Posted in Events

Tips to Succeed at Events as a Vendor/Business Owner…Part 2

Thanks for joining me for part two of a three-part series about succeeding at events. Let’s dive right into the next block of tips!

4) Get a Square Reader-Honestly, this little device has saved my bacon more than once! A lot of the time people only bring a set amount of cash to events and not every venue has an ATM in the lobby. A Square Reader is a valuable tool for closing the sale, instead of saying, “I only accept cash” and having your buyer say, “Oh…I’m all out, maybe next time,” you can say, “No problem! I also accept all major credit cards.” Never create a barrier for people who want to buy your product. You wouldn’t believe what this card reader has done for my business. It’s portable and plugs into your cell phone where your earbuds usually go. It accepts all major credit cards, and you can choose to e-mail or text your buyer their receipt! It’s super user-friendly and gives you WAY more options of accepting payments.It takes a few cents per transaction as a fee, but the device is FREE and totally worth it. My only beef with the Square Reader is that it doesn’t accept debit…not yet anyways:)

5) Dress the part-I know, this seems obvious, right? Not so fast. The saying goes, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have!” Well, here’s the thing YOU are the business owner, and YOU are the vendor so look like it! Make sure that you’re wearing something that you feel confident in and that makes you look professional. Let’s be real for a second…people judge a book by it’s cover. It’s a fact of life that is sad but true. If you make a bad first impression by the wrinkled clothes you’re wearing that are covered in coffee stains, it’ll be really hard for you to convince people that they should even talk to you. It’s not fair but people are wired this way. Also, make sure that you’re not chomping on gum while speaking to a prospective buyer and that you don’t have anything on your face or in your teeth that shouldn’t be there. You never get the chance to make another first impression!

6) TALK TO EVERYONE-Yes, I put this title in bold because it’s SO important. Again, it may seem simple and obvious but for so many vendors it’s not. How many times have you been to a fair or an event like a home show etc. only to find the people at the booths staring at their phones? Lots. Your job is to talk to EVERY SINGLE, yes, you read that correctly, I said EVERY SINGLE person that passes your booth. I don’t care if it’s, “Hi! How are you enjoying the show?” Or if it’s just a simple, “Hi!” YOU MUST engage people if you want to make sales. A lot of the problem with vendors who complain that they made no sales is that they don’t engage people or are so obsessed with leveling up on Candy Crush that they won’t even make eye contact with their prospective buyers. They expect the people to come to them. This isn’t how it works friends. Sorry to say but people don’t give a damn. They’re busy and distracted and off in a world of their own. It’s up to you to greet them and tell them about your product. That’s the point, isn’t it? Just doing this will INCREASE your sales tenfold if you’re not doing it already…it’s a matter of statistics. The more people that know about your product, the more people will buy it. The best advice I ever overheard was at a Chapters/Indigo book signing. I was NOT the author in store but a customer that day. The author in-store called the manager over to her table and said, “This isn’t working, I haven’t made any sales. You said it would be busy, but no one has stopped by my table!” I stopped dead in my tracks and watched with excitement…the manager leaned over the table and said very gently to the self-inflated author, “Ma’am, maybe if you stood up and said hi to a few people instead of sitting at the table waiting for them to come to you, you’d have more success. No one is here to see you…you’re not James Patterson.” I wanted to clap but I restrained myself and watched the author pack up her fifty copies of unsold books and leave in a huff. Remember this one rule folks and you’ll be just fine. Engage EVERYONE. Bottom line, you are NOT special…no matter what your mom tells you.

Join me on Monday for the final part of this series!

LLB

Image result for you're not special

Posted in Cool Stuff

How I Got Started…Part 2

Hi Friends,

Today’s post is a continuation of the series titled, How I Got Started in regards to writing. The second part of the series focuses on a question I get asked almost every day, “Where do you get your ideas?” 

Whether it be a book about a naughty black and white cat named Panda or a silly Deer named Duncan who has a penchant for writing in his personal diary, I can honestly say that idea generation for me personally, has never been much of a problem. That being said, I do occasionally suffer from writer’s block. But that’s a whole other can of tomatoes.

Ideas come from all kinds of places and here are a few of my favourites!

  • People watching-Go to any public place, sit quietly on a bench with a soy, caramel macchiato and watch the people go by. SILENTLY (this is important) make up stories about them. This is so much fun because it gives you the opportunity to let your mind and imagination run free! For example, Why is that woman wearing a tiara and jogging pants? Is she competing in a Disney princess marathon? Is she some sort of super hero with super powers? Is the tiara magic? You get the point.

 

  • Talk to kids-Please make sure that their either your own kids, kids you know, kids you know the parents of etc. NOT some random kid in the mall…that would be bad. Kids have a funny way of making things extremely clear. It’s refreshing and is a reminder that sometimes we all need to be silly. Kids also have a lot of answers to life’s big questions like, “Why are we here?” “We’re here because everyone has one special thing that they can do that no one else can.” This is a TRUE statement from a kindergartener that I happened to be reading to last year. Betcha some kid could answer the question of why the woman above was wearing a tiara with track pants!

 

  • Meditate-Yep. You read that correctly. Meditation leads to some pretty great ideas and I can speak from experience on this one. Meditation quiets the mind and lets you explore silence. It’s kind of hard to do at first but if you start out with a few minutes at a time you’ll get the hang of it and may even look forward to it. Meditation is cool because sometimes our minds wander and let us see things that aren’t there. During a recent meditation session,  I envisioned my guardian angel…she was made completely out of ravens and when I looked at her they spread their wings and flew away. Talk about a cool intro to a novel right?! Trust me on this one…meditate! Ideas are just floating in the air.

 

  • Real life-Remember the phrase, “Truth is stranger than fiction?”  Believe it because it’s true! Panda the Very Bad Cat is based on a real cat named Panda who lives on my parent’s farm. He’s been in quite a few sticky situations and one day I decided to write them down. Wallah! A book! Whether it’s a beloved family pet, a kid who fights with his parents about putting on a snowsuit (God Bless Robert Munsch), or a neighbor who grows prize-winning sunflowers, inspiration is all around us.

There are countless other ways to think of things to write about and these are just a few that I’ve decided to touch on. Keep an idea journal, it’s an invaluable tool for all writers and you never know when or where inspiration will strike! Stay tuned for part 3 where I answer the third most asked question…Happy writing!

LLB