How to Get More Sales Directly from Home Shows and Trade Shows
Mark Hale ‐ August 29, 2014
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.
©2005-2014 Mark Hale, All Rights Reserved
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