When I was an aspiring author, I made a promise to myself that I would leave no rock unturned when it came to getting my books into the hands of the reading public. It is for this reason that I signed up as a vendor for some holiday markets. After all, the holidays are traditionally the time of year when most books are sold. Little did I know I would receive a crash course on the dos and don’ts of market sales. So here are my top ten sales tips for those brave enough to book a vendor table:
- Regardless of what you are selling, people will physically dive over you to get at a baked goods table. (That reminds me. Bring water, coffee, and a snack. You’ll sell more if you’re not hangry.)
- Most married men at markets need someone to talk to while their spouse shops. Married men will not buy anything without the permission of their wife.
- Other vendors are your greatest allies and potential customers. They will also share with you the names of the best markets to attend. Offer fellow vendors a special discount.
- People will be delighted to share with you all the reasons they can’t buy your product. I personally heard… No pets. No babies. Don’t eat sandwiches. The kids don’t play video games. (Seriously?) Don’t like picnics. (Come on, now! Who doesn’t like a good picnic?!)
- Shoppers love FREE stuff. I often offer a gift with purchase, free candies to passersby, and free bookmarks. Fun fact: One lady took the bookmark I gave her and proceeded to smell it. (Note to self… Poofect Pet Scratch ‘n Sniff Bookmarks!)
- The people you think are going to buy something, don’t. Those who do are the sweetest, most genuine people you are ever going to meet.
- There are a lot of aspiring grandmothers out there hoping for grandchildren. Get busy, adult children! I could use the sales.
- Cash may be king, but credit cards rule. A credit card reader saves sales!
- Don’t take it personally when people walk by without making eye contact. Just display some good signage that they can read out of the corner of their eyes.
- Don’t close down early. Not only is it bad market etiquette, you may lose some last minute sales. I made three sales in the last three minutes at the last market I attended.
Most of all, have fun! Holiday markets are a great way to get into the holiday spirit. My biggest personal challenge is to make sure that I sell more than I buy!
Tina Powell is a bestselling Canadian author. Discover her books at https://bookboutique.tinapowell.com/