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Ways to Capitalize as a Vendor

Whether you are a service based business or a product based business, you have an obligation to serve your customers in person and virtually. When your customers are shopping on your website, they expect for information to be straight forward, clear and concise as if they were in your physical storefront. For example, when you log onto my website, you will get a Welcome message that answers any questions you may have about COVID and how we are operating through our new "normal" climate. Your virtual presence takes on just as much importance as your physical presence. However, most people fail to realize that there are ways to not only make an impression with your customers virtually but in person as well. I'm speaking to the business owners who do not have a physical storefront. You may ask yourself, how can I get in front of my customers? How can I meet my customers in person and how can I make them a loyal customer?

The answer is simple. Put yourself and your business out there. The only way people will know about your business or will even shop with your business, is if you speak up. What does that look like? Attend networking events, social gatherings, client events, or even coffee shops. Go outside and speak up. I was in a coffee shop last week working and a business owner walked up to me and kindly asked what I was working on. Instead of turning them away and being stand-offish, I told them exactly what I was working on and we exchanged business cards. I know it sounds scary to speak up for yourself and introduce your business but you would be surprised at who you will run into. You may find your angel investor or potential partner. But if you don't speak up, no one will know about your business.

Attending events as a vendor can be the most rewarding opportunity as a new business. Yes, there are some events that charge extremely high vending fees but there are different ways to make a return on investment. You just have to know your strategies and find the best technique that works for you.

Here are five tips you can follow in order to capitalize your return on investment as a vendor:

1) Know who your target audience is and every detail about them. This piece is critically essential to placing yourself at the right time in the right place. You need to know the age range of your target audience. Where do they like to shop? Where would they shop to look for their solution? Are they unmarried or married? Are they old enough to shop for your products alone? These details will help you place yourself at the right events. For example, if you are a cosmetic company whose target audience is someone who loves makeup and shops at the mall to spend their parents' money, you wouldn't/shouldn't be a vendor at a farmers' market.

2) Place yourself in the same place as your customer. Now that you know the details of your target audience, do your research to see what events are happening where your customer may attend. You can follow trends and hashtags to see what new events are happening in your community. Research facebook pages that have events specifically for your niche/target audience. Introduce yourself to the organizers or people who are consistent vendors in order to build connections.

3) Don't just post the flyer, be the promoter. I know you may already know to stand and greet your customers, but influence goes beyond that. Your influence and impression starts the day you submit your vendor fees and confirm your participation. Once you know you will be a vendor for an event, you should promote the event as if you planned it yourself. If you're not excited to attend the event, let alone be a vendor, then how can you expect your attendees to be excited to see you? It's also your obligation to bring the crowd and draw your audience to you. You can host your own IG lives to promote and get your potential new customers excited to see you. And when your customers find you at your event, they will feel more inclined to spend with you after getting to know you before the event day.

4) Don't be weak in the knees, stand up. Once you are at the event, don't just stand behind your table. You should have at least one other person behind your table to handle sales, answer any questions and close out sales. You, as the business owner should be networking and pulling in leads. Introduce yourself to the attendees and connect with them on a personal level before trying to make a sell or before talking about your business. If you do not have additional support, stand in front of your table and greet potential customers walking by. Greet them with a fishing rod that pulls them closer to your table. A simple, "Hi, how are you" will not reel them in. Start with something that makes them provide more than a one word answer. Here are some suggestions:

- "Wow, where did you get that purse?"

- "How can I get your stylist's number?"

- "What brings you here today?"

5) Bundle your product/services or introduce something new. People love to feel special. People love to feel like they are getting more value than what they bargained for. In order to provide this feeling, you would need to underpromise and over deliver. What does that mean or look like? Bundle some of your best-selling products, tell your potential customer that you are introducing a new product/service to them that you haven't announced to the public yet.

If you found this blog post helpful and will implement some of these techniques at your next vending event, let us know in the comments. Like, share and subscribe to stay updated with our weekly blog posts.

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