Up Your ROI (Return on Investment) as a Rock Star Vendor

By Sandra Christian on July 22, 2019

Selling at an event can be exciting and nerve-wracking. As much as you want to set up your marketing display and sell your product, you may also want to secure a spot in your host’s next event, especially if it’s a good fit for you. Focusing on your potential clients is a priority, but consider being a great neighbor and an appreciative guest to your hosts. By respecting the rules and guidelines of the event and pulling out all of those old school manners, you’re sure to up your vendor return on investment (ROI).

Increasing Vendor ROI Before the Show

It’s easy to get caught up in the show itself, but make sure to consider the following before the show even begins.

Tip #1: Ask Questions Ahead of Time

If you have questions about the rules or guidelines associated with the show – ASK. Asking the day before is not cool – your host will be busy getting ready for the event. Instead, make a list of your questions and send off an email ahead of time.

Tip #2: Be Organized!

It's more likely you'll be confident when it comes to selling if you focus on organization ahead of time. Taking the time to plan when it comes to administration and organization of products will increase your day-of-event success and keep your marketing display from looking cluttered.

Tip #3: Be Confident

If you are the one working the event – work it! This is not the “fake it until you make it” moment. Do your homework on your product or service, its history, benefits and the support provided after purchase. Know your stuff ahead of time and you’ll be confident no matter the question asked!

Tip #4: Perfect Your Handshake

Practice makes perfect.  Ask a friend to be 100% honest about your handshake. Gross or painful handshakes will be remembered – and not in a good way. A natural handshake represents confidence and also reduces focus on the shake and more on the product.

Tip #5: Know Who is Representing You

Consider who is representing you and your product at the event. Only enlist those excited to sell your product or service. Don't assume that just anyone will make a great seller simply because they know your product. Consider your audience and who will represent you best. Be honest with those you choose and outline your expectations ahead of time.

Selling at the Show – Winning Tips for Vendor ROI

In addition to communicating with your host and making plans ahead of time, you must make sales at the show. Otherwise, it's not worth repeating. Use the following tips to increase your vendor return on investment at any show.

Tip #6: Be 3D!

Visually, being a flat seller is dull and uninviting – #marketingfail. Up your game – literally. Add height to your marketing display (a flag might help?) so your audience will see your booth clearly and be intrigued to visit.

Tip: If you are under a tent – consider the real estate above your head. Is there something' fun' you can hang in the background or above you? Trade show banners make a great addition to any canopy.

Tip #7: Less is More

Too much clutter in your space will overwhelm your audience – and you. Use height with your table display and trade show banners to encourage your audience to look around. The more time they spend exploring means more time to engage with your product and get to know you as a Vendor.

Tip:  You should have at least 45% white space in your marketing display.

Tip #8: The Giveaway

The standard go-to giveaway is an individually wrapped mint or pen. While it works for many, it's not as fun as giving away something with your logo on it. So, up your game and give something 'fun' away – something people will find useful and exciting! Plus, the more people walking around with your logoed items – the more traffic will come over to get one – and learn about your products. Freebie suggestions could include cell phone chargers, water bottles, stress balls, sunglasses, frisbees.

Tip:  Make sure to make eye contact and introduce yourself with each opportunity. Thank your guest for visiting and tell them to 'enjoy' the treat you gave away.

Tip #9: Network!

Some of your best salespeople should be at the event with you, so designate someone from the team to cruise around and check out all the vendors. Take the time to get to know other vendors’ products and people. Naturally a conversation may develop, and hopefully a business connection will occur. But if you are struggling for an opener, mention their trade show banner or another aspect of their display.  Thank them for their time and take their business card. Leave yours if appropriate.

Tip #10: Collect Email Addresses

Your email list increases sales in the long-term. Be confident and ask your visitors for their email addresses – be 100% transparent as to why you want it and what they will receive in return.

Vendor ROI Strategies for After the Show

Tip #11: Communicate with your Host

At the end of the event, a thank-you email goes a long way – or better yet an old-school letter of appreciation. Don't use this letter to complain, but to show appreciation for good things. If the event led to a fantastic relationship/sale/opportunity, let them know!  They love to hear a good-news story – it'll be excellent in marketing their next event and will up your vendor return on investment!

Tip #12: Increase Networking Connections

After the event send a short personal note or email to all the other vendors you met. In the letter include where and when you met them, what you liked about their product or space, and if applicable let them know you will be happy to drop their name if the opportunity presents itself. Do not ask them to promote you in any way, but remember that this gesture of goodwill might result in that.

Tip #13: Follow Up with Clients

If you collected email addresses, take the time after the event to send a thank you to all potential customers, a recap of your product and service, and some contact information in case they want to connect with you in the future. Any personalization you can include will go a long way toward closing a future sale.

Your Vendor Needs, Simplified

Are you considering increasing your vendor return on investment at an upcoming show? If so, consider SkyLine Canopies for branded canopy products, flags, trade show banners and more. Contact us today to get started!

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