There are three things that can be done endlessly:
- Buying materials for what you love.
- Doing what you love.
- Talking about customer-master relationships.
No training will give you the same experience as talking to and corresponding with “live” customers.
Sometimes you sit and think: what did he/she want to say with those five emoticons, or what is behind the persistent silence?
Agree that live communication in sales and selling through correspondence are different things. In correspondence, we have an opportunity to take at least a short pause to think about how to write, to choose words, and maybe even to call for help emoticons!
However, “selling through correspondence” has enough difficulties: it is necessary to write clearly and formulate your thoughts and technical nuances accurately.
At the same time, let’s be honest: it is not always the buyer wrongly formulated his/her wishes, but we do not understand what he/she meant or what he/she does not understand.
If I mainly described customers’ behavior in the article “Type of customers in handmade,” I would like to touch upon the peculiarities of communication with customers in correspondence ways to achieve mutual understanding.
Buyers from classifieds sites
Rarely does an artisan “keep all her eggs in one basket.” Many try to use different opportunities to promote the results of their labor. One such opportunity is a popular classifieds site for almost anything and handmade products.
Every country has one or two popular sites where anyone can publish their ads for free. These sites sell everything. There are new things and already used. The advantage of this site is its attendance. There are a lot of visitors.
I don’t always understand how to communicate with buyers from such sites. They often write one-word messages. You can’t load them up with information. If you have three variants of the same product in one ad that differ only in color, this is bad – you risk losing the buyer.
There is a chance that he/she will be unable to choose which variant he/she wants. The buyer wants to buy quickly without thinking or delving into the difficulties. Explaining why the product in photo 1 differs from the product in photo 2 will only worsen the situation. Attempts to ask questions to offer the most appropriate option will produce the same result.
When customers on this site ask, “Please send me a link to the entire assortment,” I know there’s a 90% chance the customer won’t return.
What’s a crafter to do? Following the “one listing – one product” principle is best. If your goal is to sell, there is no need to try to impress the buyer with the breadth of your creativity. Develop a simple and understandable communication style for the potential buyer who chooses goods on such resources.
So that your message is clear: what it looks like, what size, what price, how to get it. If you have several similar products in one listing, you can use this phrase: “I recommend option 2 – it is the most popular among women/moms/kids”. This is likely to work.
Buyers on social networks
Promotional experts believe that users come to social networks mainly to have fun, not to buy. This may be a somewhat outdated view, but it is a fact. In my experience, potential buyers on social networks ask more questions. Their interest fades quickly, or they find another offer.
And they also ask to specify which works are in stock and which – to order, even if this information is defined under each photo. You need to select all 180 items in stock and copy them one by one into the message.
In this case, giving a link to your store on Etsy or your site is easier. However, this is not always helpful to potential buyers from social networking sites. Often they write, “I do not see where it says which product is in stock and which is not. And they often disappear, too – it’s boring for them to figure it out.
One customer asked me to give her the link to my social networking page because she wanted to see my work. I gave her the link to my group and wrote that all the work was on that link. I asked, did you see it? She replied: There was some group, so I closed it.
Another lady tried to order two knitted cats from me. I don’t knit at all. She looked at the “saved pictures” section, where I saved all the pretty pictures. All the strength of marketing is powerless if customers don’t understand at least minimally how to interact with websites.
What should a crafter do? The only way to influence sales in social networks is to develop your store. The page should be understandable. The product, its price, and its characteristics – are obvious, the button “buy” – is noticeable, and the reaction to the purchase – is prompt.
If the buyer can’t understand the technical nuances but is ready to choose and set up to buy, he/she has to find an approach – send the information he needs in the form and place where it is more convenient for him/her to understand it – for example, to e-mail.
– Messaging with the client. Possible misunderstandings
Buyers on Etsy
Buyers here are often more ” educated. ” And quite technically advanced. They found the site, were able to register, and found the “message to seller” or “buy” button. Many are artists themselves. And to communicate here, on the one hand, is easier – the buyer is ready to communicate, discuss, and negotiate. The functionality is more convenient. On the other hand, here, too, some buyers behave differently.
