Tips & Talk 64 – 5 Craft Show Tips You’ve Never Heard Before

Craft shows can be the lifeblood of a handmade product business. It’s the easiest way to find and interact with people, get feedback on your products and the most immediate way to bring in sales. PLUS – no shipping time or delivery costs!

We’re not going to talk about the basics of participating in a show today. Instead I’m addressing some “higher level” points about exhibiting. It’s this extra style and subtle adjustments that can have a huge impact on your results.

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Transcript
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Hi there.

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It's Sue.

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And thanks for joining me for tips and talk day.

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These are bite-sized topics that I pull from community questions and

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things that I'm observing in the world of handmade small business.

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If you'd like to submit a topic,

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DME over on Instagram at gift biz unwrapped,

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before we get into the show today,

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I want to make sure that you know about the newest

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thing happening over here.

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It's called the gift biz bash a zoom party that turns

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into a podcast episode.

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Several weeks later,

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the party consists of a short training with Q and a

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from yours truly.

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And then an opportunity for you to give a shout out

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about your business.

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You can tell us about a promotion you currently have going

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on or share a collaboration that you're considering so that you

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can find a perfect partner for the event.

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A little bit of learning and visibility for your business.

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What could be better?

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There is a catch though spots are limited to keep the

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party to about 45 minutes or so.

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That means you should grab your spot right away.

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It's totally free to make sure you're included.

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Why not do that right now?

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Pause this episode,

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go to gift biz,

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unwrapped.com forward slash bash to sign up and then come back

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and listen to the show.

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I'll see you at the bash craft shows can be the

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lifeblood of a handmade business.

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It's the easiest way to find an interact with people.

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Get feedback on your products and the most immediate way to

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bring in sales plus no shipping time and delivery costs.

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We're not going to talk about the basics of participating in

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a show today.

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Instead I'm addressing some higher level points about exhibiting it's this

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extra style and subtle adjustments that can have a huge impact

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on your results.

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Now, I can't take credit for these points.

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A couple of weeks ago,

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I attended a virtual presentation with Amy and-or of Andorra productions.

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She's been putting on events for 38 years or so multiple

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shows a year.

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And I think it's safe to say she's hosted over 400

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shows. So to say she's a pro is an understatement.

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Amy's focus is on upscale product makers and her shows are

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juried. Meaning you have to be accepted into this show.

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She invests a lot of time into ensuring that exhibitors display

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their products and present themselves professionally.

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Hence the presentation that I attended,

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if you go back to episode 287 of this podcast,

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you'll hear lots of display tips and other important points from

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Amy that you can apply to your own booth.

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And several other guests have been on the show too,

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who are also exhibitors at her shows like Kenny and Jennifer

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from kudu LA.

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That was episode number 2 29,

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Marlo Duran,

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which was episode 72 and most recently Yulia of Wolf leathers

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episode 3 34.

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If you're interested in learning more and possibly exhibiting at one

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of Amy's shows,

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you can find all that information over at the Amador productions

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website. Much of the information that Amy covered in her presentation

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was intended to educate potential participants on what's behind submitting for

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acceptance into a jury show.

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Then she advised already accepted exhibitors on best practices to prepare

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for the upcoming show season,

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which of course now is in full swing.

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There were several things that Amy brought up that I'd never

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heard before or never heard with the angle that Amy ads.

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That's what I want to share with you here.

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They apply to any type of in-person event.

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You do,

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whether it's a farmer's market or neighborhood sidewalk sale,

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all the way up to large craft shows and even juried

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fine art shows.

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Here are five tips that you can use to enhance your

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show experience that I bet are new to you too.

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First. When someone approaches your display,

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welcome them,

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say hi,

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or acknowledge their presence in some way,

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whatever's natural to you.

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It's surprising that I even have to say this,

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but too often,

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there's silence on behalf of the person working the booth.

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They're sitting in a chair on the phone or ignoring those

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who approach their table as if they were embarrassed or timid

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about what they're offering,

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not the best way to encourage someone to buy that's for

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sure. And I bet you're saying to yourself,

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Sue, this is not new advice,

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but hold on,

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Amy suggest you take it a step further after you say

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hi, make sure to tell them that you're the artist or

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maker of the products.

