Customers; are an immutable part of doing a boat show as a vendor. They are your livelihood, your joy, and your bane. They include:
- The customer who comes by year after year but never buys;
- Those who continually delve for more answers and force you to become more knowledgable;
- The customers who challenge your knowledge and then stay to teach you something new and exciting- awakening you to new opportunity;
- And the ones who are looking for precisely what you have, pay cash and bring their friends back to see your booth.
Those last ones make your day, but not necessarily the show or your career. You need to pay attention to what the other customers say, or you’ll never learn what your booth is missing. Comments from customers that start with: “what I’d really like-” are your cue to listen and take notes.
Some vendors seem to have killer products and happily sell them year after year. Others are on a quest for product development, and our customers offer free product development information. Being a nautical woodcarver is a very niche trade, and I don’t think there is a typical customer.
I’ve had to juggle all the time for cash flow and profits. But It has kept my mind flexible and taught me to keep an eye out for the new and exciting – the hunt for a killer product.