To Market I Go - Five Tips on Getting There

I will be the first to admit that I have never taken part in a Farmer's Market before, so take that into consideration when you read this post. I am speaking in theory alone. Sure, I have been to LOTS and LOTS of markets as a consumer, but this will be my first time on the other side of the table. But also take into consideration that I started my career with a branding and packaged goods agency and have spent the last 18 years helping other people market their products, so I think I have a good foundation for the 5 tips I am about to share.

Just because it is a Farmer's Market and all the items for sale are either home made or home grown (ie. small farmers and people like me), your product still needs to look professional. Signs should not be hand-written. This does not add appeal to the consumer or make your business look professional and trust worthy. People are drawn to the product in your jar because it looks appealing, but before they even get to your jar they have to be drawn to your table.

Don't make people have to speak to you to know the price. Just because it is a farmer's market and you LOVE talking to your customers and other vendors at the market, not everyone is as open or chatty as you. Some people even though they enjoy the idea of the market, still like the anonymity of a Loblaw's or Metro. So have a price list available and make your pricing clear and easy to see and understand.

One of the things that differentiates you from the person at the table across the market from you is your story. On a busy day, you might not have the opportunity to speak to every person that comes to your table and you may miss the chance to let someone know that all the ingredients you use are sourced locally, are organic or fair trade or even grown in your own garden. Have your story printed somewhere that visitors to your table can see if they are interested.

You know how good your products taste, but don't assume that your enthusiasm for the product is shared by anyone other than yourself. Sample, sample, sample. It could be the difference between a sale and having someone walk from your table.

You or the person working your table, represent your product. Dress appropriately, look professional and approachable and most importantly - be CLEAN! Don't chew gum, eat your Tim Horton's donut or chew your nails, etc.

I hope tomorrow I manage to follow all 5 of the tips above. I feel ready - do I look ready?