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Compared to last year, I’ve noticed a BIG change in Evelyn Brooks Designs, but it doesn’t have anything to do with me or my jewelry.

It has to do with the economy.

This year, I’ve noticed that the economy is still taking a toll on the arts and crafts world. Even though it is supposedly doing much better than past years, I can’t help but notice how people just don’t want to buy — and if they do want to buy, it’s usually a purchase under $50.

Just last year, I could make thousands during a weekend arts show or festival, but this year, I am struggling to break a thousand. However, I think I have found a potential solution to help things move along this year and hopefully increase some sales!

One of my favorite pieces using baby Huayruros!

One of my favorite pieces using baby Huayruros!

 

 

Before, I barely had to try to sell my jewelry…it just sold! But now, because of the economy’s effects on people’s wallets, I had to change things up a bit, and I found 5 good ways to make a sale without REALLY trying.

 

 

 

 

5 Steps to Score a Sale

Step One: Let the customer take the lead.

I’m sure many entrepreneurs, salespeople and retailers know the tell-tale signs of a customer who doesn’t want you to talk to them. The customer avoids eye contact at all costs, they’ll ignore you and they’ll keep their distance. And I’m sure many of these entrepreneurs have tried to sell to them, and it RARELY ever works because they didn’t let the customer lead their way to a sale. If a customer is completely uninterested in buying something, take the hint, and let it slide — offer your business card and say, “Thanks for stopping by,” and that’s all you have to do.

But then there are the customers who are interested. They want to learn about the product and about you, so give them all you’ve got! But if you notice them withdrawing from the conversation, take a note of their body language and back off. NO ONE likes a pushy salesperson!

Step Two: Don’t let personal views get in the way.

Sometimes we have opinions that may clash with our customer’s — and that’s completely fine! Just because you may think one of your own items is pricey, don’t let the customer know that. Let them decide for themselves whether or not they think something is expensive or inexpensive, and never do it for them.

But what if the customer asks for your opinion about something. Remember, to be honest, but if that results in a lost sale, ALWAYS offer other options or suggestions. In the end, everything is the customer’s decision, so do not let your personal views get in the way of a sale.

Red Huayruros and sterling silver pop against a black display!

Red Huayruros and sterling silver pop against a black display!

Step Three: An enticing display.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many people do not include display as a priority. As an example, people are enticed by my display — it is completely black with pops of Huayruro seed jewelry and sterling silver. The red and silver are bold pieces that catch people’s eyes as they walk by my displays.

But if I had chosen to use white as the background for my jewelry…everything would be lost. The pieces wouldn’t seem to pop, and the jewelry would be lost in the background — not very eye-catching!

So just remember to use colors that make your product pop, and use photos and supplemental materials to show people how to wear, use or apply your product to their lives. If they can’t make a connection as to how your product would look on them or how your product could be used, then again, your sale is lost.

The Square Up app is a lifesaver! It’s so easy to do credit/debit transactions, and it definitely opens up your audience!

Step Four: Get creative with payment.

This is a big one! I can’t tell you how many people will turn up their nose to someone at an art show that does not accept credit or debit cards. What Evelyn Brooks Designs uses at shows and events is the SquareUp App that you can download on to any mobile device. You register it with your email — it’s super simple, and it only costs $10!

Also, if someone haggles with you at an event or show, I say go for it, but be reasonable. Offer them exclusive deals (e.i. buy one get one half off or free, buy 2 get 3rd free, 20% off on sets, etc.) so that they know you’re willing to work with them financially so they can get what they want.

Step Five: Don’t Overthink!

This is, by far, the MOST IMPORTANT step! Remember to go with the flow, and make connections with customers — don’t play things by the book, and let the sale just happen. Trust me, when you stop thinking so hard about what you have to do, need to do and should be doing to make the perfect sale, THAT is when you’ll make a sale

Hope these 5 steps help any other business owners and entrepreneurs make their sales AND better connections with their audiences!

Remember to follow me on Twitter and Facebook to stay up-to-date with all of Evelyn Brooks Designs events and shows!

Sincerely,

Evelyn Brooks

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I totally believe in universal signs, energy, cosmic paths, etc., etc…or perhaps I shall say that it is my SECRET to some of my success, like in the book “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne.

THINK. BELIEVE. RECEIVE.

