“Can I help you?”
OK, let’s step back a moment and get away from the show. Let’s go to the mall. We walk into a lovely little shop. A bright, cheerful salesperson walks up and asks the can-I-help-you question. What is your immediate, automatic response? “No, thank you. I’m just looking.” So, now that you’ve said that you’re “just looking,” you are most likely going to follow through with your declaration. You’re going to look and then you’re going to leave. So, what happened when you responded with a “No?” You basically dismissed the salesperson. You told them you don’t want their help. You told them to go away and leave you alone. This is not the best way to make a sale.
So, let’s go back to the show. You’re back in your booth and a customer walks in. What should you say? Here are some ideas:
- If you have any questions, just let me know.
- Hi! I’m Loretta. If you have any questions about my art, please ask.
- Hello, welcome to the show. If you’d like to know more about my work, just ask.
- Hi! I am the artist so if you have any questions, please let me know.
- If you’d like to try anything on, I have a dressing room and a mirror over there.
- If you’re interested in a particular piece, I’ll be happy to explain it to you.
Now, using these statements doesn’t guarantee that you won’t still get the No-thank-you-I’m-just-looking response. It is such an ingrained response that some people will just say it automatically when faced with any salesperson. Here are some suggestions for countering a “No” response:
- “Well, if you need any help while you’re looking, just let me know.” This is basically a repeat of the same formula. And, at this point, you should walk away and leave the customer to look.
- “And what are you looking for?” A response like this is pushing back at the customer. You are telling them that you are not easily dismissed.
- “Well, we don’t allow that here. We only allow people to enjoy themselves.” This one is a bit more difficult to pull off, but if you’re able to do it, it can work as an ice breaker.
So, come up with some statements of your own to fit your art or craft. Have at least two or three different versions so it sounds fresh every time you say it. Practice saying them so they roll off your tongue. And, most important, have fun!