13 Aug 5 Ways to Close More Sales at Trade Shows
Trade shows, conventions, and conferences offer valuable opportunities that you’d be hard-pressed to find in another venue. Where else can you go out in the field, find customers that are already searching for a solution like yours, and start closing deals that same day?
But attending this type of event typically has a cost, and sometimes a steep one—think registration fees, plane tickets, lodging, etc. To justify these expenses, it’s important that you have strategies in place to make sure you receive a return on your investment. Here are 5 proven ways to close more sales at trade shows:
1. Reach out to attendees BEFORE the show
Drive more traffic to your booth by reaching out to your prospects before the event even begins. Ask trade show organizers for a list of event attendees, or refer to the event’s RSVP page. Once you have that information, it’s time to generate some buzz for your business. You can do this through direct mail, email, or social media. What’s most important is making these pre-event interactions as personalized as possible.
If you’re attending an event for a specific industry, be sure to tailor any correspondence to that niche. This correspondence should also touch on any other special offers or components of your event marketing. Having a drawing or a contest? Mention it in your initial email. Offering a limited-time discount on your products or services to event attendees? Put that info on your flyer before dropping it in the mail.
2. Entice attendees with exclusive content and prizes
Before you can close a sale, you’ll need to attract visitors to your booth. Yes, you have the best solution that will save them X dollars, but before you can tell them about it, they have to be interested enough to pause at your booth and wonder, “Hmmm, what’s all this about?” You only have a few seconds to grab someone’s attention, so think big.
Once your content has reeled in passersby, you want to collect as much information as possible. Consider offering a prize drawing in exchange for information. People love to hear the word, “free,” and—if you play your cards right—“free” can actually add up to additional revenue. Collecting business cards for a raffle is a tried and true method to quickly gather contact information. Just make sure the prize you’re offering is relevant to the attendees that fit your buyer persona.
3. Define a specific call-to-action
Ensure that you are getting the most from your trade show experience by charting a clear path forward for your prospects. What are you hoping to accomplish at the event? That should shape your call-to-action. For example, if you’re hoping to grow your email list for your artisan candle company, your call-to-action might be, “Receive a free sample when you join our mailing list!” If you’re reaching out to attendees before the show to promote your salon, your call-to-action might be, “Book a consultation for 40% off your first service!” Whatever verbiage you decide on, it should be echoed in your correspondence, signage, etc.
Your call-to action should be customized for the event and offer value to the attendees. You also want to introduce ease and urgency. It should be easy for prospects to follow the call-to-action, and there should be a reason for them to do it now.
4. Collect payment at the booth
According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), 81 percent of trade show attendees have buying authority. Are you allowing visitors to your booth to use that buying authority? Think about it. You’re an exhibitor, and a prospect says, “Okay. That sounds great! Can I pay you now?” If you don’t have a processing method readily available, your options are to write down a credit card number (unprofessional and unsafe) or follow-up about the sale later (which allows the buyer more time to potentially change their mind).
This is where mobile processing comes in. Accepting mobile payments helps you stand out from the competition, and close more deals with decision makers who are ready to buy. You’re also ensuring that transactions are processed in a secure and efficient way. With mobile payments, funds will be transferred directly to your bank account (often in less than 48 hours). This is substantially faster than waiting until you get back from the trade show to make a deposit.
5. Follow-up after the show
For some prospects, attending a tradeshow is a way to window shop. In other words, they’re not ready to buy yet. In these cases, you’ll want to leverage all that information you gathered at the booth to move them further down the sales funnel.
Just like correspondence that happens before the event, you can reach out to attendees using direct mail, email, and social media. It’s important to follow up as soon as possible, so any interaction prospects had with you at the show is still top-of-mind.
If your operation frequently attends trade shows, it’s true that a mobile processing solution can help you close more sales on-site. But did you know that accepting mobile payments can continue to help you make sales, even after the event? Integrated marketing apps allow you to easily follow up with everyone you connected with at the show and insightful reporting means you can improve on your sales efforts with each new event. For more benefits of utilizing a mobile processing solution, read 4 Ways a Mobile Point of Sale Can Grow Your Business.
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