If your business is already doing well it can be tempting to write off things such as trade shows as an unnecessary expense. They do take a lot of work and are not the cheapest way to advertise your brand, but they can bring you more business than any other way. That is because the visitors to trade shows are interested in your line of business so you have a captive audience of the right genre before the doors even open.
There is no other way that you can guarantee connecting with people who want your products or service, and for that reason alone they should be an important part of your marketing strategy.
Connect With Prospective Customers Face-To-Face
Often when you speak to prospective customers on the phone they think you are just a salesperson. They don’t bother to return your calls and this can get very frustrating.
Meeting them face-to-face alters that situation. Even if they do not buy from you at the trade show they will know you are a real person who cares about your business.
Next time you call, they are far more likely to speak with you or to return your call, as they will know you are a genuine individual.
Trade shows aren’t just about marketing; you may be able to close a deal with a new customer while the trade show is taking place, as people will often buy when they can actually see the product in front of them and have all the workings of it explained. Even if they do not actually buy on the day, you may well be able to get their email address or phone number and expand the number of leads you have.
Connect With Existing Customers
It will not only be new customers attending the trade show, but some of your existing customers will also be there too. When they see your display stand they will head for it to meet the people they have been dealing with. Of course, until you speak with them you will not know if they are a new or existing customer and so you should greet them all with a smile and courtesy.
Face-to-face meetings are said to be one of the best ways to strengthen a customer relationship, and often you will find that they spend more money after actually saying hi. Technology has made meeting customers happen less often, but research has shown that these get-togethers at trade shows can be one of the most effective ways of increasing your sales.
Learn About New Developments In Your Industry
Trade shows are a great opportunity for you to learn about any new developments in your industry. There are bound to stands that have all the latest innovations, and if they are few and far between, new things will be discussed among the stand holders.
This is one of the reasons that as the business owner, you should attend the trade show yourself.
Connect With Other Businesses
When you have a stand at a trade show there will be many other businesses in the same line as you. Connecting with these can be good. You may be able to find a better supply chain or better prices for your product. You may even start to sell to some of them.
The point is that often businesses that meet up at trade shows find they can help each other, and there is no reason why this cannot work for you too.
Seeing all these other businesses will also let you see how they operate. You may find there are things they do that could help your business, even if it is a mistake they are making that you will be sure to avoid.
Trade shows provide a great opportunity for staff training, which can be especially crucial if yours is an online business. Your employees will be dealing with people over the counter, which is not something they normally have to do. It is a chance to teach them how to improve their ‘people skills’ as well as their sales tactics and anything else related to your business.
Your stand should be manned at all times with employees that are friendly and sociable. Nothing looks worse than an unattended stand and that will mean existing and prospective customers will just walk by without stopping.
If you think trade shows are costly and not worth the effort, just try a couple and you may well be surprised by the upturn in your business they create.