New buyer on Etsy
I’m talking about a buyer who is new to Etsy and has yet to purchase history or reviews. New buyers often put everything in their cart or write a personal message saying, “I want this, three pieces.
I’m wary of new buyers. I always ask for prepayment for large orders, especially if only some things are in stock. If it’s a repeat of something already in my store, and I know it will still be sold, I do not ask for prepayment.
Pre-pay 100% for the goods and shipping I always have, and there have been no difficulties so far. But if a new buyer begins to “haggle,” asking about courier services that I do not have on the list or offers to pay only half and the other half after receiving the parcel, I politely decline.
If the deal is done, I always send new buyers everything quickly and track number to report almost immediately after sending. I also reply to messages quickly, asking if the parcel has arrived and whether I like it. So that they are as worried as possible – after all, in a sense, it will depend on me whether they trust Etsy and other artisans or whether they will be disappointed and leave right away.
What to do? Do as I do. Be vigilant, but do your best to ensure the buyer understands you and is satisfied. Answer quickly, communicate politely, and tell them where and what to look. Such an attitude the buyer will surely notice, appreciate, remember, and be sure to come back again!
Overly enthusiastic customers
“Oh, you have everything so beautiful-beautiful! You are so good-good-good work! I want it all!” and two dozen smiley faces.
Sound familiar? Me too. At this point, I’m thinking about chemistry. Not about chemistry as a science but about the chemistry inside the customer. Maybe the customer liked everything. Now on emotion, she will put all the goods in the cart, and then she “cools down” – it is impossible to admire and rejoice forever. Or she will soberly look at the purchase amount, or a big angry husband will not appreciate the raptures/color/amount/quantity. And it will start – then gone, then “I’ll think about it,” then “and you can keep one thing, but redo it in a different color.
What should an artisan do? Be polite and patient! Support the buyer’s delight with gratitude, praise her for excellent taste and choice, ask qualifying questions, and recommend the best product version, considering her interests and desires. Help to make the right choice, and explain why this particular choice is the right one.
I don’t know why, but sometimes a buyer isn’t a buyer but helps someone buy something. It is almost impossible to find out who exactly wants your product. The mediator usually only knows some features – whether the color, size, and so on will fit. But all the criticisms will eventually go to the artisan. That’s why I always ask the real buyer to contact me.
I don’t know what the problem is, but not everyone agrees with this. I can’t think of a reason not to contact the artisan directly. Unless the mediator “sells” the work to the end consumer as exclusive and takes a percentage for him/herself?
What should an artisan do? Ask questions, and clarify the nuances. Again, ask questions about whether the end consumer will like this version. And how is it going to use? And sure, will it go with the interior/dress/hairstyle? Let the mediator find out all the necessary details, too. Yes, it may look like nerdiness, but why would you want to deal with complaints later?
Unfamiliar site/store structure
A buyer can simply write to you: “Where can I see here? She is interested in buying and wants to buy a product, but she doesn’t want to understand where your collection is or where the size is listed. Perhaps she is not planning to use this site regularly, and therefore the knowledge of “what and how” she needs for a very short period. Yes, many people don’t want to understand; they need to be shown and told where to click and how to choose, pay and leave a review.
Customers often ignore purchases through the cart and write personal messages. I once realized that they don’t do it intentionally; it’s more convenient for them. And it’s true. It’s enough just to write a message on one resource. On another, it’s necessary to go through several registration steps. On the third – find the “add to cart” button.
The easiest way is to write. It’s inconvenient for the seller. If there is a lot of correspondence with buyers at once, you must be careful to keep things from being mixed up.
And customers also don’t read the rules of the store. And you have to long and tediously rewrite personal messages delivery terms and payment options. If you give a link to the rules – you get the feeling that it’s rude, but what if the buyer is touchy…
What the master to do? Be patient. Again. Maybe these buyers are just very friendly – and then the whole “didn’t see, didn’t read” is a chance to strike up a conversation, to get to know the buyer better. It’s worth the time, even if the buyer doesn’t choose the product from you. Positive emotions and attention bring them back to your store in the future.
It is essential to try to write to the buyer so that she does not feel she is being lectured or dissatisfied. For example: read the rules first, then ask questions. Explain in a friendly way why, for example, it’s better to order via cart and what’s the convenience and benefit for the buyer. Create instructions in pictures for such cases, especially since these cases are not so rare.
Please execute a large order in a short time
Oh, these holidays! Beginning correspondence on “I want to give the girls at the office your toys. Can you make a couple of days 15 pieces; they are small, it’s not long?
No, it’s a long time. And even if you have everything you need in stock. And you also want, at the very least, to sleep and eat. And I feel sorry for the back, eyes, and hands – I still need them. And the buyer is upset – how come such a great idea and the master does not want to meet and fulfill a dream? They also demand a discount for a large order. And the fact that for urgency in stores respecting themselves, on the contrary, they take extra money from buyers – all somehow forget.
What to do? Try to understand which products in your store are the most popular and on what occasions. Some products are more often taken before the holidays. Try to make them in the right quantity beforehand.If the buyer agrees – fine. If not, then it’s okay, too.
No matter how big and attractive the order is, you must be realistic about what you can do. Assess the possibility of surprises. For example, in the fall and spring, I always consider whether there is a chance of catching a cold during this period. Nonsense, maybe paranoia, but there have been precedents – an order needs to be fulfilled, and I’m lying sick.
If in doubt – honestly warn the customer about the timing. If the client disagrees? Well, next time, maybe you’ll make a deal.
– Messaging with the client. Possible misunderstandings
Inconsistent discussion of the order
Some customers live in their own world, so you have to guess what exactly he/she means. There is a dialog like this in correspondence:
– Buyer – Is the toy available?
– Seller – Good afternoon! Yes, there are two options. Which one do you like better?
– Buyer – I need one next week.
– Seller – Got it. You can pick it up next week.
– Buyer – I don’t know what option.
– Seller – I’ll recommend option 1. It’s the most popular.
– Buyer – Okay. When can you give it to me?
– Seller – From 9 to 18, I’m at work, you can come up (address); from 20 to 22, you can pick me up at my house (address); you can meet me at 18.30 on the subway (list of stations).
– Buyer – What area do you work in? My husband is coming to get the toy.
– Seller – (once again writing the address).
– Buyer – Thank you. I will call you.
Further – silence for several days. The weekend passes.
– Buyer – Are you asleep?
Monday, 6:30 a.m:
– Seller – Not anymore. Going to work.
Silence again. Next – Monday 9.40 (artist at work):
– Buyer – Didn’t you bring a toy with you?
Oh, of course, I did! Because my intuition told me to take it. Next comes an equally confusing attempt to once again clarify the address, time, and place of delivery, an effort to organize family members to meet with the master.
Probably a third of all my orders are discussed in this form. The customer jumps from question to question, does not answer them, and clarifies what has already been written more than once. Some end up mixing things up.
Sometimes selling is the exception rather than the rule. It’s a miracle that we managed to reach an agreement… I often think that something is wrong with me and that I don’t know how to communicate; I don’t understand people. And when a customer comes along who remembers everything, reads everything, chooses for him/herself – he/she also starts to seem strange to me.
What is a artisan to do? This is a difficult case, of course. It is tough to “make,” the buyer on the other side of the monitor think, decide, and answer faster. Prepare a file with the answers to the most common questions – address, product description; at least you won’t have to write the same thing every time; it will be enough to copy it; you will save time.
Another option is to notify the customer that all orders received by that time will be done the next day or the day after, for example. You won’t have to worry that you didn’t foresee something. You’ve warned.
The next chapter here.