Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Breaking the Ice!

 Here's a question for all you craft seller's (or anyone): How do you 'break the ice' with a potential customer when selling face-to-face?  Do you plunge straight in when they approach your stand and tell them about yourself and your products; start talking about the weather (or some other neutral subject); or wait until they pick up an item and then start telling them about it? There must be a very fine line between engaging them or scaring them off.

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked, at short notice, to take my crafts to sell at an 'open house' event.  The hostess did all the organising, asked lots of people to come (I asked a few but had limited time) and didn't charge me to attend.  I was glad that I made a contribution to the refreshments, in the form of some mini muffins to serve with tea and coffee,  because I didn't know she wasn't going to charge me.

 In the few days I had to prepare, I made sure to finish the cathedral window cushion and felt bunting (both above). It's surprising what can be done when there's a deadline! I'm pleased to say my things went really well (my best yet) and I sold a variety of items, including the CW cushion! I also had a lot of good feedback, comments and chats.  I'd like to take all the credit but I have to give a lot of it to the hostess, who was great at introducing me to everyone who came and, therefore, 'breaking the ice' for me!

I like to make things, but not being very good at striking up conversations with people from cold is a dilemma. My new job at the salon has helped, though, and I think my chatting skills are improving.

I may have another one or two functions to sell at before Christmas, so more deadlines should get things moving around here. I made myself a new bag first, though, because if I don't get it done now I don't know how much longer it would have been. It's a new style for me with the outside pocket and flap fastening - I might try a few more like it for the sales.  The fabrics are left over furnishing scraps from my auntie plus khaki cord from a pair of trousers.

As I also sold my last baby quilt at the sale, I've started making another one.  I'm not sure if I like it yet. I've done my usual thing of starting to make it and seeing where it goes, rather than planning anything. I'm not sure it's even suitable for a baby!!

Bye for now
Teresa x


Scarlet said...

I'm not surprised your cushion sold - it's really beautiful. I'm hoping to sell some of my things before Christmas, so if you find out what the secret is, I'd love to know!

Marivel said...

I am really happy for you,Teresa!!!
You are a great friend and crafter. Your good sales are your success.Keep up the good work.
Best wishes,

Kath said...

well done for making sales, I'm sure you'll go on from strength to strength.

wayside wanderer said...

Congratulations! Your cushion is very pretty and I really like the purse, too. I'm not sure about breaking the makes me wonder how we are different socially, esp in light of living in two different countries.

Silvia LGD (Little Green Doll) said...

Congratulations Teresa! I love your cushion! It's really beautiful! Your new bag is also very nice :)
Silvia x

hausfrau said...

You're right that there's a 'fine line' and I fear everyone's line is in a different place with regards being sold to! On the whole I think they'll engage you in conversation, or linger to allow it, if they want you to sell. Mind, I'm better at selling things for charity than for myself - and a pushier salesman under those circumstances.