Last week, we had some advice on how to choose the right trade show from Nicole McIver, and this week, she’s back to share her tips on how to rock a trade show. Since trade shows tend to be industry specific, there’s a high chance you’ll be in an exhibition hall surrounded by your competitors.
In a situation where so many brands are offering similar products, what can you do to stand out?
If you are bringing staff to the trade show, ensure they can answer all questions: what material is it made from, where is it made, do you have a stockist in ____, etc.In a typical sales situation, salespeople plan a meeting and talk to prospects in detail about the product for about an hour. On the other hand, a trade show is filled with thousands of attendees, leaving your staff with only a small window of time to win prospects over before they move on to the next booth. To increase your chances of clinching a deal, ensuring your staff have sufficient product and company knowledge to field questions and qualify leads is necessary.
Have a catalogue and an order form to hand out to all retailers that express interest - not just a business card that will be tossed out at the end of the night.You have your prospects’ particulars saved into a CRM application, but there’s a chance they’ll still be relying on name cards to keep track of brands they’re interested in.
Offer an incentive to get prospects to order at the show instead of ordering at a later date.Tell prospects that if they place an order with you immediately, you’ll offer them a 10% discount, a reduced Minimum Order Quantity, or expedited shipping. For prospects who on the fence about purchasing your product, offering an incentive might be all it takes to tip the scales in your favor.
Getting your invoices out to stores ASAP shows how efficient you are.You’ve managed to clinch a few wholesale orders while at the trade show. But you still need to send your new customers an invoice for their orders. The faster you send out your invoices, the more efficient you’ll appear to your customers. On top of that, getting your invoices “in” as soon as possible also means they won’t get lost in the flood of emails that tend to follow a trade show.
It’s a more relaxed environment for everyone, and in between serving people you can put your feet up, do your work, etc.As we mentioned last week, trade shows are expensive. You may decide the cost of building a custom booth is too high, and instead choose to do a hotel showing that ends a few hours later than the trade show. A hotel showing basically involves booking a suitable room that is as close as possible to the trade show, and setting up your products for display. Before the event, you’ll have invited past and potential new stockists to view your range by appointment.
Now that we’ve talked a little about the important role of your sales team when it comes to going B2B, do stay tuned for next week’s installment when we take a look at what it takes to equip your sales team to impress and convert prospects into customers.
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