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I was a waitress so long ago but I still live my some of the lessons I learned.

I was a waitress so long ago but I still live my some of the lessons I learned.

As I waitressed through my college years, I learned that being outgoing, friendly, and welcoming earned me bigger tips than efficiency. I had to learn to overcome my natural shyness and really look at my customers and treat them how they wanted to be treated.

Teaching others teaches you.

Teaching others teaches you.

During the years I taught school, I recognized that my state of mind affected my classes. If I was cranky so were they. If I was calm, they became calmer. Really, are kids ever calm? I learned to calm myself even on cranky days.

You are never too old to learn and be happy.

You are never too old to learn and be happy.

I retired and became a vendor. I found that my attitude really affected my sales. On days I was tired, distracted, tense, or down my sales were slower. I had to learn to set my own moods aside and purposely determine to love what I was doing right then. That sometimes put me outside my comfort zone. While it’s not particularly easy to just be happy on demand, you might be surprised at yourself. If you smile, greet people and tell people you’re great when they ask, you find that you actually are.

Some people don’t seem to have a shy bone in their bodies and others of us battle it. I find it helps when I look at my booth as if is my home and every person at the event was invited to my home. Treat everyone who comes to you as an invited and welcome guest.

It’s interesting to note that when a person is reading a book, busy with craftwork, on their phones, eating their lunch, or in a conversation with someone else, we hesitate to interrupt them. I wonder how many people have walked by my booth because my concentration was elsewhere and they didn’t want to disturb me. My job, as I see it, is to be there ready to talk to and help all potential customers.

I learn new and better ways to sell at every event I do to. I’m sure I still have lots to learn. The following are some of the things I’ve learned over time so people come into my booth and potentially buy:
• Smile and greet everyone who passes by and don’t worry if they don’t all respond.
• Find sincere things to compliment people about.
• Talk to children. Perhaps you can kindly teach them expected behavior is your booth. But mostly treat them with respect. Parent’s appreciate that.
• Ask to pet dogs. On hot days you may even want to have water for the dogs. People love their dogs.
• Never let grumpy people get to you or take rude comments personally. Think about making their day better, not letting them bring your day down.
• Keep your concentration on potential customers. Even when you are helping a customer, acknowledge any others that come by.
• Keep moving. Straighten and rearrange your product. I know a vendor who doesn’t even bring a chair.
• Be careful not to appear pushy or desperate for a sale. Relax and enjoy.
• Love your product and show your excitement and love for it.
• Don’t be afraid to make friends. There are really wonderful people in this world.
• Keep all of your talk positive.
• Attempt the skill of making the person you are talking with the most important one in your life at that moment.
• Sometimes, you’ll run across people that are in great need of lots of conversation and human contact. Talk with them, but learn to kindly say, ‘excuse me’ to help someone else rather than get pulled away from your real job.
• Make friends with other vendors. You are all makers taking a risk with the public. There is a lot you can do to help one another.

It truly is amazing the wonderful people you will meet and the friends you will make. I am always thrilled when a customer comes back to buy more or brings a friend over. Believe me when I say, they do this because they liked you and not just your product.

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