Contributed by Simply Business
A wise person once said that people love to buy, but they hate to be sold. An even wiser person once said that in 2021, aggressive sales tactics will do you more harm than good at a trade show. Because in a world of unlimited online choice, the only power the hard sell has is the power to repel casual visitors away from your stand.
In this day and age, business owners have learned that to attract customers, they need a softer approach. They also know that investing their time in networking, researching the competition, and trying out new markets, often opens the doors to incredible opportunities down the line.
What do you see when you see a crowd of trade show visitors?
If you see five thousand chances to convert, you might want to reconsider your mindset. After all, not everyone is going to want what your business is offering. If you spent every minute of your time at JTrade trying to convert passing strangers, you’d come away horse, exhausted and likely fed up.
The truth is, when it comes to purchase decisions, people like to feel they’ve got the freedom to make their own minds up about something, in their own time, without outside pressure.
If they feel they aren’t being given the opportunity to do this, they will quickly find an excuse to melt back into the crowd.
Focus on the long game.
At a trade show, time is limited, and attention is scattered all over the place. This means it’s naturally tempting to go in hard, and get those sales while you can. However, that’s the kind of pressure situation that puts people off.
Sometimes it’s better to swap contact details, add an email address to your mailing list, and potentially turn that trade show chat into a longer, and more in depth conversation, over time.
You might not come home from the day with a thousand new orders, but you will have planted the seeds that could lead to untold amounts of new business over the next months and years, if you play the game carefully, and with patience.
Commit time to networking, rather than just selling.
Most people attend trade shows to make connections, and that means it’s easy to start conversations. Chat to other exhibitors, ask them questions about what they do, show an interest in their business. Sometimes, those low-key conversations can lead to unexpected opportunities for future collaborations.
You’ll also find that the likes of bloggers, journalists and other influential types often do the rounds at JTrade. And guess what? Many of them are happy to fly under the radar, and won’t necessarily announce their importance with fancy clothes, or a ‘do you know who I am?’ attitude. So it goes without saying that you should take the time to be friendly and approachable to everyone you come across. And who knows? Make the right impression to the right person, and you might get free publicity through a mention in an article or influential blog. I’ve seen it happen.
Oh, and if you’re going to an after-show party, or dinner with a group of fellow attendees, bring plenty of business cards. Often, it’s during these more relaxed and informal meetups where business really gets done.
See what the competition is up to.
You’ll be surrounded by hundreds of opportunities to see how other businesses do things. Take notes of what grabs your attention, and what gets people talking. It’s all inspiration for improving your own business.
And remember, you’ll also get the chance to see how your direct competitors approach attracting new business. Think of it as research, or friendly spying. And don’t be surprised if you find other attendees checking what you’re doing too. It’s all part of the game.
Dip your toes into new markets.
Bubble Wrap was originally marketed as a wallpaper, and then greenhouse insulation, with little success. It was only when the inventor realised it could be used as a packaging material that their fortunes changed.
Sometimes, you can self-limit the market for your products or services, simply by not knowing who would get the most use out of what you are offering. JTrade brings so many different people and industries together under one roof, it really is a unique opportunity to research new markets… even ones you never knew existed. Finding that gap for your product in a new industry could be exactly what your business needs to step up to the next level.
JTrade isn’t just a trade show. It’s a catalyst for our exhibitors to grow their reputations, turnover, and networks. And with more attendees than ever this year, the stage is set for our best show yet. Can you feel the buzz? Book your stand now.
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