The truth is that sometimes it can be difficult to start a conversation with a customer. On one hand you have to speak up to make the sale, but on the other you don’t want to scare off a potential purchaser. While there is no universal formula for selling every customer to pass the booth, by showing genuine interest in passersby you encourage returned interest in your merchandise. For those tongue-tied moments when small talk simply isn’t coming easily, here are some engaging questions to help break the ice and turn your browsers into buyers.
“What brings you to the area?” Make sure you don’t ask a question that can be answered by the words, “I’m just looking.” This question can bring up the subjects of summer vacation, travel or locality. If the customer is on vacation, ask them about their hometown or travel plans. Find some common ground and establish great rapport early on in the game so that you’ll have an easier time showing them around your booth. You may find out something that will help you make the sale, too, such as a particular item he or she may be trying to find.
“How did you hear about the market?” This question helps you establish whether or not the customer was looking for an item, a way to pass the day, or stumbled on it all accidentally. If nothing else, you find out what method of advertising is working among market attendees, such as word of mouth, social media, television ads or fliers.
“What else are you up to today?” The point is to find out what your customer is interested in, and whether or not you have any common ground. The more you can find out about them, the easier it is to steer them toward the merchandise that will be of particular interest to them. Above all, be friendly, be courteous and show genuine interest.
Finally, be an expert in your own domain. Once you’ve established a level of trust with your customers, guide them through your merchandise to help them see why what you have is exactly what they need. By knowing your product through and through, you’ll be prepared to answer all of their questions and steer them in the best direction.