Category Archives: Trade Shows

Where Should You Recruit?

The short answer is everywhere you possibly can.

You want to recruit locally and you want to recruit those who are at a distance to you.  Recruiting those who do not live near you can be harder but it is not impossible by any means.  This allows your team to grow wide and then deep where if you only recruit locally it can become tough to recruit after a while (especially in a small community). Of course, it all depends what your goals are with your direct sales business.

English: Uncle Sam recruiting poster.

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Local Recruiting

These recruits are easy to find.  They are the ones that come to your parties, ask questions about the product and are curious.  They may approach you after the party and ask about joining or you may have to talk to them a bit afterwards to find if they are interested.   Obviously not everyone you talk to about the opportunity will sign but if you talk to enough people, you will gain a teammate.

While you may think that local recruits are the best, sometimes they can be more difficult to work with.

Distance Recruiting

There are several methods you can use to find these people:

Attend a local party but are not actually from the area

Find your website through a variety of methods

Someone you strike up a conversation with while you are on the road

These recruits can be tougher to work with as they are not local.  Find out what they want to do with their direct sales business and help them the best you can.  Find them local meetings they can attend or other consultants in their area that they can get together with.  Help them advertise to get parties going and invite them to join any team training you do through online methods or through the phone.

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Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 3

Rules and Guidelines – Are there rules that the vendors need to follow during the chat?  Just like an in person event, the organizers may require that you show up 10 minutes before your chat spot and that you have to check in with the organizer.  Maybe they require you to attend an orientation chat so that you can familiarize yourself with the chat room and features before the event.

Costs – Just like any vendor event, you are going to want to know the cost.  What you are willing to pay is up to you.  Remember that online events can be more difficult to get people to and to purchase from as they cannot experience the product so keep that in mind.

Amount of Vendors – Another consideration before joining an online vendor event is how many vendors are allowed and what type of variety they come in.  For instance, if the event has 8 vendors and three of them are jewellery vendors, it may be tough to get a lot of customers to attend unless they are looking for jewellery.  If the event is over a few days, it may be a good idea to limit how many per company or type or product or both.

Website – Along with the type of chat room you are in, it’s important to consider how the website hosting looks.  If the website looks spammy or like it was thrown up in five minutes, people may wonder how reputable the event is and avoid it.  But if it looks professional and attractive, people are more likely to check it out and trust the vendors.

Orientation Chat – Do the organizers require you to attend a chat to get familiar with the room and features before the event, especially if it is your first one with them?  This can be very helpful so that you are not trying to figure things out in the middle of your presentation and wasting precious time.

Did you miss Part 1 or Part 2?  Make sure to check them out!

Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 1

Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 2

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Direct Sales Online Vendor Events – Part 2

Chat room (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prepare – One of the best things you can do is to type out your presentation beforehand including any specials you have going on or links to your website. Then you can just cut and paste when it’s your turn.  Just like a presentation in real life, it can be easy to forget something if you do it on the fly.

Moderators – Will there be moderators present?  While you may not think they are needed, your chat room may get spammers in them who will not quit posting or you may have someone who is in there just to cause trouble or put down a product.  It is important that the moderators are actually attending and watching the chat, as if you have to message them to deal with the situation, it can get out of hand before they arrive.

Incentives – What reason is there for people to attend this event?  People are busy and an online event will take up more of their time than an in person event.  Many people are in and out of an in person event in half an hour and they have seen any vendors they are interested in within that time.  Even if the event itself is not offering one, you may want to offer one yourself to try and get people to attend during your presentation.

Back Up – What happens if the servers go down before the event or in the middle of it?  Is there somewhere else that everyone can congregate?  You can find a variety of chat rooms – some are free and some are paid.  The differences are likely to be features available within the chat room.

Updates – How quickly is the schedule being updated with new vendors?  This is especially important as the event fills up or gets closer as without the site updated, the organizers are being contacted regarding spots that are already taken.

Come back friday for the conclusion

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Direct Sales Online Vendor Events

There are many direct sales vendors who live in an area that either does not host vendor events or cannot attend for a variety of reasons.  But fear not, there are people who organize and offer online vendor events for direct sales consultants.  How do you know what is a good one though?

First, decide what you want to see from an online vendor event.  Do you want sales, do you want to be able to do a

presentation, and are you concerned about cost or time frame availability?  Then, you can sit down and locate events and decide if they are worth it for you.

What to Look for:

Convenience – With an online event, you will be given a time slot.  You may be able to select or it may be assigned to you.  With this, you want to make sure the time frame is convenient for the most amount of people.  For this reason, you may not want an 11 pm PST slot as all the people on the east coast will likely be asleep.

Advertising– Have you seen a fair bit of advertising for the event or if you are getting in early, do they plan to do quite a bit?  Has it been done before and has a reputation fo

r being a good event?   Ask the organizers if they can provide you with buttons, banners or other methods of advertising to use.  If there is a Facebook event set up, make sure to get an invitation so you can invite everyone you know.

Time – How much time do you get for your presentation?  Look for events where you are given between thirty minutes and an hour.  This gives you time to do a short presentation as well as answer questions people have.  More than an hour and people will get bored and leave.

