Tips for Selling at the Market
In the previous post, we have briefly touched about how to make more money as urban farmers. Today, let’s dig in a bit deeper on tips for selling at the market.
1. Work on Your Customer Service Skills
Learn to be polite and friendly with people. The beauty about the market is that people generally want to chat; it’s part of the reason they go there. You’re going to need to get used to chatting a lot about your farm and telling your story over and over again. The more you do it, the better you get at it. More importantly, identify who your most supportive customers are.
Who are the people who come to your stand every week? It’s often said that 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers. (This is true for a lot of things, and this is known as the Pareto Principle.
Identify that 20% as early as you can, and learn everything you can about them. Treat them like friends. Remember their names, what they do and what they’re passionate about. Welcome them every time they come to your stand, and make conversation. Only do this if you can be absolutely sincere. In no way should you be fake about this. You have to enjoy it; otherwise it’ll have very little meaning.
But, what will happen over time is that those people who are consistently buying from you will become your biggest advocates. Once you establish a strong rapport with these people, they’ll sing your praise and keep bringing their friends to your booth; they’ll introduce their friends to you as if you were family. That’s what’s it’s all about.
2. Anytime a Customer Complains about Something, Don’t Hesitate to Compensate Them
Give them whatever they purchased before plus something extra. Don’t even hesitate if you think they maybe exaggerating or just being a complainer. Hopefully it’s not something that is consistent, but that’s just life to a certain degree.
Every time someone comes to you with a problem, you are presented with an opportunity to make things better. Never hesitate to take that opportunity!
This is something that doesn’t happen very often for me, maybe a couple of times a year. When you show a person you care about them and what they think, and you’re willing to make it right, you’re extending gratitude towards them.
When someone comes with a problem and they’re probably expecting attitude in return, I always make it right— and they always leave with a smile on their face. The next time they come back, they bring a friend.
This is why I never hesitate with these situations, because either that person will never come back, or they’ll come back with someone else. It’s up to you, but the logic behind being generous and humble is pretty simple.
3. Create the Illusion of Abundance and Be Creative with your Limited Space
There’s an old saying: “Pile it high, watch it fly.” People respond to the look of abundance. It’s kind of like how you’ll see a mountain of soda pop at the grocery store. People are drawn to the look of a pile. The trick for urban farmers is that we don’t really have mountains of product; we have a variety, but usually in small amounts.
So, you need to manipulate your space to create the illusion of abundance. I do this by pushing different products close together and stacking them as much as I can. I try to use as much vertical space as I can as well.
4. Always Have Promotional Material with You at Your Stand
When you are starting out, always keep flyers, business cards and any other type of promotional material close by. Printed posters that show pictures of the farm plots and some written information about the farm hang from the sides of my booth. I will also keep a tablet running all day, playing a slide show.
The more stuff you have to look at, the more you will keep people at your booth. That’s important because crowds draw more crowds. Whenever you have a group of people at your stand, people passing by will wonder what’s going on, and they’ll flock over to take a look.
Originally posted 2020-08-29 11:30:45.