ARTIST ALLEY Insight #3
The Importance of Communicating.
AUGUST 8TH, 2018
by Tim Hyde
After years of doing conventions, there are quite a few things I have noticed about artists and vendors at every single convention. One of those noticeable traits I often see is the lack of good communication with customers. Too many artists/vendors I see are not appropriately communicating with customers. This is one of the issues I see that are costing many artists/vendors thousands of dollars a year. Here are some of the problems I see on a daily basis at a convention.
• Sitting – Sitting at a con is literally one of the worst things an artists or vendor can do while selling. Sitting shows a last of respect to the buyer or customer and gives off a really bad vibe from the get go. I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to buy something at a table and the artist or vendor is sitting on their phone or gaming system and not paying attention to me. As an artists or vendor, sitting gives off a very negative/lazy vibe to most customers that walk up to your table or booth. Health issues aside, you need to be standing, period. No excuses. If you want to maximize your sales, the first step is standing as much as you humanly can. Pick up a soft standing foam mat and really comfortable padded shoes. I wear Nike Frees that help with posture and back/feet pain. Go test out shoes and find ones that will help. This is the foam pad I use from Amazon by clicking the image below.
- Phones, Tablets and Gaming Systems at Your Table or Booth. Unless it is for your business, it needs to go. Nope, there is no circumstance in which a 3DS is more important than the customers in front of you. If you want to game, watch a tv or movie, or text, then do it at home or at the hotel after the con. I cannot tell you how bad of an appearance this gives off to potential customers. You are basically telling the customers that you do not care about them or their money. Your time gaming is more important to you then their time. You will lose sales from this, period. End of story. Do not do it, at all. Stay home and let someone else who cares about being at the con to use your table.
• Eye Contact. Eye contact is one of the most important things when it comes to the relationship you are building with customers and potential customers. This is something that is hard for a lot of people (myself included!). It can be challenging for many people to make eye contact with a complete stranger and begin or continue a conversation. That is not easy for most people, but I have good news for you! The more you do it, the easiest it gets especially when you are making more money because you are doing it. Adding 10-15% to your income a year will really help any insecurities you have. Eye contact is important as well because it puts of a confidence in yourself and your products you are selling. Eye contact is also beneficial in letting people know you are human and that you want to interact with them. That will increase your sales, I promise you.
• Smile. I think a smile is the most underrated personal touch anyone can do in life. Think about anytime someone smiles at you, it makes you feel good. Maybe your hair is on point today. Maybe your outfit is awesome today. Someone smiles at you, it makes you feel good. Now imagine you are a customer looking at your table or booth, you look up to them and say “Hey, how are you today?”, with a nice smile attached. It sets off good vibes from the beginning of your interaction. The odds of them purchasing increase. Does it work every time? Absolutely not, but anything you can do to help make sales is a good thing.
• Greeting Customers. Saying “Hello, how are you?”, to every single person that walks by your booth or table is really important. Even if they are 20 feet away and do not respond, still say something to them. Also, remember to ask a question instead of just a “hi” or “hello” etc.. By asking a question like “hey guys, how are you doing?”, you are giving them less reason to ignore you or just answer with a quick “hi” and keep walking. Being asking a question you are giving them some type of obligation to answer the question even if they keep walking by and do not stop. I will guarantee you will have more people at least acknowledge you and more people stop at your table or booth if you stand, smile and ask a greeting like “hey, how are you doing?”. The change from just “hi” to “hi, how are you?” Will increase your awareness at your table or booth. You would be shocked how many people don’t even look at a table or booth while walking by. With the new greeting style, you will increase traffic at your table or booth and therefore see some type of increase in sales.
Tip For Greeting. Keep the greeting gender and racial neutral. You never know how someone prefers to be called or what gender/race they associate with. By using a “hey there, how’s it going?” You are referring to them by using verbal and physical body language, not a gender or racially specific greeting like “Hello Maam” etc.. The last thing you want to do is offend someone when you are trying to be polite.
With a healthy smile, a nice neutral greeting while standing sounds basic and implied but, it can really make or break your experience at a convention. I hope this helped and please let me know if this has helped! Reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook.