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Sell with Storytelling

Lesson 27 from: Secrets of Selling at Craft Fairs: How to Get In, Make Sales, and Grow Your Business

Nicole Stevenson

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Lesson Info

27. Sell with Storytelling

Next Lesson: Craft Your Pitch


Class Trailer



Craft Shows Should be a Part of Your Business


Introduction: How to Have a Successful Craft Show Experience


Why You Should Be Doing Craft Shows


Is Your Business Ready for a Craft Show?


Now is the Time for Craft Shows


Get Your Product Ready


Branding Your Business


Lesson Info

Sell with Storytelling

Now let's talk about selling with storytelling so there you are at this show I should really drawn her with like a frowny face maybe she looks a little too happy so there you are at your show and you put all of the stuff all of your work into it and everything and you have like that moment where that inner critic comes back to you and you're like uh what if nobody likes my stuff it's such a bummer too feel that feeling we're out we all feel that the thing is is that your customer your customer is interested in you it's just like this like this class like if I do this for my husband yeah he wouldn't like my stuff because he doesn't care about craft shows you know you have your finding your audience the people that we're going to respond to your stuff and those people your customers are at craft shows and we've already talked about how to find the right how to find the right one there there these people they care about the products that they buy they care about the process they care abou...

t the materials they care about the person who made it and they want to know all of those things like I said there's a reason that they're not shopping in a department store or in a chain store there's a reason that there they want that specialized tailored experience and they want to know that story of the product and they want to make that connection you know, when we were talking about touch, you know that that power of touch there is there is something about it once you touch something I'm not like a goofy crystal person but there is there is something that happens once you touch something there is that is the beginning of ownership and the beginning of connection. You guys know your products better than anyone else. And when you hire your assistant if they're going to be doing the sales part of it it's your job to teach them how to sell it so it's your job to inform them on what to dio let's talk about two sales techniques that I ate I think you guys can probably guess which one I like but the hard sell aggressive pressure force it's you as in the cellars idea the soft sell ease relax connection it's the customer's idea. Which one do I like wrong? I like the hard sell. Uh, no, I love I like the soft sell, but I kind of have my own version of that that I call the storytelling cell in case you haven't noticed, I like telling stories and I like that that connecting anything that's one of my favorite things is that really true connection and that's what lasts so the storytelling so e just loved this picture that's one of our vendors, rebbie and a customer and like don't think both just looks so happy and overjoyed like they're having a good experience together. She's like I love this and she's like I can see love that, and I made that, and I'm just about to jump out of my skin with joy right now, this is some so that's that's what we're doing through the storytelling sells creating that like emotional, personal, deep connection between our customer and our goods and our brand in business and the part of us that is our brand in business, you have to be besties with all of your customers. You certainly do not have time for that. You guys are running businesses, but there is that part of you that is connected to your business, and that is what that connection is there and that's, how you turn those customers into repeat customers so and that's why we're all like this. This storytelling sells like personalized for each of you in the way that communicates your your brand. Yeah, lisa, I think the scariest thing that I ever hear from my friends in vendors are selling it's so scary because they've been to that car, they've bought a car and that person just grilled him and they don't want to be that person. Yeah, but I would just say that the come from place is not about selling a product it's about finding out if you have a product that's good for them and if they you know are interested in buying those things that you have and most likely you can ask all kinds of questions people love to talk about themselves oh, I'm going to talk about how people love to talk about president out here for almost two days so I can know what mostly been talking about craft shows okay uh yeah so I mean that is that is something yeah, it is so so true and there's really you're recognizing people left and right there's really no need teo there some more if you recognize her sane olive was one of our food vendors yeah, so this we're just going toe reiterate the things that I said and that you just said through all of this like storytelling cell like we're on the same page here. So when I talked about that being bob parted by that perfume person, you know, it was like the anti cell, you know, who's really bad yeah and you you don't want to give him a bunch of that technical information right away, you know, I've had another time when I was in a booth and it was I think it was a scarf or something was something knit and it's just like started out great high, high cool everything's great looking brings it on oh, I got that yarn from peru it was made by, you know, a donkey that has actually hands for feet they did it together and then they spun it and then it was died in a river where jesus was born and baptized and then buddha was there and like, all this stuff and I'm just like, oh, and by the way, it's five percent this and six percent that twelve percent that I don't care, I don't even like want to be by that yarn anymore. I just want to get the heck out of here, you know? So you want to you don't want that bombarding misto happen with you bombarding this you want, but you do want to be available you want to let them know you're there, but not that desperation that we're talking about. And when we talk about finding our deal ideal customer, it takes a second and you got to give them a second to see if if this is a good fit for them, you know, so let them get that sense of your brand and your business and your products and then if they want to connect, then we're connecting, you know they're going to stay there if they want to connect and watch them I mean really big takeaway that we've talked about is that you know, really observing your customer and using that time as this market research you know that company spent all this money for okay let's talk about starting a genuine conversation so you want to see common ground offer compliments well, what we talked about here genuine compliments you know, um I was going to try to offer a nun genuine compliment but I do you guys are all so awesome I don't have anything negative to say uh oh I really like the color gray in this in this room like I don't like I would