If you work in the retail or ecommerce spaces, chances are you’ve been to your fair share of industry trade shows, conventions, displays or events in which you set up a temporary shop and sell your products to the many passers by. In the past, how much success have you had with actually selling the products that you bring to display?
Whether you’re a fashion designer, an artist, a manufacturer of an original product or even selling services, the truth is, selling actual products and making a profit at a trade show can sometimes get tricky. With these 5 tips, you’ll have better luck at not only drawing people to your booth the next time you go to a show to sell, but you’ll also be able to help keep people around for longer and entice them more to make a purchase.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
One of the biggest mistakes that retailers of any product make is waiting for people at trade shows to approach them. If this is how you approach every trade show or convention, then it’s no wonder why you aren’t selling much. Make the effort to be proactive, rather than reactive, when it comes to potential customers.
For example, spend some time walking around to other booths and listening in to the feedback buyers are giving to other exhibitors. If you can find a place to insert yourself into the conversation, feel free to do so. You may be able to direct that potential customer over to your booth.
Converse, too, with other exhibitors and see what kind of feedback they’re getting from the crowd in general. You may be able to pick up a few tips here and there that will help you when people approach your booth. But if you’re not out looking for those people at the convention or trade show, you’ll likely miss out on them.
Utilize the Whole Team
If a potential buyer approaches your booth and begins a conversation with you, do what you can to interact with them, answer their questions and inform them of your products and/or services. If they ask a question that you don’t know the answer to, or that someone else on your team would be better suited to handle, don’t be afraid to direct the potential customer to the person who can answer their question.
Remember that your company is there as a team (assuming, of course, that you brought other representatives with you) and don’t be afraid to utilize everyone’s varying expertise areas. For example, if you’re great at interacting with customers, but you can’t map out your pricing or give intricate details into your products, direct the customer to your sales rep or even your CEO. Your customer will appreciate the attention from more than one person at the booth and will be more likely to make a purchase if they feel that they are truly important to your company.
Get Creative with Your Swag
Attracting people to your booth over your fellow exhibitors is always a challenge, so do it right by getting creative with your swag! Your goal with your display is to attract as many people to your booth or display as humanly possible – you don’t care about what your target audience or market is at this point, all you have to do is attract as many people to you as you can.
Once you get the people there, you can filter out the serious ones from the passers by. Attract people by offering some sort of amazing giveaway – whether it’s free stuff that you can lay out directly on your table and give away on the spot or a larger type of giveaway like a vacation or a popular electronic that people have to sign up for. Either way, people will want to stop by your booth, and once they’re there, then it’s your job to sell them!
Stop Over-Thinking It
The problem with many conventions/trade shows is that exhibitors tend to try far too hard for their own good. With so many businesses going to the same place with the goal to sell, it’s hard not to focus on making as much money as you can and beating out your competition. But the exhibitors that are likely to perform the best among the competition are those who are personable, conversational and aren’t working the hard sell too, well, hard.
When talking with potential customers, be excited and informative about the product or service you’re selling and talk to the customer just as another human being. Be as real and as outgoing as you can be and that will attract customers more than any hard sell you could throw their way. Be yourself, be natural and keep it laid back and customers will naturally be drawn to you.
Be Able to Accept Credit Cards
In today’s world, if you’re not up with your technology, you will miss out on a sale. The fact is, with everything so digital now, very few people actually carry cash around with them, especially at a trade show or convention. Your potential customers are likely always carrying their best plastic friend, so being able to accept credit cards on the go will help you tremendous amounts.
It may even set you apart from your competition – say you’re selling a similar product or service to one of your exhibitor competitors, but the other guys don’t take credit cards and you do. You’re far more likely to get the sale in that scenario, so be prepared to take card payments wherever you are displaying.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Dani is a writer with Web Payment Software, a company that created an app to accept mobile payments for the sellers on the go. She’s been to her fair share of industry trade shows and knows how important it is to sell the customers that are truly interested, and she’s seen the success of mobile payment options!