I was scared when I did my first vendor event. It was at my kids school and outside of my comfort zone because of the amount of people that would be there. Shopping wasn’t the focus of the event, it was a kids function and with kids come parents so while their kids are having fun, they might as well shop, right? Anyway, I remember having all these big plans of prepping way before the event, unfortunately it didn’t happen that way. I was preparing for this event up until it was time to set up! So my plans of getting there right at set up didn’t happen, but I got there in enough time to set up before the shopping began.
Rule #1, know how you are going to set your table up. I at least had the idea of setting my table up at home before the event and taking a picture of it so I would know where everything would go. Thank God I did that, otherwise I would’ve been in trouble cause I got there later than expected.
Rule #2, people will walk up to your table and not buy anything! People will even walk by your table and not bother to look at anything. Don’t be upset, you don’t buy everything they present at the store either. People will even try your product say it’s nice and still not buy anything. That’s okay, maybe your product is not for them or maybe they think your prices are too high or maybe they just don’t have any money. Just give them a card and say thank you for stopping by.
Rule #3, look at the vendor event as an opportunity to present your product, in other words a commercial to an audience you’ve never had before. When they are walking by and glancing, talk to them about what you are selling and be excited about it! I’m pretty shy in front of people I don’t know so I was really nervous about doing that, but you won’t sell anything being quiet. I have a sample section and ask if they would like to try it and as they are trying it, I explain what the benefits of that product is. Sometimes they buy something and sometimes they don’t. Once again, don’t be upset, you’re getting practice at being a good salesperson.
Rule #4, be organized. Make the transaction process easy, don’t give people enough time to change their minds because you’re fiddling around looking for your Square or looking for the bag to put the product in. You want to get them in and out with precision. I have special instructions for some of my products and grabbing a bag and a business card and the instructions was a process in itself. Put your business card in the bag ahead of time. So what they already took one from the table, they can give the extra one to someone they’ve been bragging about your product to!
Lady Tee, how do I choose the right vendor? This was trial and error for me. I’ve been to some events that were successful and some that were a bust! Thankfully, I at least made what I paid for the table. I’ve learned that it’s better to be a vendor when shopping isn’t the only focus.
Pop-up shops are wonderful, but if they aren’t advertised well or in a well-trafficked location, you may not have much success. Also, you may want to ask if there will be someone there selling the same item as you. I’ve gone to events and someone else was selling the very same thing I was selling, competition is immediate then. As I said in my previous blog, presentation is everything! The difference between you and another vendor may simply be presentation, make sure yours stands out and looks professional, it especially matters in this case. These suggestions will help you to decide whether to vend or not to vend!