not paint my room grey would get really sad and cry a genuine compliment is like specific you know it's not like oh you know like oh I like your outfit is fine but that's a great necklace you know, genuine specific it feels real it doesn't feel canned you know that can feeling when it feels like you say this everyone you say this to all the girls it's not just me and then sharing that interesting information about your product in your inspiration about this you know, hey, this necklace that there's melissa melissa logic in this necklace and she did this she designed a line that was all based on architecture, you know, in l a and on her travels and I picked up a necklace in there not this one but she said I remember exactly what it was like oh I went to egypt last summer I was really in inspired by all the architecture there and then when I came home I designed this line and it's all inspired by egyptian architecture unlike you ink that's my now like I'm never going to use you probably maybe anybody want to take me to egypt, but now I have this necklace that's like a piece of egypt and it it connected me with it and now I have this deeper connection so when somebody says I like your necklace than I say, I remember that story because I pictured her in egypt already so I'm saying yeah, this artist by the way her name tags on her back this artist flip it up is what I always say melissa laci she you know, did this architecture inspired line bob loblaw I'm selling for her so let's talk about tips to start an authentic conversation we're going to do some role playing so these are all things that we've kind of covered here so I'm kind of getting you guys prepped up to role play right now so uh first you these air just tips this's not these air not hard fast rules you're going to find your own way and that's what we're gonna do through this role playing is you find your way this is my way I hope to inspire you uh you gonna compliment your customer on what you're wearing that's one way to do it ask your customer where they're from you know like lisa said we love to talk about ourselves I liketo ask people how they found out about the show because I kind of like a pre general question or about their experience if there's like a lot of really cool food at this show I'll say like what have you eaten today you know like oh did you taste that food truck like was it good what have you bought um and then and then you're going toe get into it with them like melissa did with the necklace when she shared that story of that product we love to talk about ourselves so you're going to focus on them on them first and then you create that connection and then you connect them with your product and then knowing your products is very important I mean I made kids clothes and I don't have any children but believe you me I had to know what size a three year old war and what size you know how many inches of pipe you know was this age? Kay well, I don't know what he's like about this tall you know when people are buying gifts for you really really knowing everything about your your products and being ready to answer those questions okay, we're focusing on those relationships not not the sales sometimes it's easy sometimes somebody walks into your booth and they just like fall in love and they just like want everything you've done and they're just like so so excited and sometimes it's harder but it still happened so you have to decide like when you're going to push you know what you're going to do it's reading people really thinking about that and the goal here long time regular customers that is what is going to sustain your business? Why sell somebody one thing when you can sell them to things I'm a big proponent of newsletters social media is awesome, you know and great and like pick your platform like we were talking about yesterday but anybody that's on social media knows that as time goes on they change stuff around. You know, facebook changes its algorithm now on lee five percent of you know why people are seeing my post unless I boost my post and pay them money? Okay, now pinterest is doing a bi now button, you know and that's gonna you know they're doing sponsored post two that's changing my feet that's changing how my customers air seeing my stuff newsletters are yours and no one can take them away from you they belong to you. Those e mail addresses are yours facebook disappears, instagram disappears, pinterest disappears, anything disappears, you keep your newsletter it's yours and you control the content and the analytics on it or great you see what people click on it's awesome and then I also like to reward regular customers so those people that are on my newsletter I'm always giving back to them, you know, always giving back to them whatever whatever it is anybody that buy something this month I'm sending out a free gift with your thing maybe I sit down and make like you know, little little mirrors or little this or a handmade book or it's a calendar for the year you know, january you guys get calendars whatever it isthe and then utilizing your resource is so hiring your assistant pound pound pound into the hood and practicing those sales techniques so when we're not comfortable with that were like getting we're getting more comfortable through practice you know, when I first came out here I was nervous and now I'm just like, okay, everybody like I can't wait to share that I'm focused on you guys not on myself and then you know, taking a class or reading a book. We talked about that classic creative live on body language if you're more comfortable with a book kind of this is an important part of your business if you're going to do craft shows what you are because you're all here, so if you're not good at it, get good at it and if you can't get good at it which I think you all can you can hire somebody to do that part and you do a different part so ah and I also like to practice like I do for everything else you know you practice those techniques you practise them with a friend you practise them with your partner make it fun have a glass of wine when you do it and just you know, stretch that people muscle talking to people give yourself a chore tour a uh test a test a tasca an opportunity that all great words but they weren't the one that was in my head I'm trying to say like tell yourself you're gonna talk to five new people this week what goal give herself a goal of talking to five new people this week strangers strangers so when you go to the grocery store and you're checking out you talk to that clerk and you you say how's it going I like your earrings I just did this last week to my grocery store clerk and I've always loved her ring and I've never said anything and I'm kind of obsessed with her she's like this awesome woman with gray hair and she's very tall and I've just like I want to look like that when I'm when I'm her age and I just always wanted to know more about her so finally I just said I really love your ring. And she was like, everybody likes this ring. Then I was saying, oh, man, after all that, after all that buildup. But I started, and we actually kept talking. So, you know, that is that is an example of just stretching that people muscle, just stretching it up, getting getting out of that, comfort them.

