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Farmers Markets

As the summer approaches, the time for Farmer's Markets is upon us.  Farmer's Markets are a great place to set up a booth fairly inexpensively (fees vary depending on who your farmer is).  The goal of a Farmer's Market is to get leads and generate new business.  Here are some tips and ideas on what to bring and what to do at a Farmer's Market.

1.  Bring an "easy up" to provide you with shade.  You will appreciate being out of the sun, it will keep you cooler, which will make your time more enjoyable and you will be nicer to customers.  (The hotter you are, the crankier you tend to get.)

-If you don't have an easy up, can't find one to borrow, and don't want to  purchase one, you can use the back door of your SUV, van, 4-runner, etc.  and use that as a sun blocker.  

2.  You will need to anchor your easy up in some way.  A good cheater's way is to tie the back two ends to your car if the Farmer's Market you are doing allows you to park your car behind your booth.  Then tie your front two ends to a chair that you are sitting in, and your demo table.  If you can't have your car behind your booth, save up four gallon sized milk cartons and fill them with water and tie one to each pole.  

3. On that note, it is a good idea to bring a chair to sit in as farmer's markets are usually several hours long, and it gets tiring being on your feet that whole time, especially during the slow hours.

4.  Have some sort of drawing for people to enter in, so you can collect names, numbers, and e-mail addresses easier.  It doesn't have to be anything big, and you would use the same item for the whole month, that way you have a whole month's worth of Farmer's Markets leads and you only have to put out one prize!  At the bottom of the page there is a great printout for drawing slips.  

Here is a list of some good ideas:

  • Pampered Pantry Bundle (assortment of a few spices and a sauce, good to advertise grilling)
  • Veggie Wedger (it is a farmer's market after all)
  • Kernel Cutter
  • Julienne Peeler
  • Flexible Cutting Boards
  • Apple Wedger Serrated Peele
  • French Fries Wedger 
  • Any Other Item you are Demoing

I like to put all of my leads into my Large Batter Bowl, which shows yet another item, but you don't have to do much with it!  You can get a extra batter bowl lid next time you place a supplies order and cut a slit into it so people can drop their leads through the opening.  For everyone who doesn't win the grand prize, call them up and tell them they won a "Free Cooking Show" which is where you supply all the ingredients.  It gives you an excuse to call them and touch base with them again. 

5.  Demo some tools!  I like to get out one or two of my flexible cutting mats, and then I set up my demo table so I can demo the:

    -Veggie Wedger 

    -Kernel Cutter 

    -Julienne Peeler     

    -Core and More

    -Serrated peeler 

    -Vegetable peeler 

    -Manual Food Processor

    -Simple Slicer

    -Food Chopper
    -A knife (green or forged, whatever you have on hand)
     -French Fry Wedger
    -Pineapple Wedger
     -Anything else you would like to demo!

And where should you get the food to demo?  From the farmer of course!  Many times the farmer's will give their vendors a free bag of vegetables for each day they set up at the market.  This is a great way to get free items to demo, and the food is fresh and looks great! 
        **You should bring a few tablecloths to cover your tables with, which will make your booth look more professional and clean.  If you have a tablecloth with "The Pampered Chef" logo on the front, you should use this one on your front table so people can easily see what your booth is about.  Sometimes people don't know you are The Pampered Chef until they have passed your booth**

6. Bring your old expired catalogs to hand out to passers-by.  Ever wonder what to do with all oft hose old Pampered Chef catalogs and mini catalogs?  This is a great way to put them to use, after all you paid for them, so they might as well be useful instead of throwing them away.  Many people will say "Oh I love The Pampered Chef!  I haven't seen a catalog in years, can I take one?"  And you will of course say "Yes".  While these people make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, they don't always result in an order or a booking.  This way they have something with your name and information on it.  Keep a few host packets on hand for anyone who books a show at the market. 

It is also a good idea to have the current host and guest specials displayed somewhere.  If you don't have room on your table, you can tape them to the front of the table so they are "hanging down"


7.  Offer a booking prize.  Tell them that if they book with you that day, they get a free stone (or whatever item you want to offer) if they host within the next two weeks, a free peeler if they host in the next month, and a free spice if they host after that.  Notice how the prize gets smaller the farther out they book.  Then, you give them the item when they have their show, placing it under their name on their order (after they have used all their free product and half price items.  This way you get commissions and you get their host discount of 15-30%!)

 

8. Sell products!  If you don't have inventory on hand, or someone you can borrow from, you can bring items you have to show, and take catalog orders.  However, most people like to go home with their product and if you can get a hold of someone's inventory it will greatly boost your sales.  REMEMBER!!!!!!! YOU ARE THERE FOR LEADS MORE THAN SALES! So if you just want to offer catalog sales, that is an easy way to go.  

A Few More Pointers

  • Bring lots of water!
  • Bring some baby wipes- they will get the goop off your fingers very easily after handling food and tools
  • Bring a lunch! Many Farmers Markets go through the lunch hour, and you don't want to get low blood sugar, and sluggish from lack of food.
  • Bring pens- you need pens for people to fill out drawing slips and to get people's information if they place an order or want to have a show
  • If you have inventory, bring a printout of product by alphabetical order so you can easily find prices (have a printout of product by item number too.  These two forms can be found in Consultant's Corner under "downloads")
  • To make selling even easier, if you have inventory, write the prices on everything including sales tax for your area so you don't have to look up prices.  I write the prices as a "code" so $5.50 would look like 550, $36.45 would be 3645 etc. that way customers are not sure what the number is in case they are purchasing the product as a gift for someone.

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