Why Being Decisive When Selling Gift Baskets Makes You Stronger

by Shirley George Frazier on July 30, 2014

Gift Basket Business. Copyright Shirley George Frazier. All rights reserved.The heat in Chicago was oppressive the year I traveled there to speak at a gift basket convention.

Still, there were lots of people outside walking to their destinations.

In my free time I left the hotel to explore the city. A homeless man approached me and asked for money. I began explaining to him that I was a visitor and didn’t have extra change, but in the middle of my explanation, he sucked his teeth in disgust and walked away.

He seemed more annoyed at my long-winded excuse for not having money than the fact that I wasn’t giving him money. That, in turn, annoyed me even though my financial situation was better.

I recall that exchange each time someone ordering a gift basket asks me for:

  • A discount or price reduction
  • Extra goodies at no cost
  • Special services free of charge

My response is not long winded, layered with excuses, or passive in any sense. I get to the point without being curt (since this is a client) so the customer knows their request is not possible. Sales scripts can be useful to keep the conversation on track, which is available in the Golden Basket Club.

If you’re the type of person who gives others a heartfelt response that’s meant to pacify and soothe the listener, I urge you to reconsider how you respond. You may be putting too much energy into “no.” Such energy may be necessary when children ask, “Why?,” but that complication ends at adulthood.

Of course, each sales situation will be different, but recognize that you don’t have to hold a person’s hand when denying their request. They’re likely to suck their teeth in disgust, just like the homeless man, and view you as incapable of getting to the point. As a gift basket designer, you can do better.


Why Attending Gift Trade Shows is Time Well Spent

by Shirley George Frazier on July 23, 2014

Gift basket business. Copyright Shirley George Frazier. All rights reserved.Never have I thought that gift shows are a waste of time, that it wouldn’t be worth the effort to travel to a place where I can browse, sample, and possibly select delicious items and lovely gifts that clients want in gift baskets.

Whether you’ve attended gift trade shows or haven’t yet attended, let me list the positives.

1. You can eat everything.

Exhibitors want to sell, but they also know that sampling snacks and goodies helps you convince your customers to buy.

2. You can examine everything.

Nothing is wrapped or untouchable (unless posted signs ask you not to touch). How else can you decide what’s great for your designs?

3. Each booth is similar to a grand opening.

Where else can you be surrounded by new merchandise? You can share the news with clients who’ll get excited about what they’ll buy.

The only negative that immediately comes to mind is that you decide not to attend, and that puts your gift basket business at a disadvantage.

Clients are looking for freshness and a spark in your design work. That won’t happen with the same merchandise they know and have already purchased.

Each time I attend a trade show, I share my findings in the Golden Basket Club and have done so since the Club’s inception. Designers who are in the Club save time and money because they don’t have to attend shows outside of their immediate area.

If you’re not in a metropolitan trade show area such as New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Chicago, and Atlanta, that’s fine. There are many more shows, and my guess is that one is close to you. Find it, attend, and see what’s new, popular, and appropriate for gift baskets. It’s worth your time because it makes you money.

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