Now it is the day of the home show, are you ready? The following is a final checklist for your home show booth:
1. Neatness counts. Make sure your display is organized and tidy; customers will be turned off by messiness or by having to do too much searching to find what they want. Have all your prices clearly marked.
2) Have a stock of promotion items that you can use as giveaways at your booth. Small items that people can take away and use (while being reminded about your business) are best. Wilson Printing has catalogs with thousands of give away trinkets everything from coffee mugs, pens and note pads to even golf balls, you name it we can get it printed with your logo on it. Be sure you place these items in a location where people will have to walk into or through your trade show display to get them.
3) A prize draw or contest is a great way to collect contact information from booth visitors. You can give away promotion items to encourage people to participate.
4) Plenty of full color product brochures, pamphlets and booklets to hand out. Custom designed sales materials are better than factory supplied materials because you want to brand your company not necessarily the manufacture. Wilson Printing USA can design professional brochures and pamphlets for your business that will help you sell more products and services.
5) Make it easy for booth visitors to get information. Use signs in your trade show display to give information about prices, minimum orders, shipping costs, or any other basic information they might need to know in order to save them the trouble of having to wait to ask when you’re not busy with another potential customer. Wilson Printing USA can help you with any size banners and signs you will need for your booth.
6) Be ready to do business. Be sure you have a good supply of order forms, pens, credit card slips, or anything else you need to conduct sales and keep track of people’s orders.
7) Have your trade show booth manned at all times. Work out the schedule and make sure all employees have a copy. Someone has to be there to greet browsers, engage them in conversation, and take their questions. If you can’t be there every minute the trade show is open, you’ll need to have at least one other person help man your booth.
8) Follow up promptly. Who is responsible for following up with leads from the show? Put all leads from show on an excel spreadsheet so they are in one place. The faster you follow up, the more your business will stand out from the rest and the more business you will get. Wilson printing USA can help you with turn key, follow up direct mail pieces. Some trade shows will give you a list of attendees. If you can get the list, then get it. Sending a follow up mailer is extremely effective.
9) Incentivize your employees. Often they will be on their feet all day, sometimes working overtime. What incentive will motive them? Is it a bonus, time off, a night on the town? It is important to tie the incentive to a specific sales or production target. The idea is to make it fun and reward them for their production at the show.
Home shows, events and trade shows are a great way to market your business to a specific public. How you have your booth set up and how you work the public that come to your booth is the difference between simply marketing your business and getting sales from marketing your business.
What is the purpose for your participation in that home show or trade show? Is it to become better known with a specific market segment? Is it to get leads to sell your products? Or, is it to sell product at the show? It can be all three, but the answer to these questions will help you to design your booth and plan.
Once your have outlined your purpose for participating, the next step is planning the booth or display. The basic principles of advertising apply to trade show displays and booths. Number one, you have to attract attention. You do not want your booth to blend in.
The design and layout of your booth should be built around your purpose. A basic rule is that a booth that looks alive, active and is bussling will attract more traffic than a booth with a table, back drop with a couple of bored looking employees sitting there talking to each other. Use an interactive display, such as a quiz or game on a computer, a contest draw, a scheduled demonstration; it doesn’t need to be fancy to draw people’s interest and get them to cluster around your trade show display rather than the others. At a gardening show, I once saw over 50 people crowding around to watch an exhibitor demonstrate how to turn compost!
Eye trail is very important, the idea is to first get noticed and then generate interest and finally pull them in. If someone is walking 50 feet away from your booth what is the first thing they see? Does the “thing” they see create interest or a yawn? Full color banners, a video display mounted on a 6-foot pole or flags and streamers all help to get noticed but the banners and displays must contain a message in the form of a benefit that would be of interest to your target public.
Traffic flow is the next thing to consider. Traffic must flow and not bottleneck.
How do you want traffic to flow to your booth?
What happens when they arrive at your booth?
What demonstrations can you do?
How can you get the public involved with your personnel and with your product?
We also offer a quick checklist for trade shows, which is a list of items and materials you will need. This list will save you time and best of all it is FREE. If you would like a copy just click here and we will send it to you.
Participating in a home show or trade show usually involves considerable investment finance, materials and time.
Most business people don’t go into a home show or trade show as a vendor with the goal that they are going lose money or break even. But sadly, that is exactly what many businesses experience. This happens because they did not have a program or plan for success!
Planning for sales should be done in three parts:
Part one is planning how you are going to get sales at the show. This can be done with a combination of packaging of products and services and with special “buy now” offers. This is the same principle, as with effective postcard marketing—you have to have a good offer and a great deal to offer the public. Keep in mind that the sales you make during the show are really the low-lying fruit of what you potentially can get. The second part of planning for sales involves follow up.