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It's not always obvious.

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Sometimes you have other people working in the booth with you.

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How's someone to know that you're the business owner and these

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are your creations.

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Tell them in a friendly way and watch how that can

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open up a dialogue.

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Of course,

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after that,

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and this is moving into tip number two,

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let them look around,

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but be in a position to answer any questions or continue

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the conversation.

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If someone is interested in talking,

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remember show attendees are there to browse and buy,

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but also for the experience and it's up to you to

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make it a good one for them.

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When they're spending time in your booth,

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tell stories about how you started the business or something specific

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about a certain product that they're looking at.

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Some of this may be off the cuff,

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but if you're not good at that,

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think ahead and have some stories,

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quote unquote,

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at the ready.

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So you're not fumbling around for something to say,

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if they are interested in talking and your silent,

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they're just going to leave.

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And yes,

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there is a fine balance between turning people off by being

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too chatty.

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But the other side is not having anything to say.

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So use your intuition here yet.

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Come prepared.

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Tip number three is the perfect response to something I know

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you struggle with regularly.

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When someone comments on how high your prices are,

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what do you do?

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We've talked about this recently in the breeze and there were

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great responses there.

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Here's what Amy suggests.

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I love it because it makes a strong statement while keeping

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the conversation friendly and maintaining the integrity of your brand.

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When someone says your prices are too high,

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you can say these pieces are all created with glass that

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I've blown and painted myself.

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Each piece is one of a kind and they aren't for

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everyone. Of course,

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you'd adjust this to your product,

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but your response consists of two parts.

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First, something specific that relates to the quality and making of

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your product.

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And second that it's not for everyone,

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which is another way of saying that those they are made

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for have no problems,

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seeing the value and paying the price.

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I love this Amy as spectacular response to something we struggle

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with regularly.

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Tip number four is for you.

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If you sell smaller products.

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So jewelry,

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candles, small accessories.

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And actually,

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as I think about it,

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I'm going to even suggest that it could be for pretty

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much everybody here,

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unless you're making super large products like garden statues or huge

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paintings or signs.

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So here's the tip as part of the backdrop of your

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display have one to three high quality single image,

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large photos of your products.

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So a big product image in the back and then the

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actual smaller products on display to purchase in the front.

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This is an attention grabber for sure.

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And also visually highlight the quality of your work that people

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can even see from afar.

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It will set you apart from other displays and position you

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as a true professional and the final tip.

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Oh, this is a good one.

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Never say thank you until after the sale is made,

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I'll let that settle in for a second.

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I didn't get it at first either.

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You see,

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when you say thank you,

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it closes the conversation.

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Someone compliments you on the quality of your knitting.

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And of course the natural response would be to say,

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thank you,

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right? But where do you go from there?

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Usually at this point,

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they turn and walk out of your booth.

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It's a polite way for them to say goodbye instead say

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something like,

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wow, I appreciate that.

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You recognize the quality of my shells.

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I just created this new stitch and I'm so happy.

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It's become such a popular item.

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See how the conversation can more easily continue from there.

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This is my favorite tip.

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So remember,

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thank you is reserved for after a purchase has been completed.

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Here's the summary of these five tips.

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Again, one point out that you're the maker to tell stories

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about your company and or specific pieces,

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three, your response to the comment about high prices.

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You'll say these are,

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and then you'll fill in the blank and they aren't for

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everyone for have blown up single product images on the back

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wall of your booth and five never say thank you until

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a sale has been completed.

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If you've been with me for any length of time,

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you know that I highly endorse in-person shows unless you have

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lifestyle or other limitations,

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they should play a significant role in your sales strategy.

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Particularly as a handmade product business,

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That's a wrap.

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I'm a get to the point kind of girl.

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And this is what you can expect from these quick midweek

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sessions. Now it's your turn go out and fulfill that dream

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of yours.

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Share your handmade products with us.

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