Starts with your Presence
How you engage a visitor to your booth can enhance their visit.
I’m not going to suggest that you will make the sale by simply saying “Hello”. However, people come to art fairs to have an enjoyable time, looking at art, perhaps purchasing something, and sharing time with their friends.
Having a short acknowledgement as they enter your booth is only a natural extension of their total art fair experience.
Chair Placement Helps
Although I was cautioned from doing so by others, I always place my chair in the right front corner of my booth (as you enter).
My chair is a tall “director’s chair”, which allows me to speak at eye level with the visitors. Quickly and easily, I can exit the chair without losing my elevation. (This isn’t possible sitting in a normal lawn chair).
Where do you normally sit (or stand) during a show?
If you sit in the back of your booth, or as some do, outside the back of the booth, when is your first contact with the visitor?
Does it occur when (or if) the person walks to the back of your booth? Is it the visitor who initiates the conversation?
I want to be up front where I can greet people as they walk by and/or into my booth. It’s the first introduction.
As people walk by (and I’m not busy), at a minimum I’ll say something like “Hello”. It’s easy to say hello to the kids, or compliment their well-behaved dog.
If the person is wearing a shirt with the name of a familiar place, especially if I’ve been there, I’ll mention it. (If it is from Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park, or northern Wisconsin, I’ll suggest they may enjoy the photography I have of that area!)
For those who look into my booth as they walk slowly past, I’ll ask, “Which print is pulling you in?”
Often, they’ll tell me.
I’ll then suggest “Feel free to come in and get a better look.” Frequently, the individual will take up my offer, enter, look further at the print and ask questions. (However, I caution again, this alone won’t make the sale, but it helps).
From their questions, a short conversation generally ensues.
Just observing their interaction with the prints, I can find out if they are just looking or more serious about a purchase. A few additional questions might arise, which I’ll gladly answer.
I may ask a question or two; such as “Would you prefer a matted print, or Dura Plaq?” If the conversation shows more interest, it is not uncommon to use humor during the trial close, which helps relieve any pressure that otherwise might be felt.
I never pressure the individual or couple into making the purchase.
If a person is interested in the print and can afford it, they’ll take it.
If, on the other hand, the person likes the prints, but can’t afford it, then why should they feel pressured into making a purchase - that on that day - isn’t correct for them?
100% Customer Satisfaction Guarantee
Every purchase is backed by my 100% satisfaction return guarantee. If the individual likes the print and can afford it, I’m thankful for their business.
On the other hand, if the person (or couple) like the print but cannot afford it, I don’t want them taking it home with them and regretting their decision later. Even with my return policy, they’ll regret the decision that puts them in the position to have to return the print.
What will they remember about visiting my booth? Most likely, not a good feeling about their experience.
Enjoy the Photography
Rather, I would much rather have the individual (or couple) enjoy my photography, visit my booth the next time they see me, and - if they want - sign up to receive my free newsletter.
Perhaps not this year, or the next year. But in the future, when they decide they would like a landscape print in their home or office, I want them to remember the good feelings that my photography helped provide.
My photography will be available.