Part two in planning for getting more sales from home shows and trade shows is the capturing of identities. It is absolutely impossible to follow up after the show if you do not know who you talked to at the show.
The idea is to capture as much contact data as possible from as many people as you can. Some sort of giveaway or contest is the usual mechanism to get leads to follow up on after the show.
You need to get as much information as you can, so you can send follow up thank you notes; follow up by phone calls; follow up with a brochure or flyer mailed to the prospect; follow up by a postcard mailer and another phone call. You will maximize your sales potential from home shows and trade shows with repetitious and consistent follow up.
Part three for planning for sales is drilling for success. If you want to make the most possible money from your home show or trade show investment you have to DRILL YOUR EMPLOYEES on a basic sales strategy. I know some of you are saying, “Great idea…I’ll try to squeeze that in somewhere with the other 199 things I have to do!”
When I say drilling, many people roll their eyes and say “really, drilling!” Well, have you heard that practice makes perfect? When you drill your people, you are practicing and honing in competence. Nothing will cost you as much money as spending money to build a booth, stock it only to have it manned by clumsy, incompetent staff.
It does not have to be complicated, sit down with a blank piece of paper write down the answers to the following:
What products or service or you going to offer at the show?
What is the normal price of it? And what are you going to sell it for at the home show?
What are you going to offer as a buy now offer?
What basic qualifications does a prospect need to have to be a good prospect for the product or service? The answer to this will help your employees not waste time with someone who is not a good prospect for your service.
Why would the prospect need the product? Involves a feature and benefit list.
How are you going to ask for the order?
What are the 3 biggest objections for buying your product now?
What are the answers to these objections?
Now write a one sheet with the answers to the above on it to give to each employee who will be manning your booth.
Now, drill with your employees how to qualify the prospect, present the product, how to ask for the order and finally drill handling the objections they will get.
Drill body language and how to engage the prospect. Don’t assume your employees should know. You want to ensure they are relaxed and body language is friendly; you don’t want them to stand there with their arms crossed over your chest, for instance. “Chat” with booth visitors, and find out what aspect of your business they’re most interested in. Be prepared to offer specific solutions to their questions. The trick is to draw them in without intimidating or overwhelming them.
Does it ever seem that you are trying to hit a moving target when it comes to advertising your business?
There are so many ways to advertise your business—television, radio, magazines, direct mail, the Internet not to mention newspaper billboards. A person cannot even go to the bathroom in peace anymore with out bathroom ads on the wall.
For my money, the best way to advertise is through the medium that offers the least amount of distraction for the user in the form of competition and that allows me the ability to target exactly whom I want; a medium that is easy to track my return on my investment and one that I know that I can easily make myself stand out.
10 Tips For Writing Sales Letters That SELL!
Direct mail marketing for a small business is such a medium and postcard marketing is one of the most effective and economical ways to achieve a response and increase sales. Every American has a mailbox and the United States Postal Service delivers the mail regularly and reliably every day. There are no spam filters on the mailbox and there is less competition that with other forms of advertising for a small business.
People are busier and more mobile than ever before. They are, in fact, moving targets for an advertiser. One thing is constant with almost everyone and that is eventually they all go home, they get their mail and they read their mail.
There are just two things to consider for direct mail marketing, one, the list and two, the message. The right mailing list comprised of a targeted audience combined with a postcard ad that is targeted to that audience, with a good offer and you boost your lead ratio and drive sales through the roof.
Postcards are just one form of direct mail marketing. Postcards work for most businesses, but it is also a good idea to mix the types of direct mail you use.
Postcard Marketing: 100% for sure open rate. Everyone you mail to will see your ad. Design becomes vital because you have 3 seconds to get the prospect’s interest.
Sales Letter: can be very effective but the emphasis here is on the copywriting. Sales letters can be very effective for business-to-business advertising wherein you are trying to reach professionals who may not get mail directly. Copywriting is a skill craft that combines literacy, with product knowledge and can present the information in the point of view of the reader.
Note Card Mailers: allow a high level of creativity. They can be made to look like an invitation, which generates a very high open rate. We even have developed a hand written note card that is very effective.
Holiday Cards: this is one of the most over looked opportunities out there. Every year, holidays come and go. Holiday cards offer an excellent vehicle to reach out to existing customer and generate more sales. We have chiropractors and dentists use note cards as a patient recovery tool. Very high response rate.
