Trade shows can be extremely important in propelling the brand’s commercial success. However, often companies get so carried away with setting up their booths and making everything look prim and proper, that they forget about making sales. While your label’s visuals are really important, they are not the only vital aspect. So today we’re offering a few sales tips to help you maximize your trade show ROI.
By ChristianGregersen (photos by Christian Gregersen) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Get a Head Start
1. Don’t waste your time waiting for the next big client to simply drop by your booth. Be proactive and invite potential customers to your brand’s trade show exhibit. Every single client, existing and potential, is extremely important, so do include them all on the VIP guest list.
2. Make sure you reach out not just to current stockists, but also to the buyers who have shown interest in your line in the previous seasons, but have not picked up the collection yet.
Don’t Be Afraid of Cold Calling
3. There are several things that you can do to make cold calling pay off. The first thing is to do some research and create a comprehensive list of potential clients. Spending one hour a day while gearing up for the show can bring in the big money ticket in the end.
4. Try baiting your prospects with ‘trade show only’ promotions. Make sure to add notes to the potential guest list so that you know who may show, and what they might be most interested in.
By Mike Schinkel [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr
The Art of Pitching
5. Always put your brand’s name out there first, even in email communications. Use it as the subject line of the letter, mention it in voicemails and phone conversations.
6. It’s essential that you are concise when pitching to retailers. Since they are as busy as you are, don’t be long winded, but stay on topic and show enthusiasm in providing them with the details of exactly what your brand can offer.
7. Voice mail messages and emails may not always get any response at all. Sometimes you may receive a reply telling you the retailer is not interested in your brand. Do not let either of these situations leave a mark on your determination. Those who do take the time to reply are not lost all together – it still puts one foot in the door.
By Aprose793 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Reel in the Big Ticket
8. Find out as much as you can about your potential clients and be prepared to negotiate to balance their expectations with what you can realistically deliver. To seal the deal, make your clients feel important, and sweeten the offer with promotions tailored to the retailer’s needs. But before signing any contract, make sure that its terms will contribute to your bottom line, not harm it.
About The Author: BridgeShowroom
Ken Nachbar is a co-founder and partner in Bridge Showroom. Ken loves working with designers, helping them open new doors, find new customers, and grow their businesses. With bachelor's degree in economics and an MBA from the University of Michigan, Ken combines 25 years of management skill and experience with his passion for fashion.
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