How to make even more sales at The Business Networking Show
I get to speak about networking at over 50 business shows and conferences every year. As a direct result, I meet hundreds of exhibitors and attendees who all want to know the same - how can they make more sales?
See, here's the thing, booking a stand or turning up, is the easy bit. Talking to people and swapping business cards is even easier. But for many people, that doesn't result in actual sales.
The Business Networking Show is a regular gig for me and one which I love doing every year. Something which I adore about the show is that it is full of experienced and committed business owners, who have chosen business networking as one of their routes to market. So these guys know what they're doing!
Even bearing that in mind, I reckon there are simple things which each exhibitor and attendee could do to massively increase their return on investment from the show:
Before the show:
Prepare an exclusive special offer for The Business Networking Show and create some scarcity around it, so only offer a certain number, or make it absolutely only available on the day
Make sure you have marketing material to take. Simple, but you'd be surprised how many people don't. Your network is full of people who print leaflets and pop up banners - make use of them!
Pre-write your Email follow up to the people who come to your stand. Set up whichever Email marketing service you use to send the Email as soon after the show as possible - within a few hours if possible. Then all you have to do is enter the details of the people who visit your stand and give you permission to contact them. Make sure you get to them whilst they still remember you.
Book time in your diary after the show to follow up.
Have a look at the website and plan which speakers you want to see, and which exhibitors could be useful for your business so that you can visit them.
Shout out on social media that you're coming and set up 121s with people you wouldn't normally meet - far better to do in advance than rely on you both having time on the day.
At the show:
Talk to people! I am horrified that I should have to mention this but I go to so many shows where the exhibitors hide behind their stands and don't actually engage with the attendees. Trust me on this one given the chance a load of the attendees will walk straight past you. It is up to you to engage with them - start that conversation.
Have a tablet or laptop ready to grab their details straight away.
If you have an exclusive offer, make sure you have the means to take payment on the day.
Set the bar low. Nobody went to the show to buy from you. Use the show as the start of the conversation. Take advantage of the networking opportunities to start conversations which you can continue after the show.
Get to see the speakers you can learn something from. There will be loads of useful free information for you.
After the show:
Exhibitors and attendees:
FOLLOW UP! Once the show was finished everyone went for a drink. Or spent hours on the motorway getting home! It is your job to remind the people that you met that you exist - it is not their job to remember you. The show was the start of the conversation, not make sure that you continue the conversation and remember that the real opportunity is that more people won't bother, so be the one who does.
Every big opportunity starts with a little conversation. Start those little conversations at the show, then follow up for as long as it takes to find the big opportunities.