The endless waiting and hoping for people to come onto your stand.
The thousands of dollars spent on the stand.
The money for the lights, staff, fancy signage etc etc.
The set up and bump out.
The headache that hits when you realise how many orders you have to process (or how few you got)
BLAH BLAH BLAH
Been there and done that. I’ve been attending Trade Fairs in Australia and overseas for over 20 years, and it’s a mad format. For the retailer, it’s just as big a drama. Hour after hour walking up and down aisles, hoping you see that one amazing thing that will change your fortunes that year. If you’re at a trade fair in China, make that days and days walking football field after football field of stands, hoping to see something different.
Well, this year I got to experience something very very different. ECRM . If you haven’t heard of them, I suggest checking it out. It’s their 20th anniversary this year. It works like this. You set up your goods in a hotel room (a model I have tried with clients before), but it’s all organised by ECRM. They bring the retailers and distributers etc to the show and they choose who they want to see. You then have a series of 20 minute appointments with the buyers to do your thang. It’s like speed dating for products!!!! It’s so intense. We had 76 meeting overs 3 days, with dinners, drinks, and other events in-between. I couldn’t fault the organisation and structure….and to be honest if 1/8 of the work comes off, it will be a complete game changer for my client.
The biggest different was QUALIFICATION. Every person that came into that room, had said they wanted to look at their goods. So you weren’t spending your time with chumps that are just there for the free samples.
So why am I telling you this? Well, it really highlighted to me the importance of qualification. Otherwise known as your ideal client, client avatar, dream customer etc etc. How often do we carry on in business not really getting this?
We stick to our ego driven idea that we have something that everyone wants. Bullshit. The only thing everyone on this planet wants is water – and isn’t it a shame it’s sold for such a high price these days. Imagine how much easier it would be if you only spent time talking to qualified leads. That everyday, you took the time to make 3 phone calls, to people that actually wanted to buy, stock, distribute etc your product!!!! You’d soon stop chasing your tail and instead be chasing your accountant to get your figures up to date.
For me this has been an even more interesting exercise because it really highlighted how much I love the world of products. I like bright shiny objects, and brown paper packages and shops and trade fairs, and travel and watching the look on someones face when they see their product in store or online for the first time.
You need to know your client inside and out, top to bottom, good and bad.
Anyway, here are my 5 Top Tips for finding your dream client:-
Oops – I better explain them. Even better, here are some of the questions I get my clients to answer when we work on this. We usually spend a long time working on this, because it is so important. One of my favourite parts of working on this is the letter writing – but I don’t go into that here.
What are your first 10 thoughts about your ideal client?
Do they currently buy your types of products or services? If so, whose?Where are they?How many of them are there?
What is their average income?
What is their level of education?What are their interests?
What is the family structure? Kids, married, single.
What do they do for entertainment?What do they read?
What do they do for holidays?
Who has them before you?What do they want?
What do they need?
What are their fears?Where do they hang out? Online and offline.Where would you find a list of your ideal clients?
“Noooooo did someone mention sales. Shit. I thought I just had to develop and great product, have a pretty website and people would buy”.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a variation of that over the years (including from inside my mind back in the day).
Sales are not scary, but sales are not easy peasy either. Unless you’re selling overpriced water at an event that they won’t let you bring water into!!! But let’s not get me started on that business model.
Let’s look at my 5 Secrets of a Smart and Simple Sales Strategy:
Know your product inside and out. I mean every nut and bolt. Every benefit, every feature – with values for both, every glowing review, every shitty review…every every everything. There is nothing that’s going to lose a conversion faster than you saying ‘I don’t know about that’.
Know your perfect customer warts and all. Where are they, who are they, what do they do, how do they buy, how can you speak to them etc etc. How exactly is your product or service going to benefit them. The reality is, most customers don’t give a flying hoo flung dung about what your product or service means to you – it’s all about them.
Know how to handle objections and have answers for as many of them as possible (I’ve seen this done so beautifully on some websites also).
Know the sales process inside and out. From initial contact to satisfied customer, return business and more. The pre and post journey a customer takes is almost as important as the product itself. This journey is where you get the opportunity to totally wow your customer by making them feel truly special. Choose the right process for the right product. It’s actually ok to have a totally automated online sales process for some products and a phone process for others. Mixing it up works – and helps you capture other areas of the market.
Know that the only way you will grow your business in actually by DOING IT!!!!!!! Do it – measure the results. Tweak. Do it – measure the results. Tweak. Sounds like a broken record – it’s not, it’s the only way your business will truly grow.
When I work with my clients on their Smart and Simple Sales Strategy we take lots of time. It’s not a 2 second job. You really do need to understand your client and your product and create the right sales strategy for your business. Remember there may be different strategies for the different products or offerings you have. Trying to sell your new gourmet jelly beans online and trying to get a deal with one of the big grocery chains is very different. Both are possible……but they are different customers with different needs.
The reality is, you can have the most beautifully laid out, comprehensive Sales Strategy in the world – but if you don’t follow it, nothing will happen. Sales will not simply be manifested overnight by you hanging a sign on your day saying you want 10 new clients to buy your hammocks everyday. It’s about setting the Intention, giving it the Attention and then having No Tension (The Passion Test).
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