Class Materials

Free Downloads

Craft Show Secrets Syllabus.pdf

Bonus with Purchase

Craft Show Readiness Checklist
Craft Show Timeline Checklist
Profit and Loss Worksheet With Examples
Packing Checklist
Craft Show List
Benefits and Goals Worksheet
Branding Worksheet
Post Craft Show Checklist
Craft Show Application Checklist
Brand Mood Board Exercise

Ratings and Reviews


It was an awesome experience. I learned so much from Nicole. She is entertaining and so knowledgeable that I feel I left the show with soooooo much info. I loved being in the studio audience, I met so many great people, crafters and new friends I feel we all became one big support for each other. I am putting to good use everything I learned. I look forward to coming back to Creative Live for another learning experience. Craft Show Secrets taught me all the ins/outs of craft shows ...I'm excited for my next craft show. Time to Create!!!

Lisa Jones

Great Class! Full of practical information + tools about how to REALLY succeed doing shows. I have attended many a craft show and found an enormous amount of useful tips. I especially loved the bonus material! Thank you Nicole and Creative Live for keeping it real + FUN!!

a Creativelive Student

I've been growing my business successfully online for the last six years, but hadn't shown my work in person for a decade. As a refresher, I took Nicole's craft show class to be sure that I made the most of the time I would have in front of my customers. Because of the preparedness and mindset that I gained from Nicole's teaching, my show was a huge success. My interactions with the customers, producers, and other vendors were genuine and joyful, building a stronger foundation for future business and relationships. This course took the worry and stress off my shoulders so I could enjoy the opportunity that I had. Thanks, Nicole! Tamara Kraft Pithitude

Student Work