Come back Wednesday for part 2

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Direct Sales Trade Show Pet Peeve – Leaving Early

So you are doing a trade show.  It’s scheduled from 10 to 5 pm.  So you arrive between 9 and 9:30 to get setup and get ready (okay, maybe a bit later than that depending on your setup time).  Regardless, you are there on time and are prepared to stay until 5 pm.  You have your phone, your laptop or sales material to keep yourself busy if things are slow.

But.. 3 o’clock rolls around and a few vendors start packing up.  Or maybe that has happened earlier in the day and a few tables are already empty.  Of course, you don’t know their personal circumstances.  Maybe they got a phone call that someone was in a horrible accident and they had to leave.  That would be an acceptable reason but I cannot think of too many other reasons that a direct sales person should be packing up to leave early.

Sometimes a person has a party on the same day of a trade show.  But I tend to think that if you have a party that is scheduled for the same time as the trade show you should either pass on the trade show  or have a team member come out and handle the booth when you are gone.  If you are already scheduled for the event when you get a party, you can schedule the party for after the event is over or again, see if someone can come cover your booth.

You may wonder what the big deal is about leaving early – you are doing a disservice to the other vendors as well as customers that may come near the end of the event.  People may walk in the door and see that half the tables are empty and walk back out.  Or people may miss out on what you are offering due to the fact that you left early.

Be aware, some trade shows will charge you a deposit and if you leave early, you will not get it back.  This is more common with the expensive shows but I wouldn’t be surprised to see some of the smaller shows not invite direct sales vendors back who leave really early.

 

 

 

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Participating in Trade Shows – Advice

One thing that a lot of us in direct sales tend to do is get involved in trade shows.  Whether we organize them ourselves or join one that someone else is organizing, there are some things that you can do to make everything go smoother for you as a vendor.

If you are not organizing the trade show, here are a few things to keep in mind when getting in touch with the organizer.

  • Do not ask how many people will show up, the coordinator is not a mind reader (especially true for smaller events; for large, arena type events, they likely have this information)
  • Do not expect the coordinator to do work on the event that you won’t do.
  • Please read through the information provided before asking questions – This will typically tell you what is expected of you, how much space you will have, information about electricity or anything else you may need to know.
  • Do not assume the coordinator has extra room for friends or family to come out.  If you know someone who wants to participate, have them contact the co-ordinator to see if there is room.
  • Provide the coordinator with an email address or phone number that you can be reached and reply to any correspondence within 48 hours.
  • The coordinator is probably spending hours upon hours trying to make this a successful event, so if people don’t show up, don’t assume it’s because of the coordinator.
  • A simple thanks or small gift goes a long way.
  • Invite people multiple times – especially within a few days of the event happening.  People are forgetful.
  • Invite absolutely everyone you know.  We all know only a quarter or a third of the people invited to a party actually attend – the numbers seem to be less for trade shows (from my experience), so invite absolutely everyone!
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How to Organize a Direct Sales Trade Show

If you decide that you are going to organize a trade show, be prepared for a lot of work. It may seem easy, but there is a lot to do to have a successful show.

Date/Location – The first thing you need to do is pick a date and decide where you aer hosting the event.  Some people like to host at home to keep the costs down, others like to rent a hall and host the event there.  Of course, location is going to have a bearing on the cost for your vendors.

Advertising – Decide on the type of advertising you want to do.  Figure out what it is going to cost you before you establish your table costs.  The type of advertising and the cost associated with it is going to determine the cost of your table.

Information – Figure out any rules/conditions/requirements of your vendors.  This means – do they need to contribute a door prize, is there going to be electricity available for them, do they need to provide table cloths – basically, anything that you think that your vendors will want to know.  The more information that you provide, the less questions you will be asked.

Find Vendors – You likely already know people that you plan to invite to your trade show, but depending on the location, you may need to find more people to join the event.  There are several ways you can do this but the best method may be word of mouth.  Invite those vendors you know and ask them if they know anyone else to invite.  You may want to tell them what companies you already have so that you do not get vendors with the same company inquiring.

Pre-payment – One of the last things I recommend is getting pre-payment from your vendors.   If people have already paid for their table, they are less likely to flake on the day of the event.  I did one show where the organizer did not get pre-payment from the vendors and half of them did not show up.

Keep in touch– Keep in touch with the vendors once they have signed up, especially if you are organizing the event a few months in advance.  This is especially important if you have not dealt with these vendors before as they want to know that the event is still on and that you will not just run away with their money.

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Unique Ways to Save on Direct Sales Supplies for Trade Shows

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins (Photo credit: epSos.de)

Previously I have talked about buying supplies that don’t cost a lot of money for your business.  Things like business cards, brochures, and other items.  But chances are you need other items for your business that you may have to get elsewhere.  Here are some ideas to help you save on those items.

Table Coverings – I recently discovered this one and I can’t believe it took me so long!  If you have a thrift store where you live, check to see if they have an area with sheets and other home items.  I picked up a huge black sheet for 4 dollars and a pretty white lacy runner for 2 bucks.  I was previously using sheets but they didn’t look as nice as this one does.  A quick wash and I’m ready to go.

