Are you going to be selling your 4-H project? If so, how are you going to show your appreciation to your buyer?
Individuals and businesses that purchase 4-H projects do so for many reasons, but not because they must. If someone takes the time to come to a sale, bid on and purchase your project it is because they want to support your project. Make sure you are prepared to thank them properly.
Often time sale day or night can be overwhelming for you and your project animal. It usually comes at the end of a long week of showing, and sometimes your animal is just not ready to hear the loud auctioneer yelling and to see that many people waving their arms. In addition, many times the picture area is busy, and you are trying to make your animal stand still while a bunch of strangers walk towards them. In all the excitement, it is important that you remember someone has taken the time to come to the sale, bid on your animal, and they would like a picture with you for their wall. Take time to genuinely look them in the eye, shake their hand and say thank you.
At many shows, it is also customary to give your buyer a small token of your appreciation. Often this is in the form of a basket or small gift bag. This gift is another way that you are saying thank you. It can also tell the buyer a little about yourself. For instance, was your gift well thought out and not thrown together at the last minute? Buyer gifts can come in all shapes and forms. Some can even be purchased already made; the main thing is to think ahead about your gift. This allows you to present your buyer a nice gift, and often a unique gift. One tip for looking for items for your gift is to look all year long in stores. If you see something you think you might want for your next buyer gift, then purchase it when you see it. Many times, we see things, and when we go back it was a seasonal item and is no longer available.
After the sale is over and you are rested up from a hard show week take time to sit down and write a follow up thank you letter specifically to your buyer. Then when the next show season comes remember to write to your previous buyer and invite them to the show and sale. This letter should start out with, “Thank you for your previous support.” Buyers want to be recognized and to know that you remember them and their support.
If you need help or have any questions about buyer baskets or appreciation gifts, please ask your 4-H Leader or 4-H Agent.