In one of my earlier blog posts with regards selling my handcrafted jewellery more effectively at exhibitions, I stressed how important it is to turn on your smile volts when customers visit your stall.  In this post, I want to highlight how important it is to have someone who can offer you support and assist you at the stall, especially when you are taking part in 12 hour exhibitions.    

I often find that working on my own, from designing and handcrafted each jewellery piece, to loading and unloading the car at the exhibition, as well as manning the stall for 9-10 hours a day, quite exhausting.  It was easier in the past when I had a close family member to help me out.      

Selecting the right sales assistant is very important. Photocredit: Shutterstock

In fact, when my parents were still living in Abu Dhabi, I had their assistance. Life changed when they retired and moved away from the UAE.  So in my need to find the ideal helper (whether a friend, family member or hiring an assistant), I’ve listed a few tips and experiences:   

Make sure your assistant has good sales skills.      

I am sure there are many handcrafters such as myself who are happy to create but hate selling their wares. It may not be anything to do with confidence in your work, but you are happiest creating new pieces. So whoever you get to help in that aspect at your table, ensure that they are not an introvert like you but someone who knows how to attract the customers’ attention to your work, though not being pushy in any form. I fondly remember my first ever craft exhibition, perhaps six years ago, I had made such pretty jewellery that I had to find an outlet to sell. At the time, my mother (such a saint) was also my ‘sales representative.’ While I hid behind her skirt at the exhibition, she did a marvelous job in presenting my work to the public. And not to forget the smile.      

Make sure that your assistant knows what your brand is all about.      

The last thing you want is hiring a helper who doesn’t know anything about your jewellery. I hate it when people say that I make cheap jewellery, but the important part is that I know how to answer them. Imagine, having a sales person at your stall who doesn’t know how to answer the customer and cannot justify the uniqueness of your work. You can lose customers so easily that way.    

Handcrocheted wedding jewellery bespoke. © Janys De Couture

   

Make sure your assistant deals with prospective customers in a friendly manner.      

Customers may sometimes be rude or outspoken, disgruntled or just not your type of clientele, still they needed to be treated with respect. Sales people don’t get that sometimes. Take the time to educate them.      

Make sure that your assistant is loyal to you.      

I once hired a lady who decided that as she was bored standing at my table, and therefore started offering assistance in selling the wares of my neighboring vendor!  Needless to say, I never hired her again.      

Come back tomorrow for Part II.