What Conversation Opener Helps Put You at Ease?

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As I get back into doing art shows, I am reminded how small the booth space really is. Step into the tent and people's personal space bubbles naturally start overlapping. It can be a good thing or uncomfortable, depending on personal preferences, needs, and wants.

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As the "host", I see it as my job to help you feel comfortable. One way is to find a conversation starter that puts people at ease. At the show this past weekend, I simply asked people (after saying hello) to let me know if they had any questions. I got three basic responses:

1. Thank you. And the customer looked at a few things and then continued on their way around the festival.

2. Thank you. And the customer started chatting with me. There were no direct questions, exactly, but this seemed to open up a conversation in a way that was customer-driven. It led to conversations about the weather, the festival, and, eventually, the artwork.

3. I have questions, but I don't know where to start. This seemed to be an invitation for me to take more of the lead in the conversation. In this case, I offered information about my process--making the paper, layering it onto canvas, etc.--until the customer started asking their own questions or offering information about themselves. The conversation, then, took on a more natural give-and-take.

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My question is, as a customer, what conversation opener(s) help put you at ease? Are there things that sales people do that turn you off? How can I help you feel comfortable when you visit my booth?

Cheers!--Janyce

Ways you can support my art: tell a friend about it, click the "LIKE" button on my facebook page, "pin" a post on Pinterest, purchase greeting cards from my Fine Art America shop, and shop for an original art collage here on this website.

Save the date for the Underhill, VT Harvest Market September 24 and 25, 2016.