How to engage with people passing your stall!

Be ready to greet passers by. SMILE and gain eye contact.

Firstly let’s get one of my pet hates out of the way… It is heartbreaking seeing exhibitors hiding behind their stand and worse – playing on their phones! This is not the way to attract customers. There is nothing more off putting and I would walk right on by!!

That said, for some of you, engaging with strangers is a scary thought and I bet Iike me, when I first set out in business, knowing what to say as an opening comment did prove tricky, but with practice and a few phrases you feel comfortable with, you will be engaging with everyone!


in fact the main function of a salesperson is to encourage customers to buy. If you want to shift your product then you need to learn first the art of engagement and easing you into helping the customer make up his or her mind.

Once you know and feel comfortable with the words you use, making friendly engagement becomes easy.

For you guys, you have a short window of opportunity at your stand as people pass by.

Here are a few conversation starters focusing particularly on exhibiting at a fair, festival or market:

What brought you here today or What inspired you to visit the……
& always remember to smile 🙂
What do you like about this event?
& always remember to smile 🙂
Thank you for visiting my stand, what are you looking for today? Is it something for yourself or friend or family?
& always remember to smile 🙂
Who are you buying for today yourself or family? For instance, if they answer – the family, what should follow: Ah that’s great is it just close family or …..
& always remember to smile 🙂
so who are they? son, daughter, husband, wife, partner, niece, nephew, grandparents,grand-children, what are their ages?
& always remember to smile 🙂
Good Morning/afternoon, it’s great to see so many here today….
& always remember to smile 🙂
Or more personal - Good Morning/afternoon it’s great to meet you today…. May I ask what you are looking for? is it a gift for yourself or a loved one……
& always remember to smile 🙂

If it is for themselves – what is it you are seeking? Food Drink or Craft or all three!!

“Once into the conversation you will find it easier to tell your story. Explain how you came to make your product, what inspired you, the technique involved.”

I recall Jude Stephenson of BowSpangles relate to me, how she made her necklaces and I was inspired. Another point, I do not wear Silver so Jude quickly changed the hooks on the earrings to gold. She also grouped together earrings and necklace. I bought both! or if food.
Diana Vickers

The more you know about the needs and wants of your customer the more you will be able to encourage them to buy. Offer tasters, tell your story of how it came to be, how you got into producing the item.

What is your taste?
Savory or Sweet?
Chutney or Jam?
Pie or Pastry? ……….

Asking either /or questions creates engagement and interest.

In Summary

Ask Open friendly questions beginning with What, Where, Who, How, When and Why
Ask Either-Or questions
Do Not hide behind your stall

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