Sunday, October 10, 2010

Selling and Lessons learned: Demos, Sales, Instruction and Taters!

If you have ever attended a conference where vendors are present, than you know that the sales begin from the moment the first attendee walks into the vendor area. The sales end when you close the trunk of your packed vehicle to leave and you actually exit the parking lot.  I have been known to to sell the Sock Easy and Designs from the trunk of my vehicle right there in the hotel parking lot.

Points I have learned over the years about shows: A demonstration  is not an instructional class.  When I give a class, there is a prepared lesson plan with skills to be covered and a goal set.  When it is a demo, it is a sales moment.  A good class will result in sales either then or in the future. The students should walk away with new skills that they are eager to use at home.   Customer Service does not end with the sale.  It benefits your customers and yourself to offer some type of help resource. A great product is wonderful and easy to sell at a conference. The question is: where, down the road, will the customer go to remember how it is used?  Consider it as part of continuing education and product support. 

"QUEEN OF TATERS" - Edie holding her "Safe Tater Bag!

If you neighbor is selling a product that you don't really know what it is or does, ask him or her about it.  It is good to know what is available in the market for the audience you are targeting.  Networking is an important tool in the craft and sewing industry as well.

Next door to my booth was White Stallion Creations.  I noted that Edie Whittenmyer sells fun fabrics but I also discovered Tater Bags among her items for sale. I knew what Taters were but what about that bag?  And from there I asked the question and learned quite a bit.

Edie quickly explained that by putting your taters in her bag, you could microwave them and instead of them being steamed up, they would instead be "baked and fluffy".  I then remembered a friend who had used a cloth bag in my microwave years ago  and it caught on fire.  At the time, I dismissed it as "poorly planned lunch".  (Besides, I was getting a new microwave.)

Edie explained that the tater bags of the past worked fine up to a point and then the burning would occasionally occur.  And then she shared that her "tater batting" solved all of it. Edie showed me her tater batting and now I have ordered my tater bag from the Tater Queen herself.  I look forward to testing it out in my microwave, repeatedly.  In case you love baked potatoes, here is the link to get your own:  and with that I had a demo, she got the sales, I got the instructions and soon I will have taters in my Microwave.

Smiling at you  ~ Cookie

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