I’m a shy introvert, so in-person selling is not exactly my fortay. I’m a rock-star at online communications, but often get accused of being a mute in the “real-world,” with the exception of karaoke night (in which case I substitute volume for my lack of signing talent, my apologies for butchering all of your favorite songs.)
This is a problem when it comes to craft fairs and other in-person selling situations, all of which are hugely valuable for building relations, brand awareness, and future sales. The number of sales initially acquired at a craft fair can multiply if the “lookers” are drawn in with friendly communication.
I’m not encouraging you to start shouting at people passing by to come take a look at your stuff. (Especially if they are looking at someone else’s booth, that’s just plain RUDE!) Carnival barking a sure-fire way to scare people away, especially since a large part of the crowd is probably shy too. Instead, lure people in with your awesome display, wait until they are checking out your stuff ALREADY, and THEN feel free to ask some questions to get them to stay longer, when the moment feels right to do so.
The trick is to ask questions that are more engaging than the usual. Every other vendor is going to ask “How are you doing this afternoon?” or “How ’bout this weather?”
To keep the browser focused on your products, ask questions that will maintain their attention on what you are selling. A few examples you can try below:
“Have you ever used ___________?”
“Are you familiar with ___________?”
“Go ahead and try ___________ on! Doesn’t it feel _________?”
“Do you buy handmade ____________ often?”
“Are you interested in a personal/customized order of __________?”
Being shy, I feel awkward trying to talk to people about mundane things like the weather. However, when it comes to chatting about my products, I’m happy to do so! As crafters, we are passionate about what we make, and therefore we light up when explaining our process, or the benefits of our items. By drawing attention to those things, you can overcome your seller-shyness too. If I can do it, anyone can!