May 20, 2011

How to keep your expensive literature from ending up in the trade show trash bin.

Expensive Literature and Free DinnerExpensive Literature and a Free Dinner

Some years ago I had a client that was determined to spend many dollars on literature to be handed out at the trade show.  No matter what I said he always had a response. “This is old literature, I was going to get rid of it anyway” or “This literature has a lot of information so they will hold on to it”

High Costs

We had done a few trade shows together, and the expense allocated for trade show material was astronomical. When I confronted my client on this, because I had a tough time presenting a realistic ROI (Return on Investment) that made sense. He said, not to worry it was an accounting thing. I also know when things get tight in a company because of a downturn in sales, accounting takes a hard look at everything, and where they can “cut” because of the expense they do.   Having listened to my client talk about his literature – He loved to design, write copy, and show how informative it was, and how the attendees really liked it and no doubt they will be carrying it home to read again and again.

But, they’re so professional! Everyone wants one!

While at my client’s booth at a major trade show at the Javits Center in New York City I really got annoyed, and I confronted my client as he was handing out  these very elaborate 8 page multicolored coated stock brochures that must of cost over $4.00 each. When I saw this I asked him how long he had been handing these out. He said since the start of the trade show, which was at 10:00AM.  It was now a little after noon, and I asked my client how many do you think you have handed out. He was so excited, when I asked him that because he said that everyone wanted them, they were so professional. Again I asked him how many he had given out, and he said, “About 60” Well I said, I have been telling you for over 2 years that it’s a waste of money to spend a lot on literature to be handed out at a trade show because, according to statistics between 82% to 90% of the literature collected at a trade show is thrown away.

The Bet

I said to my client, “I will bet you dinner at the best restaurant of your choosing, that I can collect at least 30 of your brochures right here at the trade show” He said, “I’ll take that bet” With that said, I found two of the workers that empty the garbage cans around the trade show floor. I told them I would give each of them $20 dollars if they could find 30 of these brochures that have been thrown away. Then I told them I would meet them back at the booth in one hour.

50 minutes later both of these workers came back with 45 brochures in their hands, and wanted their money, which I gladly gave them.

That evening I had dinner and a wonderful bottle of very expensive wine at restaurant considered the best seafood restaurant in New York City. My client was still in shock, but not over paying the bill, but seeing how much money he had wasted by not listening to me two years ago when it came to literature.

If you do your trade show literature correctly, it will be inexpensive, it will be focused on this show, and also follow your trade show theme, and it will be something they will hold on too, and use for reference for the whole trade show.

What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments, I would love to read them!

May 13, 2011

Q&A – Who should represent you at your booth?

Category: Q&A — Tags: , , , , , – admin @ 6:43 pm

Dear Mr. Hill:

You have commented about what not to do when you stand booth duty. Since I will be doing a few trade shows in my territory, please give me some pointers of what I should look for when I am asking/requesting people for stand booth duty.

Jim, Sales Manager

Akron, OH

Dear Jim:

Standing booth duty is hard work, but the return on your effort can be tremendous.  The opportunity to generate more sales opportunities in a three day show that you can in 6 months to a year working from your office, should be enough to get anyone interested. But the problem is most sales types don’t look at it like that.  They only see that they are going to be away from their family, friends and clients for three days. You want someone who is a good listener, a person that can ask the qualifying questions without jumping to conclusions.  A good person in the booth is enthusiastic, positive, dressed to do business, qualifies rather than sells, and gives the attendees the impression that he or she is happy to be here and able to serve you. When you have people like that in your booth, you will come away with a number of qualified sales opportunities.

To your continued trade show success

John Hill, Trade Show Coach

April 29, 2011

Q&A – How soon do you follow up leads from a trade show?

Dear Mr. Hill:

How soon do you follow up leads from a trade Show? I am in the plumbing industry and I sell strictly to wholesale, so it’s different than electronic industry that you talk about. Lately I have been contacting them either after they purchased their plumbing requirements for the year, or months before they intend to buy.  What am I doing wrong? Yet, I speak with them at these trade shows and I always get positive indications that they will be buying, and I believe from me, but then, as I said I’m either too early or too late. As far as I’m concerned these trade shows are a waste of time.

Frustrated sales person

Bill D. Sales Rep

Miami Beach, FL.

Dear Bill:

Don’t blame the Trade Shows. If you consider the trade show a waste of time then you, then you are not doing you job effectively. If you don’t know when your clients buy have you ever asked them the question “When is the best time for me to contact you about these products so that we can consolidate our thinking and finalize on the delivery, quantity and price” At a trade show the questions about pricing, delivery and how soon the products are required should all be part of your company’s qualification sequence.  Depending on how soon the potential client needs the product you should be contacting the client asking again, “When is the best time for me to visit your facility so that we can finalize on your requirements?” I assume you are speaking to more than one person at that company, and asking basically the same questions so that you can be prepared to finalize on the requirements.  I know if you follow this game plan you will be successful.

To your continued Trade Show Success.

John Hill, Trade Show Coach

September 30, 2010

Tradeshow Tips with John Hill – Ep#8 – Develop A Booth Script

Category: Podcasts — Tags: , , , , , – admin @ 2:31 am

Wouldn’t it be nice to have everyone working booth duty be in a total concert? Every prospective client gets the same polished pitch, details, pricing and more. If this sounds like music to your ears then you have to develop a BOOTH SCRIPT! Please enjoy this helpful 60 second tradshow tip: