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Are you going to charge less, the same or more than your competitors for your products or services? Remember, you should only charge more if you can justify the increase as a perceived value to the customer. In other words, take a hard look at yourself and your product or service. Are you the just anybody who painted the soup can or an Andy Warhol? Think visibility first, before anything else.

Before you can sell anyone anything, you have to get them to your booth. Nothing else was visible. A steady stream of people kept approaching that person and asking them what was going on — a perfect selling opportunity. Just standing there and letting people look at things is not going to engender the number of sales you're dreaming of. Your job as a salesperson is to counter those reasons and give them a reason to buy instead.

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One reason that works for many people is the reason explained in the nest point below. So give them one. These are all questions that prospective buyers might ask about a piece or a service if they were interested in it. So turn it around. Stimulate their interest by giving them the answers to the questions they might not have even thought of.

How To Measure Trade Show Success

Sometimes things come with their own provenance. Think antiques. Or things that celebrities have used. So anything you can do to encourage someone who has bought something from you to return and buy something else from you is a great thing. Straight punch card types where customers can buy x number of items and then get one free are popular, but I think programs that encourage customers to bring in other potential customers are even better — such as giving customers a discount card they can pass along to someone and then get a discount themselves when that card is turned in.

The Balance Small Business uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By using The Balance Small Business, you accept our. By Susan Ward. Before you start slapping stickers on anything, read and memorize this first rule of pricing:. The same can be said for the personalities of marketing and sales people when faced with challenges and every day business situations, however, there is a difference between the two and those dynamics often show themselves when faced with the tasks of trade show planning and successfully executing exhibit functions on the show floor.

Simply stated, the marketing people do what they are directed to do and the sales people do what they directed to do. Tasks often include market research, competitive analysis, product introduction program development and the design of selected communications and advertising campaigns. According to Robert A.

The early development of the corporate marketing function as we know it was accomplished at Procter and Gamble when in they introduced Ivory soap to the consumer masses. This innovative marketing organization was officially created in and was based on competing brands managed by dedicated groups of marketing people. Since then, Proctor and Gamble has successfully introduced main stays in the consumer world including: Crest toothpaste, Crisco cooking oil, Head and Shoulders shampoo and Old Spice after shave lotion to name a few.

While working at Memorex, management decided to enter the audio tape business which was then dominated by 3M and they cleverly hired a team of Proctor and Gamble marketing executives to head up the new consumer audio tape division. This untenable situation provided a poignant appreciation of the unique differences between consumer and business to business marketing effectiveness. The activity of selling actually takes place in the executive offices of various retailers who are pitched to assign their valuable retail shelf space to heavily media supported new products. Business to business marketing however, is quite different in the fact that few customer individuals are able to purchase capital products without formal authorization from their purchasing people and it often requires sales people making field sales calls to present, demonstrate, negotiate and earn a purchase order for the products they represent.

The marketing function is usually managed by strategic people who enjoy research, planning, developing and executing programs that are deemed to be well thought out and usually unfold over time; while sales are important, there are other quantitative, qualitative results and analysis that are viewed as equally important that might add to the research, development and success of future marketing programs. As a salesman in the field, I was motivated by learning the professional approach to successfully selling, meeting or exceeding my monthly sales targets and making as much money as I could while enjoying being responsible for managing my own time and resources.

The corporate marketing side of my experience calmed me down a bit and forced me to become more systematic and strategic and less anxious to sell more products faster. The corporate environment seemed to require me to become more sophisticated, less frantic and more professional where time was measured more in business quarters instead of weeks, months or days as was the case when I was a salesman in the field. Also, while working in marketing, I appreciated not working in the pressure packed environment of sales and being asked by almost anyone in management, how my sales to target looked.

15 Trade Show Booth Success Tips | HuffPost

This dynamic often creates an environment of discomfort among sales and marketing people and in many cases exposes the underlying tension that exists between the two just below the surface. For me, the many lessons learned while working in the sales and marketing departments of large corporations culminated when I was asked to join OrCAD Systems Corporation, a new start up Software Company where I assumed Vice President level responsibility for both sales and marketing.

I quickly found myself required to effectively blend the strategies of marketing with the tactics of sales and did so successfully by first attempting to sell product and then using whatever results learned to better identify and utilize various additional marketing support tools to pave the way to greater sales. I spent most of the rest of the show in the seats above the show floor observing, taking notes and building a comprehensive outline for my new exciting presentation.

The leads were rated cold-warm-hot and were followed up on one week following the show. Each lead card distributed had hand written notes of the exchange and the rating identified by the interviewer indicated the level of buying interest. It was also known by the field sales team members that I would call leads at random soon after the show to confirm that they were contacted and satisfied with the way they were serviced.

The trade show is a unique tactical, face to face sales event, staged for two or three days which presents an exhibitor with an entire market of suspects, prospects and customers considering the purchase of products and services. The challenge for many trade show managers is to create and foster a cooperative planning environment where the dynamics of tactical sales and strategic marketing personalities can work together to contribute their individual talents and perspectives in reaching for new levels of trade show sales success.


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From selecting booth space, scheduling exhibit materials, developing effective product presentations, to arranging show logistics, transportation and show services, all trade show planning should be accomplished within a relaxed, well managed time frame or problems, cost over runs and frustration will take center stage and hamper the chances for a successful trade show experience. Without a plan backed by management which includes goals, objectives, budgets and individual responsibilities, there is little chance that an exhibitor will find success on the trade show floor.

Management must be provided appropriate opportunities to interact with the trade show planning function at a time when adjustments can be made without causing major budget or logistical problems. Making changes on the trade show floor is about 6 months too late to do anyone any good. Too little space wastes selling opportunities.

2. Establish goals

Too much space wastes money and resources. Determining the right size booth space and exhibit should be established by carefully analyzing what is needed to effectively present and demonstrate product, process sales leads, quietly confer with customers and operate the exhibit for the duration of the show. Considering each trade show contact in the context of making sales calls in the field is a good start in determining how much time, money and space is required to meet your established sales lead quantity and quality targets.

The exhibit should tell prospects who you are, where products are located and something about key products presented. The exhibit will not take the place of your sales, technical or management teams on booth duty, nor will it close any sales.


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Depending on the exhibit alone to ensure any measure of trade show success will only be disappointing. The exhibit should simply set the stage for people to do business with each other one at a time. While you want the exhibit to attract your targeted prospects to seek more detailed product information and invite them to visit with your booth personnel, it should also act as a visual communications screening tool that from the aisle permits your non-targeted prospects to walk on by. There is no better environment for top management to demonstrate its commitment and experience to a business than on the floor of a trade show exhibit.

Top management should be encouraged to lead by example and take the opportunity to work a booth side by side with the exhibit team adding credibility and substance to the overall exhibit presentation.

Only top sales and technical people should be invited to represent the company at major trade shows. It should be viewed as a privilege and an honor to be asked to work an exhibit and have daily access to top management, important prospects and key customers. Having uninspired people work an exhibit sends the entirely wrong message to important prospects and customers. A pre-show meeting provides marketing, sales, top management and the trade show manager an opportunity to present the exhibit team with pertinent product, corporate and strategic marketing information.

Similar meetings at the end of each day will also aid in keeping the exhibit functioning properly and the shows goals and objectives on track. Simply placing product on the back wall or on a pedestal of your exhibit is not be enough to present its unique features and benefits in a fashion that compels a prospect to want to learn more.