"If the customer is always right, then why isn't everything free?" Unknown
For the rugs hookers that come into the shop, some need more assistance than others and you hope they are forthcoming in their request for help. Personally I hate hovering and won't disrespect your space. But if you ask for my opinion I am there for you. I never want anyone in my shop to feel pressured or claustrophobic by my presence but I don't want you to feel ignored either. The trick is to read the situation right and know when to back off and when to offer added help.
I'm not a mind reader but I seem to have a natural instinct, gut feeling or whatever it may be that seems to work 90% of the time. I can usually tell by a glance if a person entering the shop is just being curious of what lies on the other side of my door, or if they have a budding interest in the craft. But of course I probably screw up at times, not pay enough attention to some and I've had a few people huff out the door indignant that I didn't fall all over them. I'm human and prone to error so I can't get it right all the time.
Lots of times I'm like a bartender, a captive audience for non rug hookers who want to tell me their entire life story and I have no problem listening but I have to work while you talk. If I stand around and chat with every person with a tale to tell, I would have to work nights to get anything done so I do the best I can to remain interested while my hands are busy drawing a pattern or cutting a kit or whatever.
Not everyone is new recuit material and I definitely don't chase people out the door forcing business cards into their hand either, but if you seem genuinely interested I'll bring up my website and leave it up to the individual to take or leave the rack card. These cards cost money so handing them out with abandon just to have them biffed in the nearest bin is a waste. You can tell when you hand them a card if they are keen or just being polite, they actually look at it, maybe even turn it over to see what information is listed.
I know how I like to be treated in a store. I appreciate being acknowledged with a polite hello and you can ask if I need assistance but after that I like to be left alone. I know what I want and I know if an item of apparel flatters or fattens me, so I can be left to my own devices. If needed, I am more than capable of asking for help.
Back in the day of Bill's Store, here in Mahone Bay, the building where the Mahone Bay Trading Company is now located, customer service was frustrating and more than a little annoying. If you were in the change room trying on a bra or a bathing suit, just at the peak time of naked, the curtain would be ripped opened and you'd be scrutinized and asked how things are going while all your parts hung out for them and the other store browsers to see. After happening several times, I never shopped there again. It was the only clothing store game in town but I took my custom to Bridgewater, the cashiers being far less nosy. Maybe it was a different time and that's how the cookie crumbled, but someone told me years later that the owners were paranoid about shop lifters so what better way to make sure someone wasn't stuffing a dress into their purse.....watch them undress! If that happened today you'd get the apparel and nasty words flung at you, but back then, quiet as a churchmouse, my face almost hemorrhaged with embarrassment.
So....as the patrons leave my shop I always try to say "Thank-you" or "Have a nice day" and then maybe "Enjoy your holiday" for the tourists. Without customers we would be nothing, so we like to appreciate their interest and you never know when they'll tell someone of their fun experience to the millions of rug hookers who haven't heard of us yet!