Across from me was one of the largest colored facetted stone
dealers in the USA. He did not make expenses at the show from his
booth. He had I would estimate over a million dollars worth of
inventory and sat reading the paper most of the show.
I read this quote and realized that maybe the reason this dealer did
so poorly is because he was reading the paper in the first place.
Activities such as reading, talking on the cell phone, and talking
to other dealers at a show, put the message across to the buyers
that you are bored and your product is undesirable. If sales are
slow at a show, try to look busy by cleaning your cases, rearranging
your inventory or such. If you can engage a buyer in conversation
about anything, even if it's asking advice on good restaurants in
town, other buyers percieve you to be engaged in a business
transaction and will come over out of curiosity.
I totally agree that we, as American craftspeople cannot compete
with lower cost imports coming over from overseas. What I try to do
is to offer a totally unique product. When I go to Tucson in
February, more than half of my dealers and over 80% of what I spend
goes to American dealers by coincidence. I shop with companies that
go to great lengths to provide material ( mainly cabs) that nobody
else has. Price is less important to me. It is irrelavent if I can
mark the piece up and sell it. I'm finding more and more that my
customers are shying away from faceted colored stones. They can buy
them on QVC for heaven sakes!!! They also have expressed fear that
they are supporting terrorism by buying them.