Mastering the Farmers Market: 8 Tips to Sell Out Every Time
Many foodpreneurs start their business journey at the farmers market. Farmers markets are a great way to introduce your product to the community and get initial feedback on your product. You’ll also meet other local entrepreneurs, practice your sales pitch, and hopefully move product! Since the season for farmers market applications is upon us, it’s time to start planning for the summer. A little forethought goes a long way, so follow these tips and you’ll be a market master in no time.
1. Practice, practice, practice
It may feel silly, but doing a practice setup in your living room will make you feel much more comfortable than if you show up unprepared. Time yourself, so you know how long it takes you to get ready, and make sure you feel comfortable with all your equipment. You may look like a crazy person in your house, but it’s worth the trouble!
2. Read the room
No two markets are the same. Some are made for commuters to grab food on their way home from work, and some are made for a leisurely stroll. Will there be music or programming? What kind of audience will be there? Do your research, so that you can tailor your setup to the type of market you’ll be attending.
3. Make a visual impact
It’s so important to stand out in a sea of similar tables. Utilize textures, colors, and branded signage to ensure that you look different, as well as approachable. Too many knick-knacks, too little signage, or a table laid with just a few flat objects will turn consumers off. Try fun touches like rugs, vintage shelves or stands, or bold signage to get the customer’s attention.
4. Get vertical
This tip can’t be overstated. Consumers may feel intimidated by a table with only one row of objects. Utilize your vertical space as much as possible! It may feel like a pain to tote around stands, trays, baskets, or other product holders, but the result is worth it. Vertical motion conveys abundance, and consumers are far more tempted to buy a product that they can see a lot of.
5. Show those prices
No one wants to have to ask for the price! Customers may feel too sheepish to ask, and you’ll lose the sale before it even began. Make sure pricing for each item is clearly marked and easy to find. Even if you sell a higher price point item, it’s better to be upfront.
6. Don’t be shy
You may not be a natural extrovert, but no one knows your product better than you do. Greet customers as soon as they are near your table, and make them feel comfortable. Don’t force them to ask you questions – be forthright with information! Tell your brand story, give product details and characteristics, and engage the customer in conversation. If you’re tired of talking by the end of the market, you did it right.
7. Train your employees
Hiring help for your markets? Great! Make sure that your employees know the product and the brand just as well as you do. Give them a test run before their first event, to ensure that they can answer tough questions and create a warm environment for shoppers.
8. Collaborate, not compete
Just because someone else at the farmers market sells a similar product, doesn’t make you enemies! Find a way to work together to boost everyone’s sales, whether that’s with a gift basket or a discount for each other’s customers.
9. Sample the goods!
Particularly important if you’re a new brand, sampling allows customers to get acquainted with the product before they buy. Some vendors are nervous to sample because of the product costs, but sampling keeps customers at your table longer and increases the chance that they’ll buy. It’s worth the cost!