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4 Steps to Close a Sale

As you’re doing all the planning and work that goes into getting ready for a trade show, you’re probably continuing to look for ways that you can appeal to customers and eventually make sales. After all, this is the entire objective of going to trade shows, so you want to make sure you leave the event with as many potential customers as possible. If you encounter an attendee who wants to buy your products or services right away, there are some steps you can take to make sure you close the deal.

Be Enthusiastic

Each time an attendee comes to your trade show exhibit, he or she should feel your enthusiasm and positive energy. When you and your team members look like you’re having a good time and want to interact, potential customers will pick up on this and want to ask more questions. This also shows that you’re proud of your products and services and are excited to share them with others.

Build Rapport

Establish a relationship and connection with attendees. At your next meeting for trade-show planning, give your team members tips on how to accomplish this. You can start by asking what the attendee’s specific needs are, and find some common ground. For instance, if you offer health products that are primarily for children, you can let the attendee know that your children have used the products and benefitted from them. Be sure to ask questions and get a feel for the attendees’ needs instead of simply delivering a sales pitch. This will help you understand how to pitch certain products in your inventory that would be fitting for the customer.

Be Knowledgeable

Even if your trade show exhibit is beautiful, you’re likely to lose points with customers if you do not have product knowledge. Once attendees are interested and start asking more questions about your products, you should be ready to provide the answers. If you’re not sure, make sure you ask the manager on staff and get an answer for the attendee right away. It may also be helpful for you to have a video at your trade show exhibit that explains what your company does through the use of animation or customer testimonials. This can eliminate many of the questions customers have while giving you a refresher course so that you’ll be prepared for follow-up questions.

Be Prepared to Ask

Finally, after you’ve laid the foundation of establishing common ground with the customer and answering questions in an informed and confident manner, you may have to come right out and ask whether the attendee wants to make a purchase. It won’t seem so abrupt since you’ve already been engaging in conversation. But, if you find that the attendee is not making the first step toward a sale, it is OK to do so in a way that isn’t too aggressive. Keeping these tips in mind will increase the chances that you’ll have a successful trade show and appeal to a new group of customers.

7 Pitch Follow-Up Mistakes You’re Currently Making

Whether you’re getting ready to attend a trade show for the first time or you’re a veteran when it comes to marketing events, you know that following up with attendees is very important. The follow-up could be the necessary tool you need to complete a sale and gain a loyal customer. Here are some suggestions that go beyond the trade show booth to help you build up your client base.

Waiting Too Long

After attendees have seen your trade show exhibit and heard your explanation of your services and products, you want to follow up while the information is still fresh on their minds. Don’t wait weeks or months after the trade show to contact the potential customer again. A day or two after the show, make contact to thank the attendee for coming to your booth, and ask if he or she has any questions. Include all your contact information so it’s easy for the client to get in touch with you.

Not Enough Interaction

Once an attendee comes to your booth, it’s up to you to interact with him or her so your company is memorable. This means going into detail about what you have to offer, being friendly and being open to questions. You should continue this interaction via social media and your website. This keeps the client engaged and increases the chances he or she will patronize your business in the future. Be sure to make a point of this at the next trade-show planning meeting so you can continue to make a great impression at future shows.

Not Gathering Information

Make it fun or interesting for attendees to give you their information. Set up a tablet for attendees to input their email addresses and phone numbers. Have a raffle at your trade show exhibit with a drawing every hour or two, so attendees will have to visit your booth several times during the day. Be sure to gather the contact information for every person who comes to your table, so you’ll actually have a follow-up list to refer to when the trade show is over.

Not Being Knowledgeable Enough

When you’re not knowledgeable enough about the product you’re presenting, or you haven’t implemented effective trade-show planning to make sure your team members know what to say, this could affect your follow-up success. This is especially true if attendees have been to your booth at previous shows. Increase the chances of gaining a customer by making sure you know all about the services you offer since attendees will remember the interactions they had with you.

Following Up Too Much

Finally, don’t follow up too much after attendees visit your trade show exhibit. You want to give customers time to look over the marketing material you’ve provided, and/or research your company online. Providing too much information that the customer did not request could cause you to lose a sale. Remember to be proactive without overdoing in order to build rapport and make the customer a long-term client.

How to Handle Rejection from Attendees

Even when you implement your best marketing strategies, there will still be some trade show attendees who just aren’t interested in what you have to offer. Maybe they do not want to make any purchases at the moment, or maybe your products don’t fit with their business needs. Whatever the case, there will be times when your sales pitch and promotional efforts will be rejected. There are effective ways to handle this without being too pushy, so keep these in mind the next time you are engaging in trade-show planning for your next event.

One of the first things you should do is remember to remain pleasant. Thank the attendee for coming by your trade show exhibit and wish him or her a good day. Showing anger or disappointment appears unprofessional and could keep the customer from changing his or her mind about purchasing from you in the future. You want to give the impression that your business is customer- and community-oriented, regardless of sales. If other attendees see the way you handle rejection, it could actually boost your sales overall.

