Posted 13 October 2009 - 11:58 AM
I'll post some photo's tonight when I get home, but, a few observations that I've learned. I know I don't have a degree in "marketing" and I can't afford someone who does, so, I do the next best thing. I walk through major department stores to "see" how they display different products, then, I use their idea's in the best method I can. For instance, I've learned that people like to see "height" - instead of a 'flat' display - the different heights of display actually pulls them into my booth. I have no shame watching something that works and using it at my own location. If it works for Macy's; Godiva; etc, it should work for me.
I also have found that having to much "product" on display actually discourages sales. The customer must think "they have plenty, I'll come back later to buy some", but for the majority of buyers, never never comes. They forget where you were, can't find you, it's to far to walk back and so forth. Therefore, I keep my display's to a minimal - and use the reverse psychology. "Oh, they must be selling this stuff quickly, I better buy mine now."
I discourage samples as well. Costco has introduced the "free lunch" concept and I work to hard to add to that. Now, I will also say, it's situational; sometimes you can just tell people are professional samplers and not interested in buying. Instead, I make them an offer that is unbeatable. I tell them, "buy (product x) - go enjoy the show, eat a little, or eat it all, if you do not like it, you bring me back the (product) and I'll give you your money back" Sometimes, I'll even give them the product and say, "here, you take this, and if you like it, come back and pay for it" - I'm that confident that they'll love it. I've done it enough to know that very, very few people have returned the product, but instead, they come back and ask to buy more. For those I "give" the product to, they actually pull out their money to pay; and I insist, "no, that wasn't the deal" - but they insist (and I let them) and they pay for it and come back to tell me how much they love it.
If you can get away with it, people love to watch someone working. It's easy to start talking to them too. I work a little "show" and "routine" into my demo's. Being a guy, I flirt with the women and am deferential to the men. Everyone is a Sir or Ma'am. People love to buy something they have actually seen being made. It fascinates people to see something they are not familiar with, it's an opportunity to educate, to develop a customer base.
I also have a notebook handy, if they seem interested, I'll ask them for their name and email address. That way, I can keep in touch with them when I WANT to. "Dear friend, we met each other at ABC show/farmers market" etc, and I wanted to thank you for stopping by, I truly hope you enjoyed the [product] that you took home. I'm running a special this month because it's Halloween, all reorders are 10% off (or free shipping).
An 800 number for easy reorders, call us on OUR dime (in the States)
Don't forget that 80% of your business is going to come from 20% of your customers. BUILD that customer base.
Just my take on some of these things -