Today I want to talk to you about how to sell in person without feeling weird when you’re a creative business owner.
selling = strange
Selling is something lots of us get nervous about. Being able to sell well and not be deterred by the fear of rejection is a real skill. I have a lot of respect for salespeople; it takes resilience, intelligence and dedication to be able to make lots of sales, even to people who genuinely want your product.
As a creative business owner, you might find selling in person (when you’re at a craft fair, exhibition or show) quite hard. Often I’ve found the main reason for this is what creative business people like most about their business is actually doing the creative part – not having to flog their wares to people.
However, you might also find selling difficult because:
- It feels very unnatural – sales conversations don’t seem to feel like normal conversations, where there’s no specific (or at least obvious) agenda from one party
- It feels awkward and sometimes even impolite, especially in British society where talking about money or imposing your needs upon someone else is the height of rudeness
- We don’t always value ourselves, our products or our services accurately, and so when it comes to getting people to buy we feel doubly embarrassed
- You may not even know what to say to get people to buy your wares
- Or you might know what to say but you’re not sure how to say it without feeling or sounding desperate – or as if you don’t care whether they buy your product or not
So how can you manage these difficult (but completely normal) feelings, and use in-person opportunities to make the most sales for your business?
After all, people like buying from people – especially creative people – so in person selling can be one of the best ways to help your business deepen and grow.
The secret is to take people on a journey.
The most successful salespeople do this. They take people from A to B (where, at B, they buy your things).
Marketing is a really important part of this journey. It’s almost the thing that helps customers get to A in the first place, and a few steps towards B. Marketing stops sales becoming pure cold calling by ‘warming up’ the customer before you start talking to them about a sale.
So part of what you can do is make sure you’re warming people up before they come and see you in person by doing some great marketing. This makes your trickier ‘salesperson’ job a lot easier.
from awareness to action
The journey which you can take your customer on is best described by the AIDA model.
This traditional marketing concept describes the way people travel through stages of relating to your brand, with the idea being that you can help get them through to the next stage (like a journey through the levels of a computer game).
Level 1 of the game is awareness, where your potential customer knows about and is aware of your brand.
Level 2 and the next stage on the journey is interest, where your potential customer is interested in your brand, services and products.
Level 3 is desire, where your potential customer actively wants or desires your wares.
Level 4 (big boss level) is action, where your potential customer becomes an actual customer by purchasing some of your products or services.
For each stage, you can do different things to get people to continue along the journey. Just like a computer game, lots of people will start the journey, but not all of them will make it to the next level – or the big boss level. That’s completely natural.
The more you’re aware of this, the more you can make sure to get people onto level one through great marketing, and help people along the journey to end with a sale.
how to sell in person without feeling weird: the guide
As I was writing, this article become more and more in-depth and packed with information. So, instead of a lengthy blog post, I’ve turned the article into a 10 page, easy-to-understand downloadable guide so you can have it on-hand whenever you need it.
The guide includes:
- Some of the common mistakes I’ve seen creative business people make at fairs, shows or exhibitions
- How you can avoid making these same mistakes
- Clear examples of activities you can do at each stage of the AIDA model to keep potential customers on the journey towards buying
Here’s a snapshot of the advice for the first stage, awareness.
For the full guide on How to Sell In Person Without Feeling Weird, pop your email address in the box below and you’ll be sent the guide via email.
P.S. You can see the other people I’ve helped with my advice and ideas on marketing creative businesses in this article: How I’ve Helped People and I’m Trying Not to Be Shy About It.