Check Mailers: Not for every business type but they do have a very high open rate and response is around 2% to 5%. We have found that by combining a sales letter with a check mailer we can really drive response.
Self-Mailing Brochure: These are good to mail as a follow up and they save you money on envelopes. With special die cut shapes and designs they can be extremely effective attention-getters.
Newsletters: very effective means of building loyalty and generating sales. Newsletters allow you to educate, inform and entertain your customers and prospects.
You will Drive Traffic to Your Website. Postcard-to-website marketing has recently been shown to be the single most effective direct-marketing technique in the nation. In fact, online marketing techniques often pale in comparison to the response achieved by postcard marketing.
FREE DIRECT MAIL FACT SHEET
The Effectiveness of Direct Mail vs Other Forms of Marketing!
Here is how, a prospect receives your postcard in the mail. Your postcard generates an interest and the prospect wants more information, but does not want to talk to you yet. Your postcard directs them to a specific landing page the prospect goes to in order to check you out. While online marketing can produce a volume of traffic, postcard marketing produces targeted visitor traffic that already wants what you’re selling. Send a postcard with a great offer and a special URL to visit or a special coupon code to use to redeem the offer. QR codes are easy to use and take advantage of smart phone technology to drive traffic to your website. By doing so, you’re not only able to drive response, you’re able to track it as well.
By adding an 800 tracking number you can count the exact number of calls you get. Some services allow you to record incoming calls so you can play back incoming calls. This allows you to debug and correct call handling.
Wilson Printing can help you determine which direct mail marketing campaign would be best for your business.
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Is publishing a printed newsletter an old fashion way to market? Isn’t printing and mailing a newsletter going to be too expensive?
What would I put in my business’s newsletter? People probably won’t read it anyway and I would waste my money! Heck, I don’t have the time to create a newsletter anyway!
Sound familiar? These are most of the considerations I hear from small business owners and managers who really would like to publish a newsletter, but are faced with what amounts to be a void consisting of the know-how and technology needed to produce a newsletter.
These business owners and mangers are smart people and who know their business inside and out, but publishing a newsletter—while seemingly should be a simple endeavor once started—becomes evident to them that there is a specific marketing technology and know-how that goes into creating and publishing a newsletter.
First of all, the cost issues. With the advent of full color digital printing, it has never been more affordable to create and print a newsletter for your business and there are ways we can get your postage and mailing cost way down. But, having said that, what would be the benefit to printing and mailing a company newsletter? Wouldn’t it be cheaper and easier to just send an email newsletter out?
You are correct in that it would be cheaper to send an email newsletter. But would it be more effective? Email marketing has its place, but for most businesses it should not be an either/or proposition. You should do both!
A well designed printed and mailed newsletter has very few drawbacks:
Postage cost can be a drawback for some small businesses. There are ways we can get a reduced postage rate for you. The results possible by publishing and mailing a newsletter far exceed the cost of postage. For some service industries you can send your newsletter out via Every Door Direct Mail and get postage rate down to 17 – 21 cents per piece.
People change mailing addresses less frequently than with email addresses. So you can effectively reach more people.
Everyone you mail the newsletter to will SEE your newsletter. Direct mail has an almost 100% delivery rate. The United States Postal Service delivers the mail consistently and reliably—fact. And, there are no spam filters on the mailbox.
A well-designed and printed newsletter has a long shelf life often hanging around and being read for several weeks after delivery and maybe read by multiple people.
If planned and designed correctly printed newsletters have a high open and read rate.
Publishing a newsletter allows you to become more familiar and better known with customers and prospects. People always buy from a business they know over one they don’t know.
Publishing a newsletter allows you to stay in front of your customers. Remember your competitor’s best prospects are people who have bought from you. The few cents you spend on printing and publishing a newsletter far exceeds the cost of having to re-acquire a customer who strayed to one of your competitors.
Two ways you can make your company’s newsletter more readable and effective:
The 80/20 rule. 80% of the newsletter content needs to be what I call fluff or entertainment and 20% technical information. Consider that your company newsletter should be formatted more like a magazine. You can include product offers in the form of ads, and articles with interesting information but not too much. Themore entertaining the more your customers will look forward to getting your newsletter. The more they will read it. The more business you will get from it and the better the relationship you will develop with your customers.
Do not cause their eyes to glaze over by being too technical. Keep the industry specific terms to a minimum. And if you use a technical term you have to define it for the reader. Don’t assume your reader knows as much about your industry as you do. It is always a safe bet to explain products and services as benefits to the reader. Demonstrate how does your product or service make life easier for the reader?
