5 Tricks to prospecting before a trade show
1) Gang Up with (Non Competing) Competitors
This is one of my favorite sales prospecting techniques. Whoever you’re selling to has dozens of other services and products being sold to them. Let’s say you are selling to CFOs. Accountants sell to CFOs. Legal firms sell to CFOs. Auditors sell to CFOs.
By establishing alliances with others selling different products to the same people, you get some major benefits. First, you both get access to each other’s “circle of trust” – people who know you and love your work. Second, you might find ways to partner on the same sales. And finally, you just instantly doubled (or tripled, or quadrupled) the number of people you can network with and sell to.
2) Organize Your Very Own CEO Luncheon
People love to be around people who are like them (or who they aspire to be like). Invite a CEO to a seminar, and you’re likely to get a 0.000-something response rate.
Invite that same CEO to an invitation-only CEO luncheon where they get to rub shoulders with other fellow CxOs, and you’ll get a friendly phone call from their executive assistant.
To make this work, you need to tackle the 3 Ps:
- Presence: It has to be a small group of very, very senior players
- Packaging: It has to feel, sound, and be exclusive
- Positioning: It has to combine lunch/dinner with a “big question”
When it comes to sales prospecting, this technique may seem a little slow going. You’re not blasting CEOs with a sales message. You’re allowing them to network while getting to know you. Not only will your attendees be brushing shoulders with the big dogs, but you will be too. You’ll get to hear about the problems CEOs are having from a room full of them.
3) Become a Video Rock Star
Email open rates have plummeted in recent years. And they continue to go down (and down). According to MailVU.com, the average email click-through rate is now around 5%, which means that if you are sending a whitepaper, blog post, or brochure to 100 prospects, a grand total of 5 will open it. To put it another way, if you want to get 50 prospects to actually read your stuff, you’d need to send 1000 emails, and risk wasting 995 people’s time and being marked as spam.
Now let’s say you were to include a video in that email. Nothing fancy, just you talking to the camera and saying a few words. Educating a little bit. Introducing yourself. Pointing to a helpful resource.
You’ll be surprised how even a simple video will boost opens, the number of people who are engaged with your content, and the number of leads that begin to move down your sales funnel. Time to break out the flip cam.
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Mr. Checkout is a national association of independent wagon-jobbers and full-line distributors. We distribute product to approximately 35,000 independent stores around the country and are always seeking the next hot new product. If you have a product, we want to hear from you!