ask about the price, but try saying hello first, complimenting them and getting them to engage with you first.
Finally, I walked to a booth where the owners were engaged in helping the clients. They had several people at their booth trying on vintage pieces. In fact there were a few pieces that I really loved so much. I asked if I could take pictures (these were vintage victorian design) and the proprietor quickly said not only “yes” but can I open the case for you so you can take better pictures?
(I understand the controversy of taking pictures at a trade/live show, because of fear of copying. However, this particular show is all one of a kind vintage jewelry. Store owners know that pictures are taken for reference back to purchase and not for stealing design ideas).
I was so pleased and actually blown away by the excellent salesmanship of this brand that I am the proud owner of some victorian earrings.
Why this works: even though the jewelry from the other vendors was JUST as beautiful, the service, the conversation and the attention this person gave to me made my decision extremely EASY! I always want to purchase from people I like, who add value to the conversation and act positive!
What about you?
Just to recap, here are the biggest mistakes most designers make that causes them to lose the sale when they are at a live event::
#1: They complain about how things suck!
#2: They pack up or act disinterested when they have live clients in front of them.
#3: They talk about price first before being asked or talking about benefits.
Are you guilty of any of these strategies? We want to hear from you:
In the comments below please answer the following:
1. Which of these mistakes are you guilty of?
2. What are your favorite live event sales tactics?
To learn more about some of our top sales tactics and join the Flourish & Thrive Academy “20 sales in 20 days challenge.” We are offering this completely FREE, no-pitch training with the ultimate result of helping you achieve 20 (or more) sales in 20 days.
Better yet, we are giving away Rio Grande gift cards ($25 value each) and FREE mentoring sessions ($500 value) for entering. Plus other prizes like business resources and books by awesome people.
How do you win? Whoever shares this contest the most, wins prizes! That’s right, all you have to do is share this contest everywhere and get other designers like you to enroll.
You can find more jewelry business advice over here at Flourish & Thrive Academy.