Have you ever received an invitation to a trade show months in advance and weren’t sure when to pay? It can be a tricky situation but there are a few tips I can offer you to navigate this situation and make sure that you get the spot.
IBM @ CeBIT 2010, Hanover, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
See if there is an early deadline for a table. It could be that they are offering the tables to those who had the table first. Quite often, if someone organizes a second trade show, they will contact those vendors that attended the prior event first. If this is the case, they will likely give you a deadline to get your funds in or the table will be up for grabs.
First One Who Sends Money
Many times you will see that an event has something indicating that the first person to pay gets the table. Start by inquiring to find out if your company is already represented. If not, ask if you can reserve the table and advise them that you will be sending payment and how you will be sending it. Make sure to follow through and actually do it! If you cannot for whatever reason, talk to the organizer and see what arrangements can be made. Depending on when the event actually is will determine the flexibility of the organizer. Tables that cannot be paid for within a reasonable time frame or do not have the payment show up will be up for grabs. For me, I give them two weeks.
Again, there is typically a deadline for getting your funds in. This is for a variety of reasons but one is so that they know your company is represented. Some events can be difficult to get into or they need numbers by a certain date to make sure that they have appropriate resources to accommodate everyone.
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.
The simple reason is due to cost. I find many people at trade shows are simply browsing and are not terribly interested in booking anything at that time, if at all. While these books did cost you money at one point, they are now sitting in your home collecting dust and essentially have no worth. Why not re-use them and try to get some value from them?
By giving them out, you are getting them out of your home and into someone’s hand that may not have heard of your direct sales company before. If you try to direct them to your website, they will likely forget and never make it. By having a catalogue, they will idly flip through it while watching TV or something else. If interested, they will contact you to book. But if they do not, you have not wasted more money on buying books that are going to be trashed.
The one problem with this is that they may decide they want something that you can no longer order. One way around this is to only give out books from the last season and which you may still be able to g order from. It is also a good idea to put a expired sticker or draw a line through the front saying this book is expired and some products may not be available any longer. You can purchase these through The Booster or Business Enhancements
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.