If you want to make money from your knitting, having good sales skills will help you enormously. This article will show you how you can sell your knitting effectively, without being one of those ‘pushy’ salespeople.
Many people find the thought of being a salesperson quite foreign and uncomfortable, especially when the image that the word ‘salesman’ brings to mind is something like this!
But it’s a myth that you need to be confident, loud or pushy to be a great salesperson especially when it comes to selling knitted products. True, there are some salespeople who are like that, but it’s actually the quiet, caring listeners who are the most successful.
So don’t automatically assume that you will not be a great salesperson, even if you feel a bit uncomfortable with the idea at first. This article will show you how a true professional conducts themselves and have customers who trust and respect them.
This is great news for knitters who wish to sell their knitting face to face!
The art of selling is not about being a great talker, or pushing people into buying things. It is actually about listening to what the customer wants, and finding a solution to their needs or problems.
I have done a lot of face-to-face selling in my time, and I have found that there are three simple rules to live by. These rules can be used by all knitters who wish to sell their knitting face to face.
Rule #1: Selling is about building relationships, not just flogging product.
Everybody likes to deal with someone they trust and feel comfortable with. Your first goal in the sales process is to connect with your buyer. Find some common ground to share such as your love of knitting or crochet, yarns, wool, knitting patterns or knitting fashion, even your children or common experiences.
It doesn’t matter if this is a customer at a small craft fair or the buyer for a multi-million dollar knitting magazine or design house, they are still just people who want to deal with people they like and feel connected to. The more you build up relationships with your customers, the more they will want to keep coming back to enjoy your service and support your knitting business!
Rule #2: Selling is about asking questions and listening, not just talking facts.
Don’t get me wrong, your customer needs to know about the knitted products that you offer, but if you went into a yarn store looking for all natural yarn and the owner insisted on telling you about their entire range of synthetic knitting wool, you would get a bit frustrated and annoyed, wouldn’t you? You would feel that they are not listening to you, and you may never return for fear of wasting your time and money again.
Your customers feel exactly the same way when you try to tell them absolutely everything about yourself, your knitted products and your knitting business.
Your goal is to find out about your customer and what they are looking for. What do they really want or need? For example, if it is a knitted gift they are buying, who is it for? What is the occasion? What sort of things does the receiver like? How much are they looking to spend?
You are getting involved in their decision and helping to guide them towards a choice they will be really happy with. Remember, you are the knitting professional. You know your knitted product range and services better than they do. They are trusting you to listen to what they need, and then recommend the knitted products that best suit those needs. If you do this, you will have happy (and very grateful) customers!
Rule #3: Make it easy for your customer to buy.
If you have followed the first two rules, the customer should feel safe that the knitted product or service you have offered will suit their needs. But no matter how much advice and service you give, if they don’t actually buy then it is all for nothing. You need to make it easy for the customer to buy, so you must still ask for the sale.
Again this does not have to be pushy. It can be a simple question like “would you like me to gift wrap that for you?” or “shall we fill in the paperwork?” or “how would you like to pay?”
Most times, if you have created a connection, then listened and guided them well, a little nudge is all it takes for them to get out their wallet and say “Yes, please!” And that of course is the point at which you get paid for your knitting, which is the ultimate aim of knitting for profit!
Make sure you practise these skills at every chance you get. Whenever you do a craft show or a market, get yourself into “listening mode” and really get involved with your customers. It’s a great feeling when you have helped someone find what they really wanted, and you will have created a connection with another person who will be more likely to come back and buy again, and recommend their friends too.
I think one of the best things about Knitting For Profit is the network that you can form with your customers. As long as you sell with integrity and goodwill, you will have a network that continues to grow and grow!