Selling your jewellery – do you find it hard?

I sell my jewellery at craft fairs and to be honest, I struggle with it. I mean, you are standing (or sitting) behind your lovingly prepared stall covered in your beautiful things and when some people give it a cursory glance and move on, it can be demoralising. Some people look but don’t buy and some people are nothing but charming and buy lots! What do you say, what do you do? If you’re anything like me, then selling yourself can be tricky – how much is too much?

Emma Gordon

Hiding behind my jewellery stall – Emma Gordon

I was talking to my friend Paula about it and I got to thinking about the psychology of selling and since Paula’s much more up on that than I am, I thought it would be nice to hear another (non-crafty) person’s point of view. I hope you enjoy it.

Being yourself to build your brand….

What is it about you that’s quirky or different? I remember that at school I was called weird. Not in a really bad way, but I had a sense of humour that was truly tickled by absurdity and surrealism and satire. After being brought up in the 70s on a diet of Monty Python and Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, it seems inevitable. My weirdness was rooted in that humour, but as I entered my teenage years  instead of wearing it proudly, I tried to hide it. I didn’t want to stand out, the weirdness became an embarrassment to me. It’s a pity really, but fast forward…

These days, it’s a badge of honour. It comes across in everything I do and I’ve learned to embrace my inner weirdo because it’s my USP. But I realize that it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I don’t care.

Here’s the deal. We will encounter members of the public who will love us and then those who will make a snap decision in the first 30 seconds of meeting us who, without any other information on which to base this decision, will then decide they don’t like us and they’ll move on. If you’re having to run a stall at a fair, then this can be a confidence knock. So you need to boost your chances of not having your confidence kicked to the floor.

I’ll let you into a secret. I loathe chuggers (otherwise known as charity muggers) with their rattling tins. All of them, without exception. I hate the way they jump in front of me, decide that’s acceptable behavior, then act like the injured party when I suggest that perhaps they could be better employed in other fields that involve sex and travel (think about it). This means all chuggers. I’m sure some of them are perfectly lovely people but I don’t care. They represent something that makes me uncomfortable and therefore I don’t give them the time of day. Do they take rejection personally? Not that I’ve witnessed. They’ll move on to the next unsuspecting passer by who’s trying to text her partner to ask if he minds beans for dinner again. But you know, that’s my snap judgement and the feeling I will always have about chuggers.

We could all learn something from chuggers; not their sales approach but their thick skin and ability to let rejection to fail to bother them. I’ve learned that we can never be all things to all people in business or life. The things my clients appreciate about me are the very things that would wind other groups up. It’s just a fact of life. My husband doesn’t mind my ditzy and klutzy ways (just as well). The ex couldn’t bear them. We are different things to different people.

So, when you are attending your stall full of beautiful things that you have lovingly made, bear that in mind. Sadly, not everyone is going to love you or them. But the people who do, aren’t they just golden?

Have you ever heard of the halo effect? This is when we attribute certain traits to particular people, based on what we think we know and how attractive we deem them to be. We all do this, consciously or not. It’s cognitive bias. If you’ve had an encounter with someone at an event and they are smiling and welcoming, the chances are you’ll think their products are great. You might also attribute them as clever and all round lovely. See? So if you know that this happens (and by the way, it doesn’t seem fair, but we’re human and this is how we work) then use it in your marketing. Being yourself means believing in your products; yes? Believing in the beauty of what you create and that creation being an extension of yourself. Whenever I attend fairs, here are the people who attract me and that make me stop and talk; they’re the ones who have taken care with their displays, have their branding consistent, and are not sitting down and looking disinterested. They’re there, ready to talk and enthusiastic about what they have to sell. The halo effect is far reaching from the products to the person. And even if not everyone stop, please don’t worry and you certainly shouldn’t take it personally; you’ve made an impression. Your products are a great quality and potential buyers will see this and trust in what you do.

The halo effect that I get from chuggers? They’re all the same and I’ll avoid them forever, by any means necessary. And they still don’t take it personally.

Be yourself, embrace your inner weirdo, love your brand and your product. Use the halo effect to your advantage and you won’t have to take things personally again.

I’m Paula Jones, and I have spent most of my working life in the training and development world.

I spent 15 years training people in various software, and went on to personal development training, and specialised in train the trainer courses. I’m now a hypnotherapist and coach, and I create and deliver my own programmes. I really do know how to help you get the most out of the knowledge that you have in your head, in getting it into a format that’s cohesive, effective, and will help you make money.

Don’t stay stuck in the trap of simply trading time for cash. Working one to one is lovely, but we need to do an awful lot of that in the coaching world if we are to have businesses that work for us. Creating training programmes, workshops, webinars and online programmes will help you change your business model, earn more, and reach more people

 Twitter: @PaulaGreenJones