What to put in the article section of your newsletter can be difficult. The following are 9 Simple Ideas for article content for your company newsletter:
1. How-to’s or tips: There is no better way to establish yourself and your company as experts in your field than by providing free advice. You want to market your business as a resource. If you have how-to videos on your website, then direct people to your website. This is a great way to drive traffic to your website and to increase your sales.
2. Current events: This an area you have to be careful of. Again you don’t want to cause their eyes to glaze over by getting too technical or by using terms that you don’t define for the reader. We created an newsletter for an Estate Planning Attorney and she used her newsletter to help her clients keep abreast of hot news topics and changes in tax laws and then let her readers know how they were affected by these events. Her articles presented information with examples and defined terms for the reader.
3. Employee profiles: Introduce your staff to your customers. This type of article should be informative about your employees and their qualifications. It should inspire confidence in your staff and your company overall. You want to build a sense of familiarity and family with the newsletter and readers love this.
4. Testimonials: The backbone of every word of mouth advertising campaign is testimonials. Testimonials allow you to do two things: one, to back up your business claims, they can add a fresh tone to your newsletter, and two, the use of testimonials can provide insight into new or innovative ways that your products are being used.
5. Community service: Public Relations are an important part of marketing and sales. The essence of PR is in making good works well known.Good corporate citizens give back to the communities they serve. This can be in the form of donations or employee volunteers. Make your company’s good works well known by spreading the news about how your company is involved in making the community a better place.
6. Product or service profile: This is a great way to introduce new products or services and it can also be used to educate your customers about your products or services. The rule here is the same as above—don’t use technical jargon and if you do, define it for the reader. Also present information in the form of benefits to the reader. Demonstrate how the product or service makes life easier for the reader.
8. Before and after stories: Before and after stories are a great way of showing your company and business in a positive light. Highlight successes by providing concrete examples of the situation and how your product or service benefited the client. Use photos and combine with testimonials to create impact.
9. Specials: Newsletters can provide a forum for direct marketing. Make sure you include special offers and have a call to action. If you were keeping with the magazine format, specials would be presented in the form of ads. You can also slip specials in articles and testimonials after you presented the benefits include what I refer to as a buy now, which is simply a reason to call you now to buy the product.
The other consideration people have about creating a newsletter for their business is they think it takes a lot of time to create. To be honest, it can take a lot of time if you try to save money and go at it on your own. If you hire a company like Wilson Printing USA to help you, we take about 85% of the time and headache out of creating a newsletter for you.
Our designers will help you format and design your newsletter so that it will make your business look professional and generate sales for your business.
A newsletter should be sent out monthly and at the least, quarterly. The more consistent you are, the more familiar your customer will be with the newsletter and the more it will be read.
Whether you are a retail automotive store selling your wares to the general public, a real estate agent, pest control company or selling business to business there is a basic technology to increasing sales during a recession.
Decide you are going to do something about your sales. I guarantee that your sales will not increase if you sit back and wait for the “economy” to turn around. You really only have two options:
One, you can sit back and wait or two, you can get going and do something to improve your situation. The facts of life in a recession are: those who promote themselves grow and prosper. Those who take a wait-and-see attitude go out of business (die). No matter how slow things may seem, there are always people buying what you sell, always! If they do not know about you they will buy from your competition. It starts with the decision that you are going to do something and then doing it.
B. STICK WITH THE BASICS
The basics of good marketing are: listen to what your customers need and want, provide that service or product better and faster than the competition, then let people know what you are doing by promotion. Notice I did not say sell it cheaper. The cheaper game is not one most businesses can win because no matter how low you go on price, there will always be someone who is lower. Quality of product, speed of service and quality of service are more important than the lowest price for most people. There is an old adage that says ” the sting of poor quality last long after the joy of low price has faded.” Offer a product or service that is needed and wanted for a fair price and promote regularly and as often as you can.
C. BE CONSISTENT
The secret to increasing sales is marketing and promotion. The fuel that makes your marketing pay off is consistency. Staying in front of your prospects and customers regularly will pay off. The reason this is true is that the first time a prospect was exposed to your advertising they did not even notice it. The second time, they were not in the market to buy yet and did not pay attention to your ad. The third time they were exposed to your ad, they saw it for the first time. The prospect started thinking “someday this might be a good idea to buy”. By the fifth time the prospect is exposed to your message, he is in the market and is shopping and calls you. You now have a shot to earn his business. You have created awareness about your business and built credibility with that prospect. People buy from companies they are familiar with. Being consistent and regular with your marketing is the only way to build familiarity and credibility with a prospect before they buy.
If you need any help please feel free to give me a call. We offer several solutions that are inexpensive and effective.