1. A customer’s favorite vendor is not HIP-ready
- While the HIP opportunity is currently closed to new vendors, HIP farms and markets open at various times during the year (such is the nature of seasonal farm businesses). CISA’s Open HIP Locations Map is updated with the latest info on currently open HIP-active markets, stands, and CSA programs in the Pioneer Valley. The Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance also maintains a statewide map of currently open HIP locations across the state. (We at CISA update this map every month, whereas the state map relies on the farm businesses to update their listings).
- The “HIP-Healthy Incentives Program, Pioneer Valley” Facebook page is up and running! Encourage shoppers to follow the page for updates and to share with their friends and family. To help build the page’s momentum, link to the HIP Facebook page from your website, like the page as your market, and ask your vendors to tag the HIP page when posting their own photos and links of HIP-eligible items.
- For more information on farms, see CISA’s online guide.
Tips from market managers:
- Write down the names and numbers of customers looking for HIP vendors, and let the customer know you’ll call them back when vendors have their HIP machines and are ready to process. Or have customers sign up for your newsletter, the HIP Facebook page or your market’s, or other social media, and make sure to update with the latest HIP news. That way, you’ll keep those new HIP customers coming back.
- Be familiar with the locations accepting HIP nearby your market, to help educate the consumer about other places to access their benefit. A customer walking away with more resources, tools, and ways to plug in will be happier about their experience and more likely to come back to the market. On CISA’s Open HIP Locations Map, you can view a list of currently open HIP locations near you. Or, reach out to Zoey to learn about other HIP locations that may be opening soon.
- “I hear you, and I’m sorry you’re frustrated. HIP is a big program across the state, and it’s taking time to get new farms into the program. Here’s what I know, and here’s what’s coming up: … Thanks for coming by and I hope you’ll visit us again.”
- “I’d be happy to take down your number and give you a call or a text when we have a HIP vendor active at the market!” OR “Check out CISA’s Open HIP Locations Map to see when we become HIP-active, and to find more places to access your benefit” OR “Like HIP on Facebook/join our newsletter and we’ll update that when we’re HIP-active!”