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Posts Tagged ‘Selling’

Selling: It’s About Service

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

selling-is-service

During our recent Facebook “Get Your Art Out There” Challenge in our Creative Passion to Profit Group, the topic of sales came up. Really it was the topic of not feeling comfortable selling. So I ask you, does selling feel uncomfortable or even scary to you?

No one likes to be sold to, and we all have opinions about people who sell. Do you know that Gallup® does an annual survey on honesty and ethical standards of people in a variety of fields?  Car salespeople come in close to the bottom of the list, as do telemarketers. (Being from the DC area, I found it interesting that members of Congress and lobbyists fill two of the bottom three slots.)

If you go to that same list, what profession do you think occupies the top position? For the last 14 years, it has been nurses. Why do you think that is?

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Do You Find Selling Icky?

Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Baby crying Baby Icky

In conversations with several of my clients recently, the topic of sales came up. Really it was the topic of not feeling comfortable selling. So I ask you, does selling feel icky to you?

 

No one likes to be sold to, and we all have opinions about people who sell. Do you know that Gallup® does an annual survey on honesty and ethical standards of people in a variety of fields?  Car salespeople come in close to the bottom of the list, and have consistently been near or at the bottom of the list for years. (Being from the DC area, I found it interesting that members of Congress and lobbyists were even lower.)

 

If you go to that same list, what professions do you think occupy the top positions? In 2013, it was nurses. Why do you think that is? I think it comes down to the fact that nurses are compassionate, caring people and that comes through to their patients.

 

What would happen if you took this same compassion and care in “selling” to your clients? It’s not hard. It just requires a mindset shift. To me it is about providing a service to your clients or customers. You are not selling; you are providing a service; you are solving their problems.

 

How do you do this? First, you listen to your customers. Learn what their problems are. Then you are able to help them with what you have to offer. It is about being authentic and operating in integrity. If you believe in your product or service, and in yourself, it is not hard to “sell” what you have.

 

Start with a mindset shift from “selling” to “serving.”

 

I would love to hear your comments on this below or go to our Facebook page.

 

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Morna McEver Golletz is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.

 

 

Selling Quilts and Fiber Arts to Vacationers and Tourists

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

I recently returned from Aruba. One of the highlights of the trip was looking at (and buying) local crafts from vendors at the timeshare where we stayed. This year I saw Aruban artists joined by an American, Doris Iversen. Doris makes beautiful handcrafted bead crochet and wire jewelry encompassing polymer clay. She has vacationed for many years in Aruba, and some years back when she was crocheting at the pool, the activities director asked if she would like to sell her work along with the local artists. It added variety to the selection, and she wouldn’t be competing with locals. Today when she makes her annual trip, she brings all the jewelry she can to sell at the twice-a-week evening events.

As I look back on other travels, I recall similar examples: the painter selling her work in the lobby of a small hotel in Hawaii and the artist-in-residence at the Art Colony Shops at the Greenbrier. If you live in an area frequented by vacationers or even vacation yourself in one particular spot, you might consider this as a possible sales outlet. Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Look at where you live or where you vacation. Spend some time going to resorts and seeing if they offer art or crafts events. Stop in the local galleries or crafts shops and ask if they know of any options. And, at the same time, you might ask about consignment or crafts purchasing. Some of this you may find out with an Internet search or a phone call.

2. If you want to consider contacting specific hotels ahead of time, look for the resources from AAA. Its destination guides will list details on hotels. You’ll also find information on its website (www.aaa.com). The American Hotel and Lodging Association (www.ahla.com) produces an annual guide of members’ establishments that is available to Allied Members or through STR Global (www.strglobal.com). As the cost is relatively high, you might want to look for a copy at the reference desk at your library.

