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Bruce Baker

Bruce Baker says, “Did you ever notice when you are at a show or sales event there is always one person around you who seems to get most of the business? That individual who has “gravity” and pulls people into their space while people line up to buy? With the right kind of thinking, that could be you. You, too, can be that person who arrives at a show (be it a craft show or gallery) and clearly dominates the event with one sale after another.”

(Jan. 29, 2014) One of the art world’s most recognized speakers and teachers was in Indianapolis Tuesday, Jan. 28, for a workshop presented by Indiana Artisan.  Click here for scenes.

Bruce Baker’s effectiveness stems from his focus on art and food promotion and sales, not widget-selling that artisans have to translate to apply to  their work.  Bruce is an industry professional who has taught thousands of artists and craftspeople how to sell more effectively, including several Indiana Artisans who for years have asked that we bring him to town.  “If you attend his workshop and apply his techniques, you will make back your workshop fee IN THE FIRST HOURS of your next show!” said Indiana Artisan potter Carol Bell.  “After attending my first Bruce Baker workshop, my very next show I DOUBLED my sales from the same show the year before! It will be one of the best investments you can make in your art business!” she said.Booth Design and Merchandising

Bruce spoke about how to get into shows, build and light an effective booth display, merchandise work for the most impact, and close the sale. His day-long presentation to 84 participants fit into the middle of a six-part webinar series designed to help Indiana Artisans maximize the value of the fourth annual Indiana Artisan Marketplace, March 29 and 30 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds Exposition Hall.

Display and Merchandising is a subject gallery owners need to understand well, as it directly affects their sales. Likewise, artists, food producers and craftspeople also must be aware of how to create effective displays which can dramatically affect the outcome of their show investment and participation.

Bruce has developed a CD packed with information about booth displays and merchandising for both retail fairs and trade shows, and he presented material on both topics during his day with Indiana Artisan. These two venues vary greatly. Presentation does also, as the retail public and trade show buyers have different interests and needs. For artists just getting into wholesale, Bruce’s Jan. 28 presentation was particularly helpful for developing a keen understanding of how to plan a booth from the ground up before a show – not during the event, when it is too late to correct.

For Indiana Artisans participating in the Marketplace this March, Bruce talked specifically about how to create a booth attractive to Marketplace guests. Are you using all available space effectively? What colors work best for a show? What about lighting? Bruce covered these and many more topics in his presentation Jan. 28.  Here is an out-take.

Dynamic-Sales and Customer Service CDDynamic Sales Skills, techniques that are the focus of another of Bruce’s CDs, also was presented at the workshop, giving participants brilliant tips on interacting with customers, understanding how the sale is advancing, reading body language, breaking the ice with a booth visitor, and increasing the total sale.  How should you break the ice with a booth visitor? What does it mean when a potential customer has their hands in their pockets? And how can you bump up the sale by making it irresistible to your customer to buy more than one item from you?  Workshop participants now know.

Bruce says, “If you know how to arm yourself and put good business practices to work, you can have all the business you want. If you play the victim, you are bound to fail—everyone is a victim of something. Yes, the economy is weak in most parts of the country, yet I meet people every week who are bucking the odds and seeing significant business growth. If you have the right attitude and good vision, you, too, can have a growing business even in this lame economy.”

A jeweler who retails his work nationally, Baker has served as secretary of the American Craft Council board, was a founding member and vice chair of the American Craft Association, is a board member of the Vermont State Craft Center at Frog Hollow, owner of two galleries in New England, producer of three CDs on art sales and selling, and has for decades been recognized as the primary authority teaching artists and craftspeople how to merchandise and more effectively sell their work.