Markets are a great opportunity for vendors. Whether you are trying out a new idea, or you have an established business and are looking to build on your brand, CoLab Market is for you! Markets are a unique way to engage directly with your customers and let them know about what you offer. You might not make every sale, but by letting someone know about the products and services you offer, you are building your customer base and growing your business.
In order to set yourself up for success, we have put together tips on how you can make the best out of your market experience.
Be Engaged and Start Conversations
The market is a wonderful opportunity to engage directly with your customers. This might be a big adjustment if you are accustomed to running an online store, but we hope this will be a fun change from the daily routine.
At the market, you will see that your personality can make a difference. It is important to have a friendly and inviting presence at your booth to make connections. Say hi to people as they walk by (but don’t yell out to them), greet all guests, and start conversations. Unsure what to talk about? You can even talk about other vendors’ products to help customers feel like they’re part of the market community.
It’s important to have strong guest interactions throughout market day.
Avoid Common Mistakes
Each customer will have their own experience with you and your brand, and you will want to do your best to make sure each one is the best possible. Try to avoid these common mistakes:
Avoid talking on your cell phone during market hours or chatting with other staff as you can ignore people as they walk by.
Limit your personal conversations so shoppers remain focused.
If possible, position yourself so that you are always facing the guest. By facing people, you can make important connections.
It isn’t everyone’s strength or interest to talk to guests – for some this can be quite challenging and uncomfortable. If that’s the case, consider hiring someone to work your booth.
Take short breaks but otherwise stay in your booth so you don’t miss a sale.
Build Vendor Relationships
Markets are an important community space. They will bring you closer to your customers and the community in which you are operating, as well as other entrepreneurs. It can be a wonderful opportunity to meet and interact with other vendors – consider this to be a fun and relaxed networking event! Find opportunities to refer shoppers to other vendors so you can build relationships. At a community market, vendors can and should support each other.
Get to know the other vendors around your booth and take a moment to find out about their products and what they do.
Be Ready for the Sale
You’ll want to make sure you are ready to make a sale. Have a portable device ready to accept credit card and debit payments, and have change ready for cash payments. You’ll also want to make sure you have product to sell! Make sure your booth is well stocked and that you have extra items available for restocking. Remain open until market closing time even if you have sold out of some items. You can still engage with customers and promote your businesses.
Consider offering market specials. If you sell soaps for example, consider offering a buy 5-get-1-free to incentivize customers to stock up (just make sure to check back in with your costs to make sure this makes sense for you). Make sure to have a plan for how to track your sales and inventory. This might mean hand writing receipts or a simple note on your cellphone, but it is important to keep track of what you are selling.
Did you find this useful? For more information, check out our Resources.