There is so much information out there on how to promote objects at the markets, but Sue from Style My Child asked us a great question the other day; ‘How do you sell a service business at a market when you have no physical product?‘
We did a bit of research and here are what we think, are 10 great tips to promoting a service business at the markets.
1. How to name your business
This may be too late for most people reading this, but try to name your service so that the name alone grabs a buyer’s interest and creates appeal for your business. Naming your service means that you define the value you provide by highlighting what someone else would rather pay you to do. For example: If the service you provide is organising children’s birthday parties for busy parents, will you promote yourself as a cup cake maker only, or a party planner? See the difference?
2. What are the unique aspects and value your service provides?
Make a list of at least five benefits a customer would receive as a result of hiring you and/or using your service. Write down as many things as you can think of. Asking friends and family may help you with this. Have these benefits printed and on display at your next market stall. These benefits are what you’re selling, so be clear and tell people what they are!
3. Try to turn your service into a product
You can do this by creating tip sheets, templates, worksheets and supporting educational pieces that share your expertise. Have these on display at your stall and hand them out on the day. People will have something to take home and read at their leisure, turning them into a potential future customer.
Davis Design Studio at Heritage Craft Market in St. Ives
4. Offer your services in the form of packages
Think about how phone companies offer different deals for different target audiences; the business person, the young teen, the ‘only for emergencies’ phone user. The package often implies customers are getting something tailored to suit them and won’t have to pay for something they don’t need. But ensure you don’t have too many packages (2 or 3 at the most). Many people would rather not make a choice at all if faced with too many.
5. Package your process
If you feel it’s impossible to package what you deliver, differentiate your company and increase your perceived value by packaging how you deliver your service. For example; Can your service be mobile and delivered in the home? Can customers visit your show room on weekdays or by appointment on weekends only? Ensure you have these packages on display at your stall.
6. Offer demonstrations at your stall
If possible, demonstrate your service at your stall. If you’re a photographer, why not set up a polaroid camera, take pictures of your stall visitors and give them a photo to take away with them? If you’re a party caterer, have your market table set up as you would at a party, with finger food too!
7. Display a DVD of your service in action
Take some footage of you and your service, a tour of your show room or studio, the planning process and customer testimonials. Bring a laptop along and pop it on display on your table. Video may be more engaging than photos and can give your stall visitors a more in depth look at your service and see you in action.
Depiction of the jewellery remodelling service by Davis Design Studio
8. Run a give away
Have your stall visitors enter a give away competition for a chance at winning a sample of your service. Ask customers to write their name and contact details on a raffle ticket to go into the draw. Everyone is a winner with give aways - the visitor gets a chance at winning something and you get a whole bunch of contact names that you can approach later on with special deals etc (just make sure you ask them when they enter, if they’d like to be put on a mailing list.) Plus, give away winners always love to boast about their win, in turn, doing a little promotion for you too.
9. Personalize Your Approach
Be enthusiastic, excited and professional about the service you offer without being over the top. Unlike online advertising, at a market you have the unique opportunity to personally engage visitors, build up a level of trust and demonstrate your professionalism. Perhaps invite them to your studio for a look around and meet the other members of your team (if you have any).
10. Offer a free, no obligation consultation
Suss out the people you think are really interested in your service and offer them a free consultation. Here, you’ll have another chance to offer some practical suggestions or ideas and demonstrate what you do, which all help to increase the chance of a sale.
Special thanks to Jill from Davis Design Studio, for her tips and feedback. Jill offers a custom designed jewellery, remodelling and restorations service.
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