The Value Of A Customer When Markets Seem Slow

When attending Markets, and Community Events, it’s easy to get discouraged when Markets seem slow. Yet, with Watkins, it’s not just the Event Sales that matter!

Sometimes, at larger Community Events, like the Digby Wharf Rat Rally, Digby Scallop Days, Shelburne Founders Days, and Liverpool Privateer Days, we may have product sales of $500 or more! Which seems very exciting!

However, at smaller Markets, especially new ones, like the Crafters and Farmers Market in the Digby Mall on Saturday and Sundays, it’s easy to become discouraged! It’s not really that there’s not a good selection of Vendors there; there are usually a great selection of Vendors there! Ranging in number from about 15 – 20 with everything from crafts, and ceramics, to Watkins Products and Rappie Pie! However, it takes a while for the word to get out and for the number of visitors to increase.

Even though the Vendors have seen sales double in the first month, or two, at the new Market, sales still aren’t ideal and it is easy to become discouraged. However, becoming discouraged to early in the life of a new Market can mean missing out on more than just the daily sales!

I’m not sure of the margins the other Vendors have, how many customers it takes them to be happy, or what their mark ups and costs are. However, I know the basic principle applies to most Vendors. So, I’ll use the numbers I know, those for Watkins Associates, to show the value of a Customer when Markets seem slow.

Let’s say we have a Saturday with about $40 in Sales, and another with about $60, and a couple of days over $100. Although we’d love to see all our days hitting $100 – $150! An average of $75 is not really so bad!!! ((Especially at a new Market))

Here’s why…

If we were left to rely on just our one time daily sales, we’d be in trouble!

However, estimating each sale to be about $15 means we have about 5 Customers per day!

So, let’s say over the weekend we gain 10 new customers; or about 40 new Customers each month. If customers only buy the once, then that would be about $600 in monthly sales!

At 25% Commission we’d earn about $150 and have to pay out at least $65 for the space and by the time we calculate our other expenses we’d be good to break even!

However, if we stay in touch with our customers, and say 1/4 (25%) of our Customers reorder monthly, then things begin to take on a new aspect! Let’s say that of our new 40 Customers about 10 of them place a $25 monthly order. That now means we are increasing our monthly sales by $250/month and we’re earning an extra $60 or so a month!

For Watkins Associates as we sell more we earn more bonus commissions and therefore increased sales means increased incomes!

With other Vendors, repeat and increased sales, mean things like bulk buying of supplies, and therefore a better margin and thus more income.

For those Vendors who do not have consumable items like Watkins Products or Baked Goods and Preserves (which are also available at the Digby Crafters and Farmers Market) it may seem like these reasons are not applicable to them!However, as repeat customers return to those Vendors with more consumable items, the overall number of customers increases and this increase in customers brings more sales to all Market Vendors.

As Visitor numbers increase and more and more people discover the Market and have positive experiences, they begin to tell others and word of mouth will help bring even more people to the Market.

The secret then is time… keeping a smiling face and providing a good customer experience to those who do visit the Market and realizing the potential value of a Customer!

That value includes not only the initial purchase, but also includes repeat sales, word of mouth advertising, referrals, and all the spin off that comes from this when every Customer is seen, and treated as not only a valuable asset, but as a friend and welcome guest!

Perhaps reading this you may think things at local Markets are to slow to mak it worthwhile! Not so, the examples I’ve used are based on the first month or so of the new Crafters and Farmers Market in the Mall in Digby, Nova Scotia.This particular Market is experiencing growth and has a wonderful group of Vendors, with room for a few more. Market Visitors are given a hearty welcome and positive experience, and often leave with a smile and a special find at great prices!

PS: By the way, with our Watkins Customers we have about 25 – 30% who order monthly and with an average monthly order of at least $25 – $30! So, with just 40 new Customers we not only obtain the original $600 or so in up front sales; we also generate about $250 – $300 / month in ongoing sales! Since all Watkins Associates earn at least 25%, that means earnings of about $60 – $70/month (or about $800 /Year!) Remember, that’s from an initial group of about 40 Customers! That means that each Customer is worth about $20/Yr. So, let’s say that we pick up just 500 new Customers over the course of a year…
That can mean having 100, or more, monthly orders of say $28 for a monthly total of $2800/month (which means becoming a Watkins Manager and earning 39%) or earnings of about $1092/month (that’s ongoing income of about $13,104/Yr. That’s not bad for a market where we get just 5 – 10 new Customers per day!

We are currently looking for a couple of people to help us cover this and other local Markets and Community Events. If you, or someone you know, may be interested in earning an income with Watkins please contact us. Markets are just one of the many ways to earn an income with Watkins!

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