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Sales Lesson From a Carny

With summer fair season in full swing, here’s an opportunity to not only see the lamb shearing contest, ride a scary roller coaster, or eat fried Kool-Aid (really!), but to learn from the salesmen, hucksters, and carnival workers (carnies) who get you to part with your dollars.

5 Sales Secrets From the Fair

How do they do it?  They:

  1. Dress the Part – Subtle doesn’t work; look at this photo with Larry Miller of Chimneys-R-US; he looks like a chimney sweep, right? You’ll also see overalls, chef coats, toques, and other outfits that fight for your attention. What’s your sales look?

  2. Talk to Strangers – Regardless of what your mama told you, you’ve gotta meet new friends to turn them into customers. Timid doesn’t belong at a trade show or at carnival.

  3. Sell Benefits, Not Features – I got a masters class in selling from a woman touting a silk comforter. The benefits of a natural, hypo-allergenic, cool, comforting sleep were just a few dollars away…..zzzzzzzz.

  4. Play Show and Tell – Why just tell the benefits when you can show them? Cut open the inside of a mattress, show me the empty bath tub, and display it all. Think props at your next event.

  5. Give a Sample – I had a flower painted on my fingernail, tasted wowza spicy peas, tried a new lipstick, and relaxed in a vibrating chair. All of these “samples” made me want to come home with all of them! What are you sampling?

Did you go to the fair yet? Share your experiences in the comments below.

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