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Let Them See It, Touch It, Hear It, Taste It, Smell It by Bob Baker

A couple of weekends ago, I went to a country fair held at a place called Eckert's Farm just across the river from St. Louis in Millstadt, IL. There were pony rides, face painting, and strawberry picking . . . but what really caught my attention was the arts and crafts area. About a dozen or more tables and tents were set up to sell everything from country wood crafts to scented candles to hand-sewn clothing.

One resourceful woman was hawking her packages of spices and seasonings that could be mixed with sour cream and other goodies to make tasty dips and spreads. While many of the crafters sat quietly behind their tables -- some reading books, others occasionally saying "hello" to passersby -- this woman was enthusiastically inviting people to come over and sample her dips.

"I've got five different flavors here," she announced to potential buyers as she placed a dollop on a cracker. "We'll just start with this one and go down the line. Then tell me which one you like most." Needless to say, there was always a small gathering around her booth . . . and a lot of dollars being exchanged.

As I walked to another section of the crafts area, I noticed a small boy peering at one of the handmade toy airplanes on the table. Mom was right behind, asking him to keep his hands to himself. "It's okay, he can play with it if he wants," the crafter offered. "Here son. You can even spin the propeller."

Not far away, a seamstress was asking an interested visitor to try on one of her vests and letting her see what she looked like in a mirror.

What was going on here with these three creative marketers? They were using a selling concept as old as the hills: Get the prospect directly involved with the product, and you're halfway toward a sale.

How do most people make a final decision on buying a car? Do they make up their mind by looking at the car and listening to the sales person talk about it? Or do they get behind the wheel and drive it?

The vast majority of music CD sales come about as a result of fans either hearing a band perform live, hearing a song on the radio, or seeing a music video. Simply reading a favorable review rarely inspires action in music consumers. Experiencing the music through their ears (and enjoying the sensation) is what motivates people to reach for their wallets.

So, how are you stimulating the senses of your potential customers?

More questions:

Can you give away free samples?
Does your creative offering lend itself to taste, smell, touch, hearing, or sight?
What combination of some or all of the five senses could you use to stir up interest?
How can you get customers directly involved with your talents before they buy?
Find a way to involve people in your creative product or service, and you may soon find a line of customers waiting to sample (and buy) what you have to offer.

This article copyrighted by Bob Baker.

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