3. Check with your state crafts guild. They may know of arts and crafts outlets. For example, in West Virginia, Tamarack: The Best of West Virginia is a statewide collection of handmade crafts, art and specialty food. It’s run by the Tamarack Foundation whose mission is “to preserve West Virginia’s cultural heritage and the development of a strong, creative economy through its work in the improvement, growth and support of arts-related industries.” From its beginnings in 1994, Tamarack has grown to represent 2,800 artisans. It is located just off I-77 and welcomes half a million visitors annually to its facility.

4. When you do find opportunities, questions to consider include:
· What fees are involved to participate? This could be a table fee or a commission on your work. You may need to join an organization.
· How do they advertise the crafts?
· Can you set up a sales table for conventions at larger hotels/resorts?
· Can you talk to some of the participating artists and get their experiences?

5. When contacting in person, go armed with business cards, brochures and a sample or two of your work. Nothing sells like seeing the real thing.

If you’ve had experience selling your work in a resort setting, please share with our other readers.

 

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business.  Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.

Etsy: Marketing Your Handmade Work

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

In the current issue of The Professional Quilter, Gloria Hansen writes about marketing your handmade work through Etsy. Etsy’s mission is to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Etsy sellers number hundreds of thousands, and, yes, some make a full-time living selling through Etsy.

Here are just five tips that you learn from Gloria’s article:

1. Consider buying something. Doing so will allow you to get firsthand knowledge of how the sale is handled and how the item is packaged and shipped.

2. Visit Etsy’s blog, “The Storque,” which has an ever-growing range of informative articles. I found lots of articles that had to do with quilting, ranging from an article on a pillowcase challenge to instructions for a mini-quilt.

3. Read The Etsy Seller Handbook, which you can find on “The Storque.” It is a one-stop help area covering topics such as making a shop banner, writing text, photography tips, shipping how-to’s, customer care, tagging and much more.

4. Take good photos of your work. The photos need to be clear, clean and interesting. Use a neutral background and try a macro setting on your camera for close-ups.

5. Exchange links with others, offer a giveway on your blog, and notice what others are doing to draw attention to their shops. Remember that your website or blog can drive people to your Etsy shop and vice versa.

Please share your experiences with Etsy here on the blog.

To learn more about marketing your work through Etsy, you can read Issue 112 of The Professional Quilter. The Professional Quilter is one of benefits of IAPQ membership. If you are not a member, you can join here.

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.

Selling to Gift Shops and Galleries

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

In my travels last week, I went into a number of gift shops, ranging from those with a tourist bent to those filled with fine crafts to the one-woman stand with hand-crafted birdhouses. What they all had in common was the work was locally made. If you sell quilts, quilted or mixed-media pieces, have you considered marketing your work through a local gift shop? Here are some tips:

1. Your work will be priced at wholesale, which generally is 50% discount from your retail price, so be sure you’ve covered your costs and allowed for a profit.

2. Identify shops by searching for gift shops geographically on the Internet. I found some good possibilities with a search for directory of craft stores and galleries. The Crafts Report often has listings by region of shops and galleries to consider. Don’t forget about some less obvious options, like the small organic grocery; we went in several that had local crafts. And your public library should have access to Gale Directory Library and its Directories in Print, which would include gift shops.

3. Once you’ve identified shops in your local area, make an appointment to meet with the owner or buyer. You can do this via email or mail and include professional brochures and price lists. You might even find that someone buys your products from your initial contact.

4. Show up to the appointment on time. Have clean samples of your product, brochures, photos, price lists, order forms and business cards. You may be asked to consider consigning if your work is unknown, so be prepared for that option. After the appointment, follow up with the owner and/or buyer and thank them for their time. If they did not purchase your work, keep the shop on your list to contact at a later time.

5. Another option is to consider exhibiting in a wholesale craft show, such as those sponsored by the American Craft Council or the Buyers Market of American Crafts.

Good luck if you step into this arena. It’s a lot of fun to see your work for sale at a local shop, and it can lead to bigger sales down the road.

The International Association of Professional Quilters offers resources and networking opportunities for you to create a success from your quilting business. Learn about all the benefits of IAPQ membership and join here.

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