Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.
Best tradeshow marketing tips and case studies. Call 800-654-6946.


Marketing Without Tradeshows

If you’re used to going to a handful of tradeshows each year, meeting potential buyers, distributors, partners and colleagues, now that shows are off the table for the time being, what other options do you have to get the word out about your products and services?

Sales can be made in many ways. Let’s make a list.

In-Person meetings. Obviously, the best, but if your products are sold regionally or nationally, this is the hardest. Travel is expensive and meeting one-on-one, going from office to office or city to city is also a poor use of time. Compare that to a typical tradeshow where you can stack meetings with people who are already on location.

Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Phone calls. Typical and easy but not that exciting. Some salespeople excel at talking on the phone, others not so much. But with the phone you can reach several people in a single day without leaving the office, whether your office is at work or home. Getting someone by the phone is often hit-or-miss, but it’s easy to leave a message or try again later.

Zoom or video calls. Now you’re raising the bar a bit. Zoom calls are more personal than phone calls, but you’ve got to go through a bit of a process to schedule and confirm to make the connection. Then it helps if you have good tech skills and know how to bring good audio and video (lighting, backgrounds, minimal off-camera noises, etc.) to the call. Some people are more receptive to Zoom calls than others.

E-mail. Sending an e-mail is easy. They’re also easy to ignore. But a personal e-mail at least shows that you spent some time crafting a personal message.

Social Media. Pushing out messages to people by the hundreds or thousands is easy; engaging with people one-on-one who respond takes time and effort. But it can pay off by getting people to help you toot your horn.

Advertising. We could spend a few hundred thousand words on the usefulness of radio, TV, print, search advertising and more. Books have been written! In the right place with the right message, though, it can be an effective way to reach people who are ready to buy your products or services.

Without tradeshows, you still have to keep sales coming in and products still being introduced to your market. Tradeshows are often the best place to do that, and offer the lowest cost-per-sales-meeting, but without shows, finding the sweet spot to keep sales going may take a little creativity.

TradeshowGuy Monday Morning Coffee, October 2, 2017 [video replay/podcast]

Got together with Brad Kleiner at Flywheel/Sandler in Wilsonville, Oregon, to discuss a couple of aspects of sales, and how it can be used on the tradeshow floor. As we all know, nothing happens until a sale is made, and Brad is a great and experienced Sandler Sales Trainer.


Learn more about Flywheel/Sandler Sales Training here.

My ONE GOOD THING for this week: The Monterey Jazz Festival.

The Cold Call I Got Today

I so have to Call round

Cold calling isn’t rocket science. If you’re in sales, you gotta do them at some point in your career. Heck, I do cold calling on occasion. You never know what you’re going to get. But before I pick up the phone, I want to make sure I have a good prospect. So I ask questions of myself:

Do I know if this company exhibits at shows? If so, what shows? Who’s the person that directs that effort? Is he/she the decision maker? What have they done in the past? How many shows a year do they currently attend?

Y’know, that kind of thing. A little ‘market research’ so you might have a clue as to where a conversation might go, or to perhaps keep up if it takes a swift turn.

This morning I received a cold call from a sales woman who hadn’t done much of anything before dialing my number:

She: Hi, I’m with (insert company name). Do you do any business with the federal government?
Me: Yes…But I’m not sure exactly what it is you want from me. We already do a fair amount of business with the federal government.
She: You do? I’m not sure exactly what it is you do.
Me: Well, I suppose if you’d bothered to check out our website or do a little research on our company so you’d know what you’re talking about when you tried to sell something it would help. Which is what I do before I cold call someone.
She: So you’re not interested?
Me: It doesn’t sound like you know what we do. Did you even try and find out what it is we do before you called us?
She: (giving up waaaay too easily): Well, I hope you have a nice day. Thank you for your t— (hangs up)

Hey, don’t give up so quickly! I might be interested in at least hearing your pitch – but by not getting a specific answer, and abandoning the effort, it was a wasted call all around.

At a tradeshow it’s a different beast altogether. It’s almost as if you’re allowed to ‘cold call’ without doing an research. People walk up to your booth, you start zinging them some pre-planned questions. Based on their answers, you quickly determine if they’re a prospect or not. But you still will be in a better position if your questions are well-thought-out to elicit responses that pertain directly to your product or service.

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photo credit: 1Happysnapper (photography)

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Tradeshow Guy Blog by Tim Patterson

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