Risers – Chances are, if you look around your house you can find a lot of items that you can use for risers in your display.  Recently I changed how I was doing things and started to highlight our seasonal products in a different way.  I took one of the boxes that I hauled my product in, flipped it over, and covered it with another table covering I had.  This distinguished it from the rest of my table, and kept my area looking neater as I didn’t have this big random box.  If you do this, just make sure you don’t have anything you may need in that box.  You can also use other smaller boxes at various points on your table with the same effect.

Candy – Depending on what you are selling, you can use candy to help decorate your table.  Around valentines, heart shaped candies can be cute, as you move towards Christmas you can purchase chocolate balls.  This is multipurpose as you have a snack while at events, and you can invite people to your booth, take a candy, and browse.  And of course, you get the tax deduction!  If you use this method, make sure you buy wrapped candy.

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4 Tips for Direct Sales Trade Show

Here are some tips to help you with any direct sales trade shows that you may attend.

Networking– Networking is great when it comes to a trade show and it is quiet.  You can learn a lot from the other direct sales vendors such as ideas to help your table display, where the great events are or which ones to avoid.  Not to mention information about their products which you may want to purchase.  But, the trick to this is that i

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f the show starts to pick up, you should return to your table and deal with potential customers.  If you are not there, they likely are not going to stop at your table.

Engage an Assistant – Going along with the deserted table, bringing an assistant with you can be helpful.  This person could be part of your team or a friend. The benefit to a teammate is that you can use the time for training and they can watch you in action to learn.  They can also watch the table if you want to go network or you need to use the washroom or just take a break to stretch your legs.  If your assistant is a friend who is not in the business, this is fine, but make sure that you are still paying attention to what is going on and that you are not ignoring potential customers.

Look Professional – I find it very interesting to watch how people dress for direct sales trade shows.  Usually the ones that are dressed the best are those that represent jewellery or makeup.  I am not sure if they have a required outfit from their company, but they are usually the ones you can take a lot of tips from.  Personally, I am not a dress and heels girl, so I wear business dress clothing – usually a pair of black dress pants and a logo shirt from my company.   I do wear my runners as you are on your feet a lot and people do not tend to see my feet.  If you do not own dress clothing, then wear a nice pair of pants and shirt.  If your clothing has rips or tears, do not wear it.  If you need to purchase something, keep it specifically just for trade shows and you can write it off as an expense for your direct sales business.

Draws/Raffles – A lot of vendors use raffles or draws to get customer information.  Chances are, you are welcome to enter these as well as you are a potential customer.  Be professional if you are entering and only enter if you are truly interested in the product.  You may want to confirm with the vendor that they do not mind – I haven’t met any that do mind but courtesy can take you a long way.

Direct sales trade shows can be a lot of fun and very worthwhile.  Hopefully these tips will help you to be more successful and make your goals when attending one.

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Preparing for your First Direct Sales Trade Show

Direct sales trade shows can be scary when you are first starting out.  If at all possible, it is a good idea to go with your upline and see what they do before you strike out on your own.  If that is not possible, here are a few ideas to help you out.

Set up a Sample Display – If you have a table at home that might be similar to the one at the event, set up your display on it.  See what you think and where you could improve.  Take a picture and send it to your upline or ask them to take a picture of their set up and send it to you.  It might be a good idea to do both of these to be even more effective.

Pack in Advance – If you leave packing until half an hour before you need to leave, you are likely to forget some very important things.  Case in point, one of my last direct sales trade shows, I forgot to print and prep my recruit packages!  Oops!  I also recommend loading your car the night before if it is possible as mornings can be rushed.

Table Cloth – Bring a covering for your table.  The first trade show I did, I knew nothing about this and I put in an emergency call to someone I knew to bring me one.  You can buy logo’d ones from your company or you can buy them from a variety of places.  Pieces of fabric or sheets can work well.

Levels – When creating your display, create different levels.  This helps to attract the eye to different areas and highlight certain times.  I like to use the boxes that my products come in and cover them up with a sheet and then set the product up on top. This keeps the amount of things I have to haul down.

Make a List – I rely on lists more and more all the time.  For this reason, I actually have a list of everything I want to take with me to check when I am packing.  I don’t refer to it as often as I would like, but if I do remember, I know I will be better prepared.

Labels – If you use reorder labels or any other type of labels, pack extra.  You never know when you will discover something on your table does not have your information on it.  I also take extra with me as then I can label catalogues if I discover one got missed or if I have other paper that should have a label on it.  That said; do not forget your business cards!

Inventory or Not – Keep in mind that some companies do not allow their consultants to sell off their table.  But beyond that, inventory can be a hot topic when it comes to direct sales trade shows.  Most people attend in order to get more bookings or recruits.  If this is your goal as well, chances are you will take minimal inventory as an incentive to get bookings but you will want to still take items so people can see them.  Talk to your upline or others in your company if you are not sure.

Direct sales trade shows can be a lot of fun.  It’s a great opportunity to network and get to know other consultants which may come in handy later on.  I also find out about a lot of events through these events.

 

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