Face-to-face marketing is a great way for a business to stand out among their competitors - because it creates a real connection. It's the same reason in advertising we strive to leave the viewer with an emotion or a story. Despite the digital marketing teachings, it seems trade shows and conferences are not going anywhere. Especially if you're in the industrial world, a tradeshow or conference has immense potential to drive your business to new heights.
Standing out in an arena of other businesses is crucial at a show or event. How do you stand out, when everyone else is there to get noticed as well? First, you have to demand attention. Once you have the attention you want, give the consumer what they desire. Finally, as in any sales process, you will close the deal.
Every business that spends the time and money to be at a tradeshow wants a return. The return is most likely a ton of customers, leads, or valuable referrals. regardless of your end goal - you want to establish a memory for them to conjure up when the show ends. Your interaction with the crowd is the first thing that will draw them over. Having someone with charisma make face-to-face contact, is the best shot at working a crowd.
What not to do? Pushy sales techniques are bad manners at a tradeshow and not how you want your business remembered.
Your display should answer common questions and have a comfortable feeling, while being bold and easy to remember. The displays that have the most people in front of them at a show offer some sort of "wow" factor and sometimes a contest or drawing. Regardless of which tactic works best for your business, there should be a reason for your viewers to return. Free consultation? Follow-up competitor comparison? T-shirt? Whatever gets someone excited.
Also - we're trying to gain more leads here, so always require a name, phone number, company name, and email to participate - you now have your leads! If you're going the contest, special event, or meet-up route - asking them to 'like' you on a social networking site, to get an entry or to receive communication about the event is always an option as well.
Be Prepared to Make a Sale
Preparation before a show or conference is key to making a smooth sale. Business cards, magnets, pens, coloring books, whatever it takes to keep them thinking about you, is key. Prior to the event, estimate the number of participants and order enough supplies - ideally supplies/gifts for the general auidence as well as the heavy hitters who spend a lot of time with your staff.
One of the biggest mistakes made at trade shows? The business has no actual product or service to sell on-site! What if someone is ready to buy now? What if they've been working with your team previously, and this is what brings them over the line? If you want to get customers, you will need to have what you offer on hand and be able to sell it. Don't push it - but if an attendee asks, let's deliver.
Close the Deal
When you close the deal, it is very important not to lose the other potential clients. More than one person at your display, at all times, will solve this issue. If someone starts an interaction with a customer, they should be able to pull off to the side, answer any questions, and potentially close the sale. Passing the client off to someone else is bad for the relationship - so make sure you have enough team members available. Repeat customers and referrals from current customers are a businesses dream and a tradeshow, or conference, is a great place to gain access to potentially hundreds of them.
So now it's time to take your thoughts into action! Sea Monster Marketing loves the trade show and conference scene, so please get in touch if there are any services, questions, or best practices we can speak to!