I’ll tell you one of my recent experiences where letting fate take the wheel and following universal signs turned out to be one of my best decision this year!

The Javits Center in New York City. (Photo from http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20critique.html)

The Javits Center in New York City. (Photo from http://www.rogerandfrances.com/subscription/ps%20critique.html)

Last summer I participated in the New York International Gift Show, now known as NY NOW. I loved participating because it took place inside the Javits Center, an impressive glass convention center in the heart of NYC. For the winter edition I wasn’t able to participate because my due date for baby Stella was the same weekend the show was happening. So I said, “OK…I will come back this summer.”

When I applied for it, they did not want to put me in personal accessories because it was full! The hand-made arts division is nearly impossible to get in because many come back (and it is just simply difficult to get in to that category, no matter what!). Many people wait for years to even get in the wait list!

My only option was to be in the “Newest Designers” division. I normally wouldn’t mind being there again (this was the division I was in last year), although this time they put the newest designers back in Pier 94!

How far away Pier 94 is! It's a 10-minute drive in good traffic!

How far away Pier 94 is! It’s a 10-minute drive in good traffic!

Pier 94 is off of the Javits Center premises, so buyers would have to take a shuttle bus to come see Evelyn Brooks Designs. Many of the buyers at Pier 94 go there on the last day of the show. Many say, “Oh, I’ll come back tomorrow,” and others just get so tired they don’t go to the pier at all!

So let me ask you this: Why would I pay almost $5,000 to be in a place where not everybody will go to??

On top of that, when I spoke to the center representative that was supposed to provide me with ALL the information I needed and be helpful, she was extremely RUDE to me during our phone conversation! She acted like she was doing me a favor to place me on the newest designers section, when in fact, that was the worst possible solution for me and my business. And to make the situation worse, it took them weeks to return my calls!

But the thing is — I respect the NY NOW show VERY much. It opens up doors to many designers and gives them amazing opportunities, and for that, I have so much respect for the show. But it is very disheartening to hear that not only do I have to pay $5,000 to attend something that may cause me to LOSE money, but to also receive poor customer service.

So I needed to do something about it — immediately.

I was open to other options, so I decided to look into other shows that are as big as the NYC NOW show. And luckily I found one.

The AmericasMart in Atlanta during Fashion Week! (Photo from http://tmarielewis.blogspot.com/)

My next call was to the America’s Mart in Atlanta.

From the first call I made, they answered me right away. If I had to grade their customer service, I would easily give them an A+. They were SO helpful!

And even though I’ve had my business for a few years, I still don’t know everything when it comes to trade shows, and to a lot of shows, I am a new designer. So obviously, when it came to finding out how I could get a spot at the America’s Mart in Atlanta, I had a lot of questions.

But you know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Trust me on this one, do not feel afraid to ask about anything!

Anyways, I did all my paperwork with the amazing help of Grace Creta, who would be my contact for the show, and things were starting to move along!

I was thinking about doing the Atlanta Gift Show next year, not this year because I just baby Stella, BUT I had already made the decision to not go to NYC unless I was placed inside the Javits Center. And I was sticking to that decision no matter what.

Sweet Tyler and precious baby Stella! Big brother loves his little sister!

Sweet Tyler and precious baby Stella! Big brother loves his little sister!

I followed all the good and bad signs about leaving the NYC Show and moving forward with the Atlanta show, and everything seemed to just fall in place.

I’m excited to say that we’ll be a part of the America’s Mart July edition in Atlanta!

But I wouldn’t have been able to make that decision if I hadn’t paid attention to all of the signs and circumstances pushing me away from the NYC Show.

At first, not going to New York was a very intimidating and stressful decision, but in the end, something better came along!

The America’s Mart Show in Atlanta will run from July 12th -16th, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®.

For directions, parking and more information, check out the show website!

Evelyn Brooks Designs will be at BOOTH:914 in the Museum Gift Section – BUILDING 3! We are so excited to present my latest collection and bring it to new markets in Atlanta!

And I have a a feeling it is going to be a great opportunity for Evelyn Brooks Designs

Once again there is a reason for everything, so sometimes you just have to let go of being in control, and let yourself follow fate when making business decisions. Trust me, it all works out!

Also be sure to follow Evelyn Brooks Design’s Twitter and Facebook to stay updated about our events!

Sincerely,

Evelyn Brooks