Anyone who has worked a craft show knows that the job does not begin and end with the event. Prior to the show there is an enormous amount of prep work and planning to do. In addition to getting your product and booth ready, you also want to make plans for how to follow up with customers after the show. The prep work you do ahead of time will help you stay connected with customers after the event. These craft show tips will help grow your client base and your business.
Customer Follow Up Craft Show Tips:
It’s a great idea to have business cards so that buyers know how to contact you after the sale. The downside is that you are left waiting for them to contact you first. In addition to handing out cards, have forms or sign up sheets ready for customers to opt in to your e-mail or mailing list. Be sure to ask for the customer’s preferred contact method (e-mail, snail mail, phone call, or text) along with their name. One way to collect more information is to offer a giveaway at your booth. Make sure you let people know that completing the entry form means that they will be added to your distribution lists.
So, now you have a bunch of e-mail addresses, phone numbers, or mailing addresses from contacts you made at a craft show. Now what? Here’s some advice on how to follow up with your customers after a successful trade show or craft fair.
You might be inclined to think you need to wait a week or so to reach out to people you just met. Don’t! Send out a short blast a few days after the show ends to remind customers who you are, how you met, and that they opted to receive information from you. Some folks might decide to opt out at this point, and that’s OK. It will help you narrow your contacts list down to the people who really, truly want to hear from you.
Keep it Brief
E-mail messages that involve a lot of scrolling or text messages that are so long they have to broken into chunks are annoying. Keep your first contact brief. As stated earlier, start with a quick reminder of who you are and where you met. Follow that up with something that will make your communication important to the customer. It might be a coupon code to use in your online store, or a voucher to use at your next craft show appearance. Another suggestion is to attach a short e-book that your customers might find useful. The point is to make the information you send out valuable to your customer.
Start with Warmest Leads First
If you are not using an e-mail service, or if you have opted to call customers individually or craft personal messages, then you will have to prioritize your contacts. Start with the warmest leads first. These would generally be the people who bought something from you and are likely to purchase from your shop again. Once you have built a rapport with them, start reaching out to the visitors who were interested in learning about your work but didn’t make a purchase. Yet. Your goal is to convert those “maybes” into future clients.
Make an Impression
Craft shows and handmade products are unique and special because the customer gets to meet the actual artisan behind the work. When customers opt in to receive communication from you it shows that they value your work. Reward their interest with little “extras”. As I mentioned earlier, e-books and coupons are one way to add value to your communication. Brief videos, maybe with a behind the scenes peek at how you make your product, will give these special customers a closer look at your wares. You can also encourage them to visit your social media channels to see more images and information about you and your crafts.
These personal connections will help you grow your business as a craft seller. If you build your following with an e-mail list or some other form of communication you will start to see more repeat customers. They’ll even help you advertise a bit with word of mouth recommendations! What are some of your favorite ways to follow up with customers after a successful craft show?
We hope that you find these craft show tips helpful and have success at your next show!