It is also important to keep your social media account active during the trade show so that you can deliver a variety of messages to attendees. For instance, if you are finding that one of your products isn’t as popular as you thought, you can ask your followers to provide their feedback online, so you will know what changes to make the next time you have a trade-show planning meeting. You should also encourage followers to let you know why they decided not to buy your products so that your customer service team can work to resolve the issue. This shows that you are not afraid of rejection and that you are willing to grow from it, which could, in turn, give people a more positive perception of your company.

It may be a good idea to gauge the attendee’s demeanor to see if you can ask why he or she is not interested in what your company has to offer. Again, don’t do this in a forceful or combative way, but politely ask what the attendee sees that he or she doesn’t like or thinks is necessary. This will help you to grow in your marketing efforts, especially if you find that more than one attendee has similar comments or concerns.

Finally, persistence is very important when it comes to trade shows. Just because most attendees rejected your pitch during the first show doesn’t mean that the same will happen at future marketing events. Use the information that you get from attendees to make everything about your next trade show better than the last. If you keep at it, the same people who initially said no may come around. Just make sure that each trade show is better in terms of your customer interaction, trade show exhibits, and marketing pitches, and you will build a client base you can be proud of.

What Should Your Budget Be?

Trade-show planning can be detailed, and there are a lot of things you’ll need to take care of to ensure the event is a success. One of the most important aspects of preparing for a trade show is to make sure you have an adequate budget. There are a few factors to consider when you’re trying to come up with a budget that will meet your needs and make the trade show impactful for your company.

Size of the Trade Show

During the planning process, think about how large the trade show will be. In most cases, the bigger the show, the bigger your budget should be. If you’ll be in a large space, you’ll likely need a trade show exhibit that will take up more space and appeal to more customers. A bigger booth also means your team will be able to interact with more attendees at once. Think about the things that will make your booth stand out without you having to overextend your budget. For instance, if you already have a computer monitor that can be used to display a product demonstration, bring the screen so that you can mount it securely at your booth. The visual appeal will draw customers in, and you won’t have to spend any extra money.

Travel Expenses

Your budget will also include the cost of travel. Of course, if the trade show is local, you won’t have to spend much money to get your exhibit to the show site and back. However, it may be necessary to rent a larger vehicle to transport all your trade show exhibit materials at once, so keep this in mind. If you’re traveling out of town, you’ll need to set aside funds for plane tickets or gas, and you’ll have to make hotel accommodations for your team members.

Your Trade Show Booth

The features of your trade show booth can make a big difference in whether you appeal to attendees and get them interested in your services and products. If the color scheme, banners and table covers for your last trade show worked well and they’re still in good condition, don’t buy them again. Use those funds to make changes to your marketing materials or come up with some video commercials about your company and the upcoming trade show that you can share on social media. This way, you’ll still be effective when it comes to promotions, but you’ll have the necessary funds for traveling and after-show marketing.

Your Marketing Efforts

Finally, don’t forget that you should factor in your marketing efforts into the trade show budget as well. You can make social media marketing part of your trade-show planning since this can cost little to nothing, especially if you’re consistently promoting. If you want to reach more people, you can spend a little more on marketing efforts, such as mailers or updates to your website, but remember to continue using social media to your advantage since this can also lead to word-of-mouth marketing.

Is Cold Calling Still an Effective Way to Market Your Business?

If you’re looking for a way to let people know about your next trade show event, you’re likely working with your team to make sure that your marketing efforts are effective. Technology is such a huge part of the way people do business these days, so your first instinct may be to turn to social media or your website for promotional ideas. However, it may be a good idea to consider cold calling as well. This is a “vintage” form of marketing, and most people nowadays screen their calls, but there are some tactics you can use to make cold calling work for you when it comes to trade-show planning.

One of the first things to remember is that you shouldn’t focus on making a sale during the cold call. This will likely make you too nervous to truly explain what your company is all about, and could turn potential customers off to what you have to offer. Instead, simply let the person on the other end know that you’d love for him or her to attend a trade show to find out more about what you have to offer, and give him or her information about the show (i.e. time, place, date) so he or she can choose whether he or she wants to attend. When you take the pressure off, people won’t feel like they are obligated to buy anything, and this could increase your chances of making a sale.

It’s also important to make sure you’re cold calling the right people. Think about who would be interested in seeing your trade show exhibit. Consider the people who were at your last trade show. What did interested attendees have in common? Make a note of this and contact people who are likely to do business with you. Cold calling too many people who may not buy what you’re selling isn’t the best use of your time and could give you a reputation for simply trying to make a sale without proper planning.

Don’t forget about the other ways you can communicate with customers as well. It’s still a good idea to use social media and your website to your advantage. You can even let followers know you’ll be calling potential customers so people won’t be caught off guard when they get a phone call from you. As always, you should encourage customers and those who follow you on social media to provide their feedback when it comes to your marketing efforts.

Finally, another great aspect of trade-show planning when it comes to cold calling is to include as much information as possible about your business in your call. There will be times when people do not answer the phone, and you need to make sure you leave your social media information and website on the voicemail message so that potential customers know that you’re utilizing several methods for communicating with them. This could make people more likely to visit your trade show exhibit and ask for more information.