Are you going to be selling your 4-H project? If so, how will you 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 shows, 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 walks toward them. In all the excitement, you must remember someone has taken the time to come to the sale, bid on your animal, and would like a picture with you for their wall. Take time to genuinely look at them, shake their hand, and thank them.
At many shows, giving your buyer a small token of your appreciation is also customary. 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 with 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 might want for your next buyer gift, then purchase it when you see it. We often see things, and when we return, 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, please make surer to write to your previous buyer and invite them to the show and sale. This letter should start with, “Thank you for your previous support.” Buyers want to be recognized and know you remember them and their support.
If you need help or have questions about buyer baskets or appreciation gifts, please ask your 4-H Leader or 4-H Agent.