With in-person sales making a comeback to our communities, in-person sales have seen a rise in popularity. A big reason for this is that it’s easier to build trust with customers. In addition, in-person sales help you handle their objections and see their emotions, allowing you to make sales you might have missed otherwise.
In-person sales is another opportunity to get your business out there and bring in those sales you want. Today, we’ll dive into in-person sales and what tools and resources you need to know about before starting.
Benefits of Selling in Person
When you first start your business, a large percentage of your sales will come from in-person sales because customers are more likely to trust a company they can physically build rapport with than an online one they would have to research and read reviews.
With in-person sales, you can truly pitch and sell your product. Unlike online sales, where you can’t catch those moments when a customer is frustrated, disinterested, or bored with your product, an in-person sale allows you to capture their emotions and verbal cues to bring the customer back in. It’s also easier to keep their attention once you have it than online, where the customer can switch between tabs and lose interest.
Keep in mind that this form of sales is more time-consuming and takes extra effort. So, with a limited amount of time and resources at your disposal, you need to set aside the hours to attend farmers’ markets, shops, and booths, while allocating your stock and ensuring you’re ready for a low or high volume of sales.
Selling in person also brings in the possibility of other team members dealing with rude or upset customers face to face. If you’re hiring sales representatives to assist with your in-person sales, you’ll need to consider finding, hiring, training, and even possibly firing sales representatives. You’ll also experience good and bad moments with possible customers, where some can be rude when turning down your product. However, don’t let these small things hold you back, as selling in person can be one of the best ways to get yourself out there.
Farmer’s markets can be seen as a step towards setting your booth in conventions and tradeshows. A smaller-scale setup, farmer’s markets are perfect for getting in touch with your local communities and building up your skill for in-person sales. Follow along as we go over some tips to keep in mind before attending or registering for your first farmers market.
Like anything you do for your business, you’ll want to research before applying to attend a farmers’ market. First, look into what farmers’ markets best fit your niche and see what kind of crowds they bring in. The best way to do this is to attend the local markets as a customer and see what vendors are present and who’s shopping.
Chat with the vendors already attending to learn more about the market’s atmosphere and what kind of shoppers like to attend. In addition, speak with the organizers while you’re there to understand better how to attend, what rules they have for sellers, and more.
Be on the lookout for fees as well. Depending on your local farmers market, booths might be rented out every week or may require a longer commitment, in which case you would be placed in a deal for up to 6 months. Booth fees are generally charged per day and range anywhere from $20 to $50 or more. Remember to look into your state ordinances and any necessary licenses or certifications required for selling in farmer’s markets.
2. Preparing Your Booth
Farmer’s markets tend to offer small booths and areas. Keep this in mind when planning your booth and take the time to complete a dry test run, create a detailed checklist for what you’ll need, and don’t forget the personal essentials.
A dry test run is completed by setting up your booth at home and placing everything as if it was the day of the Market. By doing this, you’ll get an idea of how you want your layout. What products can come with and which ones should stay, and what inventory you’ll need to bring along.
Your checklist should consist of your products, services if needed, customer essentials like receipts and credit card readers, and essentials to keep you and your team going. Remember to pack things like food, drinks, and items like sunscreen so that you’re prepared for the hours ahead.
3. Products and pricing
When shoppers attend farmer’s markets, they want to know the pricing and available products. Make sure to correctly display your products in unique ways like flyers or brochures, so customers have a clear idea of what you’re selling. When it comes to pricing, use clearly labeled stickers.
Having a consistent system when it’s time to complete a purchase is also important. Ensure you have a clear area for handling purchases and the right tools on hand if you’re accepting cards or cash. If you offer bags for customers, make sure to have those nearby and ready
4. Booth Extras
Farmers’ markets can be busy, which means you may not reach every customer as they walk by. For these occasions, it’s great to keep things in your booth that customers can reference when you can’t get to them. Think of setting up an FAQ poster, have a video or photos playing somewhere to showcase making your products or doing your services, and create a flow to your booth if you’re selling products that can complement one another. Your booth setup can help you upsell when done right, so take the time to figure out what extras you can integrate into your design.
Trade show & conventions
One of the best ways to get your business out there and to the right niche is by attending trade shows and conventions that correlate with your product or niche market. By attending these shows and spreading the word about your business, you can bring in new customers that attend these events. You can also take these events as an opportunity to network with other companies in your niche and introduce yourself to competitors or possible collaborations. Below are five things to keep in mind when you start looking into attending your first trade show or convention.
A tradeshow is like a window into your small business, what you offer, and who you are. Make sure to research the tradeshow you want to attend to get an idea of how many are commonly in attendance, how many vendors will be attending, if there will be events held during the convention, and so much more like possible vendor product giveaways.
Keep in mind the competitors visiting the same convention you’re interested in. Then, when customers come up to your shop, you can compare your product to others, explain the differences and benefits of yours, and build that trust and credit with your knowledge.
2. This is a Sales Pitch
Keep in mind that attending these shows is a 24/7 sales pitch. You have to be “on” at these events like other shops, and customers come up to your booth with questions, inquiries, and more. A convention is like being in a constant sales pitch, so if you’re still getting comfortable with this aspect of public speaking for your small business, take some time to attend community events before attending a tradeshow or convention.
3. Don’t forget to Market!
Attending these events is the perfect chance to test your marketing skills. Jump on your social media, newsletters, and podcast to promote your business and attend these events so that current customers and possible buyers can attend! Promote your booth with a photo so shoppers know what to look for when attending.
4. Be Prepared
Remember to bring along marketing giveaways when attending these events. While this is the perfect opportunity to sell your products, this is also a chance to bring in returning customers or enjoy the power of word of mouth. By offering items like business cards, flyers, mini freebies, and more, you’re giving customers a way to contact you in the future for sales or the opportunity to share your business card with their friends and family. Make sure to include your contact information, website or storefront information, and any other information you think is essential.
Don’t forget to bring in branded items to decorate your booth so shoppers can know your brand and business name while browsing. This can go beyond having a tablecloth with your logo and include ideas like banners, flags, signage, and more. You want customers to know your company name and what you sell when they see your booth.
5. Prepare Your Booth
Beyond your marketing pieces and giveaway items, you’ll need to prepare your booth if you’re using them. Think of creative ways to sell your products by setting up demos, showcasing videos of you creating your product, or completing a service if that’s what your business offers. Look into ways of including the customer by providing product testing on-site so they can see your product in action. Think of your booth like a storefront, and make sure you’re prepared for when window shoppers walk by!
Star Small and Aim Big!
When you decide to start selling in-person, remember to start at a small scale like your local farmers’ and artisan’s markets before working your way up to conventions and tradeshows. Getting experience in in-person sales is important! You want to be able to handle questions, create demos, handle sales, and move comfortably so that you can build trust in your product and business when selling directly to your customers. Selling in person can be a whole new ball game for those uncomfortable with public speaking, so make sure to practice putting yourself out there and connecting with those in the community.
If you’ve sold your product in person before, what tips would you give to those just starting? Let us know in the comments below!