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Posts Tagged ‘direct sales vendor events’

Let us assume that your company allows you to sell product at a trade show.  Should you actually do this or should you focus on showing what your company has to offer and get bookings and recruits instead?

Berry Vendor

Berry Vendor (Photo credit: La Grande Farmers’ Market)

I think the first thing you have to ask yourself is what you are trying to do with your business.    Are you comfortable and happy with the amount of bookings you have and just want to get rid of excess inventory?  Do you want to increase your monthly sales?  Do you want to grow your team bigger?   All of the answers to these can help to decide what to do.

Selling Inventory

Obviously if you are happy with your sales levels and just want to get rid of excess inventory, then you should sell product.  You can always take orders and work on getting bookings while you are there.  You can put up signs and notices about benefits of hosting a party and why you should join the company.

Increase Bookings

If you want to increase bookings, then you should set up your table in that method.  Bring product to show so people can see what you offer but focus on the benefits of hosting.  You could set up an area of the table that shows people what they would get in actual product when they have a party.  You can tell someone they get $40 which doesn’t mean much but if you show them what $40 gets them, it has more impact.  Put up a sign saying “Get all this for $10 by hosting a party!” and then include the breakdown of hostess credit and half off items.

Find Recruits

Just like trying to get bookings, you need to show people the benefits of becoming a consultant with your company.  Set up an area to show people what they get with their kit.  If they can earn it free, let them know what it takes and how to accomplish it.  Explain to them what they can earn.  You may want to put signs that say “Want a new car?  You can earn a car payment with just X amount of parties a week” or something similar.  It needs to catch their attention and draw them in.  Be prepared to answer questions about your own experiences.

I find that you concentrate and present yourself differently when you are simply selling product versus trying to get bookings and find recruits.  This is why it is important to know what you are trying to accomplish at a trade show.

 

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One of the first things you should do at a direct sales trade show is to visit the other vendors.  Say hi, tell them what company you are with and see where it goes from there.  If you are new to trade shows, ask them how they feel this one is going, ask if they have any tips or ideas that might help you out, and if you are interested in their product, ask them about it.  Quite often the direct sales vendors end up buying from each other while at the event.

Advertise – If you have a smart phone or laptop with you and you can access the Internet, go shout it out to everyone that there is a trade show going on.  Make sure you post the address and how late it is going on.  Mention that there are draws or any other goodies that are going on that might entice people to come out.  Encourage the other vendors to do the same.  Call people that you think would be interested or those had expressed interest in attending the direct sales trade show and ask them where they are.

Say Hi – When people do come in, make sure to say hi and make eye contact with them.  This tends to make them stop and say hi, and possibly check out your products.  If you are doing a draw, point it out to them and invite them to enter.  Do not forget to invite the other vendors to enter as well.

Make the location noticeable – Another suggestion to get your direct sales trade show noticed is to put some balloons out in front of the location as well as some signage indicating what is going on.  If people do not know that you are there, they cannot come in.

What else would you recommend to someone in this position?

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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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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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