As far as I am concerned, the best time to do these events is when you have a new catalogue and new product. This allows you to create excitement around the event by saying things such as be the first to experience our new X, it is awesome!
It also allows your customers a reason to come out – there are new things to see. The goal is that they will come see the new X, want it, and book a party to get it free or discounted. You may also get someone who comes out and loves everything you have, and wants it all but cannot afford it all. You could get a new recruit.
When you do these kinds of events, they are not always all about sales, but you can offer incentives to get the sales if you want. I see these are more of a chance to let people see what you have and get bookings from it.
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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Talk to others who have done shows already in your area to see what their experience has been like. They can give you advice as to what you should and should not take as well as ideas on how to attract traffic to your direct sales booth.
Make sure you are comfortable with your product and the benefits of the product. This does not mean putting down your competition but highlighting the features of yours. I like to say, “People have told me that they find our product is one of the best in regards to X feature.” Another thing you could say is, “One of my favourite products is this one because of Y feature.” Chances are it is something the competition doesn’t have which is why it’s a selling point but you are making it personal.
Paper is important. People like to get paper from the booths they visit. Have a stack of old catalogues for them to take home as well as contact information. I personally have catalogues, business cards and a tri-fold brochure on my table and I invite them to take any or all of them home with them. Each one has my contact information. This should include information about having a party, signing up with your direct sales company and any other benefits. Some people will take everything; others might just take a card.
Congrats on making this decision on expanding your circle!
The inclination when doing an event is to bring everything you have with you so you can show off everything, but in reality, too much stuff is a turn off to people. Bring the items that will make an attractive display and not look too cluttered.
Ask the organizer how big the tables are so you can practice at home if you are so inclined. If you are doing this, take a picture to bring with so you remember the setup that worked for you.
Things to bring:
– Tablecloth (it helps with presentation)
– Hostess Packages
– Recruit Packages
– Business Cards
– Order forms
– Day planner
– Expired Catalogues (I give these to those people who want a book)
Any effort you put out is up to you, but when it is a small gathering, putting out a few treats can be to your advantage.
By having treats, people will stay a bit longer to have a snack and you can set some catalogues out by the seating area. They will browse through them and may find a product that you have that they did not realize and put in an order. They may find an item they want that is more than they can afford, and book a party so that they can get it for free.
Keep the food simple. Treat it as a come and go home party but with two vendors instead of one.
These are events where there are a variety of vendors in attendance with their wares. It may be put together by one of the vendors to get exposure or sometimes they are done as a fundraiser for an organization and they ask for you to contribute a portion of your sales.
Attendance is truly up to you and what your business goals are. If you are looking to increase your customer base, book more events or add to your team, this can be a great way to get out and meet new people.
To help with the decision of whether you should attend or not is based on a few things.
– Do they charge a fee for the table?
– Do you have to give up a portion of any sales made?
– Do they require a door prize?
– Do they have other reps with the same company?
– Do they have competing companies there? (this may or may not be a concern)
– Have they organized other events?
– What type of advertising are they doing?
While all these questions may not be important to you, be aware that there tend to be many events out there and you can spend a lot of money on them.
Another great reason to attend these events is that you get a chance to meet other vendors. Even if you decide that this event is not for you as a vendor, it is a good idea to try and attend and just check things out.