Being a Customer

OakCamp at OakCamp at
Mon Aug 14 17:44:17 EDT 2000

Hi Del, 
I loved your observations, too.
One of the best experiences that helped me with my stand was being next to a 
produce stand at one of our smaller markets.  Kathy acknowledged every person 
that walked up to her stand. She addresed everyone as M'am or Sir (I'm a 
northener so this is not second nature to us as it is in the gracious South). 
 At first I thought this kind of weird, but after watching the results I 
changed my mind.  She sold nothing out of the ordinary but she did it with 
extraordinary service......and she charged more than anyone else!  Her stand 
was always crowded.  
I have to have help at our stand because I believe that it is inconvenient 
for customers to stand in line.  My kids help me and it has been the best way 
to teach them about being curtious and helpful to others.  How to phrase "Did 
you find everything you were looking for?"  which opened up the possibility 
of another sale...instead of "Is that all?"
How to thank everyone for their business instead of saying "$4.50" and 
grabbing the money so they could move on to the next.  I could see in their 
eyes after watching the customer's reaction that this was something they did 
for them, not just a way to make more money.  
I have observed many vendors sit and do nothing, just as you have, and I know 
they must be frustrated as to why few people stop.  Engaging in conversation 
with customers not only makes them feel welome, but allows us to share 
knowledge with them about different herbs we's a way of giving 
better customer service to them.
One other observation I have made about customers is that if there is 1 
person in front of your booth looking around, it always draws another person 
or two.  So when we have a lull in business, I take the opportunity to walk 
around to the front of the booth and clean up, move things around a bit.  It 
always brings people over to the booth!  :-)

Barbara Birkinbine
Oak Camp Herb Farm, OCIA cert
OakCamp at

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