Attractive girls at a merch booth

A few attractive looking girls never hurt the cause.

You could just straight up ask, of course. It doesn't always work, but there's nothing wrong with trying.

For the rest of you timid and quiet types, there are always other sneaky ways of closing the sale and getting people to buy your stuff. Some of it will still involve talking though, so you might have to work on that aspect of your game a little. This is no longer the 8th grade school dance with girls on one wall and boys on the other. It's time to engage, connect and dominate your booth. It's like my grandma always said; you chat or you bat. I still don't know what that means. She was going senile.

Anyway, what you want to do is give people blackmail incentives to purchase your goods. Give them a reason to buy and if they still don't, they probably weren't a customer anyway. Just move on. Don't give too much thought to those who walk away.

So let's get down to bee's wax. Here are 9 awesome ways you can manipulate ask for the sale and make more pocket-green!

1. Offer A Discount

If your customer is talking you up but doesn't appear any closer to shelling out dough for something, it may be wise to offer them a hickey discount (you did allow for a bit of a margin on your merch, right?). It's human nature; a bargain is hard to pass up, and if it's something they really want to buy anyway, they'll probably walk away with your goods. Catch the impulse buyers early in the transaction.

2. Throw Something In For Free

People love free stuff. It's like those iTunes download cards they give away at Starbucks. Even when I know that there are too many steps to the download process, I always pick them up and take them home anyway. Stupid cards. If I wasn't so addicted to their black tea lemonade, I wouldn't frequent Starbucks so often.

If a customer is about to walk away but they seem interested in something specific, throw something else in for free and see what happens. You might have a bite.

3. Offer Another Perk

People get pretty creative with their Kickstarter campaigns, don't they? If you're looking to close the deal, you could offer a free painting lesson, a tour of your studio, or a house concert. You could even offer to be their dinner date. Just don't suggest the dinner date idea to someone creepy. That could be risky. And scary.

If it's a big ticket item you're selling, just throw in a bunch of cheap affordable swag (buttons, coasters, stickers, etc.) to seal the deal.

4. Offer To Sign The Merchandise

If you're an author, designer, musician or other visible entity of your business, you could offer to sign whatever item the customer seems interested in. Sometimes, over the long haul, this does increase the value of the goods purchased (hello, eBay). People like stuff that's custom tailored to them specifically.

5. Suggest An Alternative

A wise man once said you have eight ears and one mouth, so use them proportionately. Wait… two ears. Sorry, wrong planet.

Look, sometimes we're just not great listeners and when we think a prospect wants one thing, they might really want another. Or maybe they haven't decided yet. If something just isn't right, take your attention away from one item and put it on another. See if they go for it.

6. Allow Customers to Name Their Own Price

Not only is allowing your customers to name their own price an effective tactic, many have found that they are no worse off financially for it. Some will give you $20 for a $10 item, some will give you the asking price, some will give you less, and some will try to pay you with goats. Nothing against goats, but money is probably a better trade. Unless you've always wanted a goat. I won't judge.

7. Donate A Percentage Of Your Profits To Charitable Causes

You might already be giving a percentage of your merch income to charity or other causes, but unless your buyers are aware of it, there isn't as much of a point to it. You're not exploiting using the situation to your advantage. You could always have a sign or a pamphlet that talks about the causes you give to and why you're passionate about them. You could tell people upfront as they approach your table.

People are in to this kind of stuff. They want to support a good cause if they know that it actually furthers their agenda helps humanity. 

8. Hand Them The Item

Here's a bit of a sneaky sales tactic. If your customer seems interested in a particular piece, take their hand and put the item in their palm. It is one thing to look, but it's quite another to touch and feel. Your prospect just might end up wanting to hold onto what is already in their hand. If so, score. If not, at least you tried. Just don't drop a heavy item on their hand. It might make for a funny story, but it will probably be a deal-breaker.

9. Share A Story

In case you hadn't noticed, people like stories. A lot. Share a crazy story about someone who bought your swag and somehow wound up on a boat three days later with a unicorn tattoo and legally married to a Jamaican (warning: product benefits might include a tattoo and marriage to a Jamaican).

Just in case there's any confusion, I'm not suggesting that you make up stories. However, you are allowed to take some creative liberties and exaggerate a little.

Can you think of other creative ways to close the sale? Try me! Leave a comment and give us all your secrets!

Image: NightRStar via photopin cc