Posts Tagged ‘food’

The art of selling

Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

I love going to Craft Fairs and other sorts of markets. There are so many talented people around who make the most beautiful jewellery, textile art, hand knitted and crocheted items, woodwork, photography, hand crafted cards, cakes, biscuits and other foods. There is always something special to buy, and some new ideas to pick up.

But unfortunately I often find that these events aren’t as enjoyable as they should be because the majority of the craftspeople and market stallholders don’t know how to sell.

When a prospective customer approaches a stall, the seller should greet them by standing up, smiling, saying hello and having eye contact. That tells the customer that they are welcomed and that it’s ok to look at the goods, pick them up and to ask questions. Unless a customer feels welcomed and at ease touching the goods and asking questions, they will never turn from a looker into a buyer.

I cannot understand the mentality of stallholders who don’t do this. I’ve looked at so many stalls where I would have liked to have picked something up and ask a question but haven’t been able to because the stallholder has chosen not to acknowledge my presence.

When I’ve tried to catch a sellers eye, I’ve had them sitting down texting or playing with their phone, reading, deep in conversation with the person on the next stall, with their back towards me or just ignoring me.

What’s my reacton to this? I don’t pick up the item I’m interested in. I don’t ask my question. I don’t turn from a looker into a buyer and I move on to the next stall.

I’m left disappointed because I haven’t been able to buy what I was interested in, and the seller has lost a sale.

Surely it’s common courtesy to smile and say hello to someone who comes into your ’space’ even if that space is in front of a market stall. When a craftsperson has spent time, money and effort making something beautiful and gone to the trouble of paying for a market stall and travelling to the market, I would have thought that they would be really enthusiastic about talking to prospective customers. But they don’t seem to be.

Yesterday I went into a local hall where there was a Craft and Food Market. It was lunchtime and I’d been out all morning and wanted to buy something to eat.

I found a stall that was covered in delicious looking homemade cakes and scones. I love cheese scones and thought I would buy a couple. I couldn’t see a price on them, so I looked up to ask the stallholder.

She had her back to me, and was engrossed in converstion with the lady on the next stall. I waited, thinking ’she’ll notice me in a minute’. But she didn’t. I waited a bit longer thinking ‘the other lady will tell her she’s got a customer in a minute’. But she didn’t.

There was a small boy sitting behind the stall. He looked at me without smiling. I nearly asked him how much the scones were, but decided at around 5 he was too young to be expected to sell things when his mother couldn’t be bothered to. I wondered if he might tell her that she had a customer, but he didn’t.

I waited a little longer looking longingly at the scones, and then moved on disappointed and hungry. I could have interrupted her, but I would have had to shout and really why should I?

I wish people would learn how to sell if they don’t have that natural ability. It frustrates and upsets me when I see people with wonderful products that they not only don’t try to sell but actively put off their customers.

Cold weather and hot food

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Thankfully the weather has warmed up a few degrees today. Last week it was really cold.

I spent most of the week in the lounge which was a little bit warmer than the rest of the house. It was so cold in the kitchen that I couldn’t stay in it for long. I had to put on an extra jumper and quickly get some food or make a cup of tea.

It’s a good thing that since I was made redundant last December, I’ve got into cooking. I’ve been making stews and casseroles in the slow cooker, and cakes and baked apples and roast joints in the oven. I like to fill up the oven when it’s on which meant that I had extra portions to put in the freezer.

So when the kitchen was too cold to stay in, I could get some already cooked food out of the freezer, defrost and heat it in the microwave and have a nourishing, hot meal to help fend off the effects of the cold weather.

Home grown salad

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Home grown salad

Last year, I grew some runner beans. I enjoyed watching them grow, and I loved being able to walk down to the bottom of the garden, pick them, cook them and eat them straight away with all their freshness and flavour intact.

This year, I decided I’d expand my vegetable garden. I’m growing runner beans again, but I’m also trying courgettes, beetroot, lettuce, parsley and coriander. I already had mint and sage.

This salad is made from a couple of beetroot leaves and a few lettuce leaves cut from the growing lettuce. I’ve added some chunks of cheese, some sunflower seeds, and half an orange pepper.

It was lovely – fresh and tasty, and it was so nice that I had prepared it from leaves I had just picked in the garden.

I think I’m going to enjoy growing vegetables!

Winter wonderland

Sunday, January 10th, 2010

The snow hasn’t melted yet, and it’s still really, really cold. I’m having difficulty keeping warm, but I expect it’s the same for lots of people. The newscasters have been saying that we’re having the coldest winter here in the UK for 30 years, then I heard that it was the coldest since 1963, and I even heard one newscaster say it was the coldest winter for a hundred years! I expect they’ll sort it out soon and let us know what it really is.

I’ve been snowed in for a week now. The main roads aren’t clear, and my estate road is treacherous. The car is snowed into the drive, and I haven’t attempted to dig it out. If the road clears, then I’ll start digging.

It’s quite fun walking around my village in wellies ploughing through deep snow. I’ve managed to get some milk and bread from the village shop, so together with what’s in the freezer and the cupboards, I’m ok for food now. Work was closed for most of last week because of the snow, but on Friday they were open. I walked up to the main road to have a look at it’s condition, and decided that I wouldn’t be driving on compacted snow and ice.

While I was out, I saw a couple of buses. Frequent buses are a new novelty in my village, so I decided that I’d go to work on the bus. It was fun. I had a wonderful view of the stunning beauty of the snow covered countryside.

Once the bus dropped me in the town, the roads and pavements were clear. They must have been gritted more often than the rural main roads. I went to the supermarket after work to get a bit of food, but realised that I wouldn’t be able to carry much as it was a bit of a walk after I got off the bus. I managed to get the essentials though.

You have to be a lot more organised and prepared if you haven’t got a car waiting to take you and your shopping home. I keep a torch in the car, and I remembered to take it with me, in case it was dark by the time I needed to walk home from the bus stop. I knew there wouldn’t be a Moon to light my way home as it would have already set.

I could have done with a rucksack as well though. That would have been a much easier way to carry the shopping, and it would have kept my hands free to steady myself if I slipped. So now I’ve got one of those rucksacks that folds up really small and can go at the bottom of my bag, because I enjoyed going on the bus and I’m planning to do it again.

This is one of my snowy shots…..

Winter wonderland

Catching up

Friday, January 16th, 2009

I’ve missed posting for a few days. That’s because I haven’t been feeling very well. I’ve been aching all over with a cold and a sore throat and hurting glands. I think I’m a bit better today, but not regained my strength or cheerfulness yet. Life can be a struggle at the best of times, but when you’re not feeling well it’s like having to climb up a huge hill. Even preparing food can be too much of a challenge, and that’s not good if you’re ill anyway and need to eat to get enough strength to get better.
The predicted mild week disintegrated after two days and we returned to fog and frost. I can see a little bit of sunshine today, so maybe spring won’t be too far away. It would be good to see the earth begin to burst into new life bringing hope with it.