Exhibiting in Trade Shows is not for the faint-at-heart. Travel to and from the show, shipping products in, lodging and meals are expensive enough — and that is before you calculate the actual booth fees!
On the other hand, exhibiting in trade shows can be one of the best investments you make in your business.
So how can you be smart about using trade shows to sell your products?
Create & Thrive published an email article that I want to share here:
1. Set and know your terms and conditions inside and out
Your wholesale terms and conditions are the backbone of any wholesale transaction with a buyer.
Terms and conditions define certain obligations and outline key points of the selling agreement between the buyer and the seller (you!).
I recommend that terms and conditions include details of minimum order amounts, payment options, turn-around time, shipping details, and refund and cancellation policies…
2. Be prepared for buyers to ask you about ‘exclusivity’.
…Buyers may ask you for exclusivity before placing an order.
Essentially this means that once an exclusivity agreement has been made between yourself and the retailer (and an order placed), you have committed to not selling your product to new buyers that operate stores within the neighbouring area, often within the same postcode.
This is one method that a buyer will use to ensure that their store does not stock the same products as competing neighbouring stores...
3. You need line-sheets and business card
…A good line sheet has a list of all your products currently available for wholesale purchase, each with a photo, an SKU or product code, wholesale price and a short description if necessary.
When asked for your line sheet don’t be afraid to ask for the buyer’s business card in return. This provides you with their contact details so you can follow up with them post trade show, should they fail to place an order.
My advice to you is to ensure you have enough line sheets printed and prepared well and truly before the tradeshow.…
4. The days are LONG
…Trade shows generally run between 8-11 hours a day over a 3-4 day period.
During this time you will be standing (not sitting!) and speaking to various interested buyers. While it is a challenge to appear permanently happy standing for ten hours a day it is important to greet each customer as if they are your first customer for the day.
Smile, be polite and answer the questions regardless of whether you’re at the end of a ten hour day. Impressions last with buyers and you want to make the purchasing experience pleasant and as easy as possible.
5. Provide a time sensitive sale for the trade show
To secure a few extra sales, it may be beneficial to have a time limited promotion that is valid only for orders placed at the trade show.
This could include offering a percentage off your wholesale amount, free shipping or a free product.
This may be all that’s needed to bump a waning buyer into a committed buyer.
6. Send your invoices immediately after the trade show
Not next week, not even when you return to your home city, but after the trade show when you get back to your hotel.
It keeps your order fresh in the buyer’s mind and it allows them to prepare financially for your order. Buyers often attend multiple trade shows and buy from tens (or hundreds, depending on the size of the retailer!) of different exhibitors…
7. You don’t have to do business with everyone
While it is tempting to accept orders from a diverse range of stores, I recommend that prior to accepting an order with a buyer you first learn about the type and style of store the buyer owns or is managing.
The best stores are the ones that attract customers who align with your ideal customer….
How to market by exhibiting at Trade Shows, and turn your wholesaling efforts into a turnkey, money-making, client-generating machine!