Brilliant Autumn Fair at the NEC

Where can you buy the latest and most innovative products for the Christmas rush?

We’ve just spent the weekend indulging ourselves at the Autumn Fair International at the NEC. It’s the best show window to get your products in front of key decision makers in the run up to Christmas.  The show is attended by retail buyers that are serious about placing orders for Christmas and beyond. 82% of buyers have direct purchasing power and attended by everyone from the major multiples and department stores to the important independents.

Are you missing the biggest marketing opportunity there is?

Are you failing to collect email addresses?

We all network and meet business associates on almost every day of the working week. But what do you do with the contact details that you collect? If only one of those contacts were to become a client or a customer it could make a huge difference to your business.

Imagine if once a week you could ring every one of your customers and tell them what you have on special offer the next week, or about the new line of dri-fit sports clothing that’s just come in, or maybe you’re demonstrating a new product at your next exhibition that would make all the difference to their profitability.  How do you think that would impact your sales?  Well, that’s what email marketing is all about.

If you’re not collecting email addresses from interested visitors to your stand or to your business or even through your website, you are missing out on one of the biggest opportunities on the internet.  Visitors who voluntarily provide you with their email address are giving you express permission to market to them.  They are pre-qualified sales leads, and much more likely to buy from you than a random visitor who finds his/her way to your business through an internet search.

It makes sense then that you should be cultivating this relationship right from the start.  Even when your traffic is low, the most important thing you can do for the future of your business is to begin building a list.

If you need help with the automation system then contact the the superstars of social media and CRM systems.

Come out, come out where ever you are

Who are your audience & where do you find them?

Failure to plan is planning to fail…….How often have you heard that said?  Well it’s true when it comes to exhibiting. Knowing where to find your audience is a key consideration when booking your exhibition stand.

Exhibitions are often audited, so if its high volume and high quality visitors you’re looking for check that the audit matches your list of ideal customers.  Try www.abc.org.uk or ask the sales team to provide a breakdown of the type of people who attend the event.

Exhibiting – the How?

Position your business for exhibiting success

Although exhibiting represents a unique selling environment, most exhibitors are caught up in the logistics of the event, not the strategy of how to position themselves for success. Exhibiting is a highly competitive environment and time is the number one competitor.  Visitors have buying plans, they research exhibitors and fine-tune their understanding of the exhibitor’s benefits by visiting them face-to-face at the event.  Begin the conversation about how you’ll achieve your objectives before you exhibit, develop a system to measure your results and teach your staff how to attract the right visitors to meet your objectives. That’s where we can help

Exhibiting – the Why?

Exhibiting – a unique opportunity

Regardless of where you display or present what you do, exhibiting offers unique selling opportunities.  It is one of the few avenues you have to meet face-to-face with visitors who have made a conscious decision, and paid, to be there.  They’re unique because buyers interested in your offering are coming to see you.  You’ll see more people in an hour that you do during a week in the field, so, it’s important that your display is memorable, your staff are quick to identify real buyers and skilled at avoiding the time-wasters.  That’s where we can help

What my ‘iron man’ friend taught me

No, he isn’t made of iron – he takes part in grueling Iron Man Challenges!

runnersI’m full of admiration when people take on sporting challenges.  My friend has just completed his first half iron man challenge and listening to how he trained I wondered what lessons we could draw from his training to help our businesses to grow fitter and stronger.

There are obvious similarities like the need to have a vision, long and short-term goals, a plan, and the metrics to tell you whether or not you’re on track. One of his focuses is on interval training, at its most basic it involves running at a fast pace, close to maximum exertion, for a short distance, then recovering for a short while, then repeating a number of times, aiming for the same or better pace.  Without interval training a runner would end up running at the same pace all the time and not improve.

So, what’s the business lesson?

If you want to improve and grow your business, you need to try new things.  This doesn’t mean embracing innovation or change for the sake of it.  What is does mean is to have a challenging mix.  If you’re business isn’t growing as fast as you’d like, try something different.  You might feel uncomfortable, but if you keep doing the same old things year in and year out, you risk stagnating, or worse still, failing.

He says: “Interval training is hard work but it’s worth all the pain!”

Iron man challenges take place in all-weather conditions: heavy rain, hot weather.  Some of the running is on the road, some off track.  Some parts flat, some hilly.  Iron Man challenges don’t get cancelled if the weather is bad.  The same applies to his training – he uses all weathers as an opportunity to test possible race day conditions.

What’s the benefit?

We need to make our business work even when we’re faced with less than ideal conditions.  We might be feeling a bit under the weather on the day of an important presentation.  We all have our ups and downs.  Regardless we must push ahead, you can’t cancel a product launch, exhibition or customer event because the conditions aren’t ideal.  Push ahead and make it work.

“Pain is only weakness leaving the body, it may last a minute, or an hour, or a week, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place.  If you quit, however, it lasts forever.”

Am I your Ideal Customer? If not, who is?

Would you recognise your ideal customer if you saw one?

So many exhibitors and business owners, when asked who their product or service is for, say enthusiastically, “Everyone!” While your product or service may be used by everyone, everyone is not your customer.  Learning to identify your ideal customer and focusing on them will grow your business.  Focusing on everyone will only result in a fragmented message that no one listens to.

Instead, spend some time figuring out exactly who your ideal customers is.  The more you know about him or her, the better your ability to market to him/her becomes. Try to discover:

  • how old your ideal customer is
  • what level of income they have
  • what the family situation is
  • how much money they earn or which bracket they fall into
  • how do they spend their leisure time

As obvious as this sounds, it’s vitally important if you are to really make magical connections with your customer, the more focused you can be on serving this one customer, the more your sales will increase.