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Retailers: Tips for making the most of Meet the Teacher

Posted By Stacey Trock, Friday, December 18, 2015

As a retailer, you’re probably familiar with Sample It, an event that lets you sample products that you’re considering bringing into your shop. Did you know that there is a kind of Sample It for teachers? That’s right!

Meet the Teacher is a chance for you as a shop owner to ‘sample’ world-class teachers who are looking to come into your shop! The event takes place on Friday evening from 5:30 – 7:00 pm in the Ballroom.

How do you make the most of this opportunity? Here are a few tips.

Know what works for your shop

You run classes in your shop, right? Which classes sell? Which ones attract only a few students? Come armed with those numbers in mind.

And take it a step further: what products sell best in your shop? Do you cater to sock knitters? Fair-isle enthusiasts? Color fanatics?

Chances are that classes along those lines will be the most popular! Keep this in mind when ‘shopping’ for teachers.

Think outside the box

It can be difficult to make bringing in a nationally-renowned teacher monetarily worthwhile. Your clientele needs interested enough to not only cover the teaching fee, but also travel costs.

If this feels out of reach, don’t give up! Do a little brainstorming. Can you combine the class with a book signing by the teacher/author? Cluster together a couple of classes for a full day’s schedule? Rearrange some of the teacher’s topics into an all-day workshop?

Be open with the teachers about your clientele, and they may have some suggestions of their own!

Keep in mind that you’re selling product

It can be expensive to bring in a teacher, but remember that you’re selling product to your students for the class at the same time, which can fill the gap. Consider bringing a list of the lines you carry to compare to the teacher’s class offerings. Does a teacher specialize in sock knitting that might move some of those pricey hand-dyed skeins? Is there a class on colorwork that would require students to purchase multiple skeins? Or maybe a sweater design course that requires the purchase of a whole bag of yarn?

The better you know your shop and have that information on hand at the event, the better you’ll be able to connect with teachers to get the information you need!

Grab information

The event is like speed-dating. You’re not getting married… you’re just checking each other out!

Feel free to grab business cards and course offerings that the teachers have on display. You might not see that teacher visiting your shop next month, but you’ll have their information when you get an idea 6 months later!

Hand out your card, too

Ask the teachers where they are from. It may be too expensive to fly a teacher in from 6 states over, but maybe they come out your way to visit a sibling. Give them your card and ask them to contact you if they’re in your area.

Bringing in teachers is a great way to inject enthusiasm, inspire customers and cultivate a culture of continued learning and happiness in your shop for returning customers. Don’t miss this chance to check out what the teachers have to offer!

Stacey TrockStacey has been bringing cuteness into the yarn world with her adorable stuffed animal designs since 2008. She is well-known for her successful blog, crochet design company and retail site, FreshStitches. She is also the author an author of Cuddly Crochet, Crocheted Softies and Modern Baby Crochet. And because that isn’t enough yarn-goodness, Stacey also teaches internationally in a variety of fiber-y topics including knitting, crochet, dyeing and needlefelting.

Social media:
twitter: @freshstitches
Instagram: staceytrock

Tags:  BCS  business  instruction  needleartsbusiness  teachers  teaching  TNNA 

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