Lots of work goes into setting up and running a retail or wholesale show booth. All the products need to be produced ahead of time; flyers, newsletter, business cards that need to be printed and distributed; and getting your booth displays set up and ready to go. Seems like a lot of work, but actually, you have just begun the process!
A few weeks ago, I talked about 6 Tips for a Successful Show Booth. Today, I want to give you a loose plan for marketing follow-up after your show.
During retail shows, most sales are made on the spot
You engage consumers, they like your product and buy. But what about those who don’t buy on the spot?
- Start a sign-up sheet or guest book to compile emails and phone numbers. Offer them a bonus for giving you their information.
- Give away plenty of brochures, flyers and business cards to anyone who looks interested in your products.
- Email them about new products, upcoming shows and other interesting information about yourself, your products and your business. Make sure to include images of your products or line of products.
- If you produce a higher priced item like fine jewelry, unique art or other fine arts, you can offer to set up a private appointment at your studio or their home to ‘try’ a particular piece they were interested in at the show.
Marketing after a wholesale show is a bit more involved
Here are some of the tactics I use:
- Download and post all the photos of customers and contacts you took at the show, to various social media and blogs. As you roll out the follow-up sequences below, be sure to include links to your show photos, and invite people to look them over.
- Mail to all who requested specific information first. Note that after a buyer visits numerous booths at a show, they can be confused about the information they collected, so it’s a good idea to clarify (remind them about your booth, products, etc).
- A thank you and reminder mailer, with sales materials, should go out to everyone whose information you were able to obtain. Much of the materials picked up are already in the round file… or in a disorganized stack, the buyer may never get back to.
- For those who purchased at the show, customized the note to thank them for any orders, or offer to extend the show special, and solicit feedback for getting testimonials about your service and/or products.
- For prospects, you might try a “thanks for coming by” offer, with either a scaled-down version of the show offer or a different offer entirely.
- Give EVERYONE a week or (at most) two weeks after the initial mailing and dial them up with a “courtesy call”, to make sure they got their information, or the follow-up materials and offer. Ask if there is anything else you could send them or questions you can answer. Offer to take care of any deficiencies that pop up, IMMEDIATELY. If they did not order at the show, ask them if they would like to place an order now, and take advantage of the post-show offer.
- Check back again every 30 to 60 days with a “courtesy call”, until you get them as a customer, or you are convinced they will never be a customer.
Note that the great majority of exhibitors NEVER FOLLOW UP – instead of waiting for the prospects who came by the booth, to do all the work.
Do your follow-ups and thank yous, and set yourself ABOVE THE CROWD! You have a HUGE investment in the show, and with very little effort (relatively speaking) you can multiply your financial results!