How you might be turning away income that lands in your lap.

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Yesterday my adult niece, Emily, and I had a shopping experience that reminded me just how much creative people need sales training.

We had done our research before we left home so we walked into a shop knowing that they had exactly what we were looking for. Because it was a custom piece of handmade jewelry, with a number of options, Emily wanted to see it in person rather than ordering from their site.

The shop clerk (I sure hope she wasn’t the owner) watched us walk around and answered our questions about specific pieces. She knew we were ready to buy because I had literally pulled out my credit card as we approached the register. We showed her what we wanted and shetold us custom pieces were a two-day turn-around. We said that would be fine and that they’d have to ship because Emily was returning home to New York today.

The clerk, I do not dare call “sales person” said, “Why don’t you just order it online when you get home.” Excited about the purchase, Emily said, “can you just order it for me now and we’ll pay for it here”. She said “I could do that but you might as well just go on our Etsy shop and order it yourself.” My immediate thought was “why would you want to give a percentage to Etsy and Paypal when you don’t have to?” but I kept my mouth shut and shook my head as we walked out.

We went across the street to a wine bar and got online. We did order the piece from her shop but it was a really unwise thing for the young woman to send us away when we were ready to place an order right there. This is a popular item that we could have easily found in many other Etsy shops.

Simple lesson: whether you’re a vendor at a craft market or on the phone with a potential client about freelance work of any kind, if someone is trying to pay you, don’t make it more difficult for them. If someone is telling you, “I want this now, I am ready to hand you money” Stop talking, smile and just say “thank you”. You’ve already made the sale.

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